With gear barrels lashed fore and aft of the kayaks we put into the water at Mundoo Chanel and paddled in light conditions bows pointed at the high dunes that separate the southern ocean from the Coorong.
The out-tide left the shoulders of the channel shallow and its rippled bed visible. Occasionally the belly of the kayaks nudged the bottom, my trailing lure dredging the sand until we met deeper water and made our crossing of the main channel to the lapping edge of the other side.
I have often noticed that the crossing of water, even this short distance, gives rise to the feeling that I have crossed a threshold not only to another place but also a shift in mind.
We made a central fire but fanned out for nooks and hollows to sleep in, narrow spans of dune amongst the low scrub and away from fiery red ants. Many Davids to a few Goliath’s.
Back around the fire I found myself feeling sleepy. The entrancing flicker of flames, the sleepiness of dunes and the drifting tide all conspired to lull me to sleep. Others chatted around the fire and then from the darkened waters edge came a shout, “I’ve caught a fish!” A startled mullaway gasped its last then lay still awaiting the coals of the morning fire.
I arose before the sun hopeful to catch a fish. But my only trophy was the rising sun.
All arisen we gathered to share the mullaway which did not disappoint, nor the fresh cockles Iain harvested from the beach.
Shane and I crossed the sandy waves of the dunes passing through the scatters shells of an ages old midden then in a fresh fly deterring wind we headed up the beach to the Murray Mouth. There above the incoming waves and serious fishermen a kite-surfer tacked back and forth.
We rounded the head and headed back on the lee side of the peninsula. With reduced wind the flies returned and bothered us past the ramshackle fishing shacks, the sanctioned campsite to our hidden one.
The hours were passing so we packed up, reloaded the kayaks and splashed into the wavelets of a fresh north-westerly. Back at Mundoo we hauled our wet arses and tired arms back onto dry land and were soon headed home, ashes cricket once again our companion.