03 December 2006

Rising water and punishing winds

Well another day at Halton; there was no swapping of boats, kit or people to head off to better things this time because the water wasn't coming over the whole weir at the get in. This in all honesty means that the grade 3/4 gems of Sedburgh, like the Clough and Rawthey wouldn't be up. So I stayed at Halton with the rest of the club. I had managed to persuade one of my paddling buddies to drop the club's Eskimo Topolino Duo off at my house on the Saturday so I had that to keep me entertained on what has become a very familiar stretch of rapids.

Logistics were somewhat complicated seen as I had two boats, three seats and one person, myself, to get up the river to the rapids. It worked out that I shoved my All Star deck in my All Star and paddled the Topolino Duo up the river, towing my play boat from my chest harness. Once at the rapids I deposited the All Star on the island. I waited around for a while to see if there were any prospective candidates to go in the Topolino Duo, but when it looked doubtful I swapped boats and headed further up the rapids for a bit of 'me time' in my boat.

There were some alright waves on the river to get a bit of soul surfing in and I even managed to get a 360, and stick it, in one of the least retentive holes on the river. There was also one wave that I got air borne on for a split second. It was kind of unexpected so I didn't managed to throw anything down, but it was nice all together.

I eventually headed back down the river to my first victim (candidate) for the Topolino Duo so it was boat swapping time again and we eventually launched on the river. With a bit of shouting at my 69-year-old front passenger we got the boat ferry gliding and breaking in/out fairly successful. In fact we even pulled off a rescue when someone swam. It wasn't long before I had a new passenger, and this passenger had paddled with me before in the Topolino Duo on the Washburn in August. This ultimately meant that I could push it a bit more and we headed higher up the river.

By now a couple of hours had passed and the river was rising slowly, so when we headed higher up the river the water was getting bigger and a bit more lumpy when compared to earlier. In fact the river had risen that much a nice looking Christmas Tree floated past us as we launched onto the water and headed through the big waves to where the rest of the club were waiting to head on downstream and get off the water as it had risen that much the rapids were starting to get a bit washed out, and the place where we usually got out was under water.

Another picture and a video can be found here.

Good lines, stay safe and see you on the wet stuff...

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