Canoeing with Crocodiles

freshwater croc on river bankone metre freshwater croc on log

About three years ago Lynn and I bought canoes so we could get more exercise and maybe lose some weight (ha, ha, that old one). We soon found that we didn’t know the first thing about canoeing. The result was that we didn’t go canoeing, didn’t get exercise, didn’t lose weight and didn’t have fun. So, earlier this year, Lynn booked us in for a series of lessons. A good idea except my appendix threatened to burst at the thought. I went to hospital and Lynn did the course on her own. Now I’ve recovered from the operation and it’s my turn. Unfortunately my balance isn’t as good as it once was and I fall out as often as not. This doesn’t worry me. I’ve never been afraid of water. It does worry other people though and I’ve gained a reputation for being a danger to myself.

This has been made worse by my passion for photography. I love to take photos of the wildlife in the river. (My camera is waterproof. I’ve proved it.) This includes some fresh-water crocodiles. Alas, now I seem to be trying to drown myself in crocodile infested water. Lynn never had this problem, but then, she didn’t take a camera in the canoe.

So here is a short discussion about the differences between Crocodylus porosus, the estuarine or salt water crocodile, and Crocadylus johnstoni, the freshwater or Johnstone’s river crocodile.

Salties are big and aggressive. Although females are smaller, typical adult males are over four metres long and can grow to over six metres.

Freshies are smaller and timid. They rarely grow more than three metres long and there aren’t any that size where we go. They are much more scared of me than I am of them. Most of them are also smaller than me.

So, confident that I am the biggest and meanest critter in the river I intend to keep canoeing, keep taking photos and (probably) keep falling out, especially once summer sets in.


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