WELCOME CHANGE OF PACE
Ravenswood and we docked opposite the Ravenswood Hotel.
We were fortunate to meet local resident David Rennie, who was recently crowned Australian Geographic ANZANG Nature Photographer of the Year. The self-taught photographer and environmentalist didn't hold back as he described the critical condition of the Mandurah wetlands, home to the abundance of birds and wildlife I had been admiring along the way.
After a robust environmental discussion, the five of us enjoyed a fabulous homecooked dinner prepared earlier on the boat against the backdrop of an electric pink and purple sunset.
A night heron perched on the top of our boat, posed for photographs and hung around for the evening, along with the ducks who were still on our trail.
The next day, we pushed off from the mooring post and started our slow and relaxing trip back along the waterways to the Mandurah Harbour.
As we approached the Peel Inlet, the connecting point be- tween the Murray River and Mandurah canals, I took the wheel of the boat.
I made a conscious effort not to oversteer while following the canal makers and keeping in mind the wind conditions.
Despite having left the boat driving up to my counterparts until this point, I was beginning to feel almost competent in my seamanship skills.
A pod of dolphins leapt from the water in the Peel Inlet, diving under and alongside our boat in an almost symbolic send-off as we ventured home.
We made our way back into Mandurah Harbour, receiving a commentary from Mia about the scenery – the new restaurants, who owned what house, war memorials and historical sites.
Before we knew it, we were back to where we started at the Mandurah Boathouses post, where Sam parked the boat as if he had done it a thousand times before.
While tying the boat up with a half hitch knot, Sam pointed out a duck with unusual colouring and mentioned he had seen it earlier on the Murray River. The chance to slow the pace and enjoy the detail for a couple of days had worked for him as well.
A former post office on the Murray River converted into a holiday stop.