14 December 2008

A mad dash...

down south after I looked at my phone at 11:45am to find a text message saying that some mates were paddling the Greta, which runs through Keswick, and were meeting around mid-day. At first I thought I wouldn't be able to make it in time, what with not having any of my kit packed, or a boat on the roof, and I let them know this. Then, when I stopped and thought about it, it started to sound quite possible that I would be able to load my van and drive the thirty or so miles to the put-in, in time.

It was all go. I decided that by kitting up in the comfort of my own home would save time, so I quickly shoved my dry suit on, threw all my other kit into the back of the van and then chucked my boat up on the roof. This was done wearing the dry suit; I got some funny looks from the neighbours who were leisurely pottering around the street on their mid-day, Sunday business. I then jumped into the van and drove, slightly possessed, to the river and arrived just after half-twelve. Not bad, not bad at all. The boat came off the van, the rest of my paddling kit was slipped into and we were off down the river with hardly a second lost.

Looking upstream at the snowy hills.

I have done the Greta a fair few times now so it was nothing out of the ordinary. It was at a good level because of the thawing of the snow, which has been lying up high for over two weeks, and some light rain over the past few days. I had done it higher than today, but then again I had also done it lower than this; it was a perfect level I suppose after three weeks out from paddling.

On the lead-in to Magnetic Rock rapid.

Surfing a wave.

Trying to be a bit arty with a focused bit of driftwood in the foreground and a paddler making an eddy behind.

Nothing much happened during the descent; we all caught eddies, we all surfed waves and we all got off the river with heavy arms and happy faces. I jumped back in the van, still clad in dry suit, and headed back to Carlisle to sort my gear and a bit of a rest before my final week at university before breaking up for Christmas.

More pictures can be found here.

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

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