WEL­COME CHANGE OF PACE

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Travel -

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.

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