Well the last week has seen loads of water in the Devon rivers.
Monday morning started with going to work,a sad face on my head. That soon changed as Mitch let us go off to the Dart for the morning. Jim and i had a cool session on the Top wave and a nice bouncy blast down to triple three, Jim was getting some nice blunts down, hes going really well in the Project 52, i had a poor session in my Ronin. So much so i have now put it up for sale and got myself a nice Vision 44. Not much foot room but way more fun.
Work beckoned but so did the wave, which excuse to use? Todays excuse was "we got stuck in traffic" (river traffic, at least one person infront of me the whole time!)
Flower Pots was goin off most of the week, monday after work was to low to get into wet thermals so Tuesday before work was the best bet.I met a tired looking Jim and not so keen Jemma in the car park, "come on, get on with it!" was my cry as they slowly got changed. Despite freezing temperatures Jemma really impressed me by getting stuck in. She had a bit of a pasting on the Saturday at the freestyle event so it was good to see her back in the Pots. Jim surfed it up as usual and i got some cool runs with nicly linked ends and a back loop.
The plan was a session before work on the Wednsday as well....I got on at 7.30am but no one else was to be seen! A whole hour of the Pots is enough for one man.so i changed and went to work.
Thursday was my day off and lots of people were planning to meet early to get a few rivers in. Ed and i met up with Mike Scutt from White water the canoe centre in Shepperton at New bridge only to find Simon and Ugg were meeting at Ivybridge to run the Erme.We wizzed down there to meet those guys. It was a fun trip with people i knew and some i didnt. Patch and his wife Dee were over visiting from Canada. Patch used to be a sales rep for Dagger kayaks out there but went to uni with Simon Westgarth. He hadn't paddled the Erme for 7 years and Dee had never been down, it was a great level and Dee styled it,showing the boys up in the process. We then headed up to the "home run" The Upper Dart, it was great, every 30 seconds or so some one would be doing a rock spin or splat, new boofs and eddies discoverd, a real "free ride" day. Its allways a pleasure to finish off a days paddle on the Upper.
Friday, haha what can i say.i have a great boss and some understanding work mates.
With all the rain we get a bit sad in the shop with tales of every one going paddling so again Mitch let us off to go boat.
I had been harpping on for ages about doing the North Teign, "Its a steep tree filled ditch" was about all any one could say about it! Still i really had to tick it off my list so Roger said he'd come with me and we conned Jim into coming for moral support :) i think if we'd told him the truth about it being class 5 in big water he would have minced out, so fair play to him!
After looking for the gauge rocks,(there wern't any)we decided there was enough water for it to be on. We arrived at the top? and hiked down the river, it wasn't bursting its banks but you could see it was high as the trees were in the water. We hiked some rapids and boated some, it does have lots of trees in it, it is very steep, the rapids are of dubious quality.I would say when it has less water and some eddies it may be better.
We had no flippin eddies and a flow that was brown and coverd all the rocks. Higher than recommended it was certenly a solid grade 5 for the bits you could paddle around the trees.
Still we did it and now i dont have to go back. Roger has been planning ways of getting revenge on me ever since!
Ahh Sunday, a day of rest. Not exactly!!
The East Lyn on Exemoor is the best wet day out in the Westcountry with out a doubt.My favourite river in England. Combined with the upper section from Brendon it falls from high on the Exemoor platue all the way to sea in Lynmouth. There was tonnes of water running down the roads and fields on the drive up, i was starting to get nervous. We got to Lynmouth to find the gauge island nearly coverd, a highish level but not off the scale, a good but pushy trip was on!
I totally styled the crux double drop on the Brendon section but was not so tidy on the Lyn gorge. A few of the team hiked up and ran the water falls on the Horeoak water which joins the east Lyn at Watersmeet.I had done this drop before and was too lazy to get up the hill to the put in.
A minor tree blockage on the way out of the gorge ment a short portage for us, but not for Tom Bailey who sneeked it with out telling any one. Helen got pinned and was not a happy bunny, losing her paddles.
apart from that a wicked wet week.
Next week sees an undercover team race on one of two venues... part of the www.gene17.com adventure paddlers weekend at the River DArt country park,9th and 10th December.Be there. Hopefully some photos of the last week to follow, i have to get hold of a lady on the bank of the Lyn who was taking pics!