I'm a freelance writer living in Brisbane. I love bushwalking, kayaking, wildlife, history and travel.
Published February 9th 2017
I'm sitting in my sister's lounge room in the small rural town of Westbury, 30 kilometres west of Launceston in Tasmania. The fire is going and I'm wearing a jumper and thermals. A week ago I was paddling my kayak along the beautiful Nundah Creek in the Boondal wetlands in Brisbane. I've still got sunburn on my thighs. It was a hot day and I should have worn longer shorts.
Monique had organised the paddle through her online "Meet Up - Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP)" Group. Only two of us turned up for this one. We have been doing regular paddles around different areas near Brisbane. I had heard about the Boondal wetlands and the canoe/kayak trails there, but had never been before.
It was high tide, which is the best time to paddle up the creek. It was a beautiful day on the water, with calm still water, lots of water birds and interesting mangroves. We checked out the bird hide on our way up the creek and explored the mangroves. At least we don't have to worry about crocodiles in Southern Queensland, unlike when I lived in North Queensland. The 2.1 kilometre trail winds past Dinah Island's wooded forests, mangrove forests and intertidal saltmarshes,
After paddling for about an hour, we decided to turn back and return down the creek the way we had come. Monique said there is a way of crossing over the road and paddling back down in the ocean, but we did not know how windy it would have been out in the bay.
We saw a large yellow plastic buoy floating in the water and paddled up for a closer look. The rope attached had broken off from its mooring and it was floating free. I could see some writing on the front of the buoy, which read B S 6. I tried to remember it so I could notify Marine Safety when I got home.
On our way back Monique saw a large fish jump out of the water and spin around. She looked around to see if I had seen it, but I was still coming and missed it. She said it was as big as a large tuna. I did some research when I got home, and found an article about ferry operators in the Brisbane river reporting bull sharks leaping out of the river and spinning around. When I told Monique about this though, she was pretty sure her fish wasn't a shark. She said the tail fin was different. She is going to research some more.
A large egret greeted us back at the boat ramp. Marine Safety were interested in the buoy we found, and were going to send someone out to collect it. I learnt from an Internet search that yellow buoys are used for restricted buoy mooring, and are generally issued for recreational use. Only the approved ship that is registered/owned by the authority holder is permitted to moor at the approved buoy mooring. The colour of the mooring buoy must be yellow. The buoy may have broken loose from one of the yachts moored outside the Queensland Cruising Yacht Club next to the Creek.