Last March I did my first non-stop Dusi since 2004 and my first in a single
canoe (k1). It was a long day of 12hours and 47 minutes and conditions
couldn’t have been tougher. I battled with instability (my balance had
deserted me after not having paddled a k1 in 7 years, I fell out after 1 km
of the start!), the river level was super low all the way to the dam, the
baking heat was oppressive, the howling wind and waves across Inanda dam
made the 7km paddle seem like an ocean crossing and the hyacinth choking the
head of the dam resulting in exhausting wading through the thick, heavy
suffocating weed. Oh, and a broken paddle along the way resulting in a but
of bush walking and some Hiawatha paddling to boot.
But strangely enough, it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my
life. As I look back, I enjoyed the build up, consisting mainly of
preparation of equipment and nutrition and the briefing of my vitally
important seconders, Baron (princess) and Rohan (theZohan) . This event is
not possible without the help of a good seconding team as it is totally
unsupported. It’s a long tiring day for the seconders…..
The day arrived without the usual dread of a long hard task ahead but
instead as my alarm jolted me from my slumber at 3:30 am, I felt an
immediate tingle of excitement in my belly and adventure in my heart. From
the misty early morning of Camps drift to the crystal clear rapids below
Inanda dam in the late afternoon with the ducks fluttering over the water
and the last warm sun rays glistening off the waves. The solitude and the
journey was wonderful, sometimes I would not see another paddler for an
This year I’m just as excited as I’m taking my wife and best friend Loo
along for the experience. I can’t wait for her to see for herself what a
wonderful trip it is. It’s a soulful experience and not a hard slog, a
wonderful day to bond with your partner, the river and with nature. Our new
boat, The Tiphuthu (unsinkable) is light and stable, perfect for the day.
Conditions look good this year with plenty of water around and no hyacinth
Four more sleeps…..