Sunday, 1 November 2015

D-Day - Sunday 1st November 2015

The build up to Sunday’s paddle began on Tuesday of that week.  Excitement was plentiful with forecasts of rain and rivers rising across the country, there was talk of the Dart, Tawe, Wnion, Tees, etc.  As the week progressed the rain came…… and went! And with heavy heart we watched the rivers fall one by one.

Inevitably Sunday came and we looked hopefully at what was left, there was only one within striking distance! Echoing Churchill’s rousing “We will fight them on the beaches…” speech we loaded up our troop carriers and headed for D-Day!

We were a mixed group, blessed with faces old (Steve D) and new (Gina).  After some crossed wires at the get-in, some of our number decided to play mock students for another club, allowing them to make new acquaintances and paddle with some fresh direction that left 7 in our intrepid group.  A tentative start from Sam on her comeback from an unfortunate Tryweryn related incident soon turned out to be an outstanding performance, laying some demons to rest and providing a much needed boost in confidence.

Highlights of the day include Sam’s 2 (YES 2) flawless runs through Serpents Tail – by far the biggest Grade She has run to date, Gina demonstrating that she is a bit of paddling demon and a very welcome new face to the club, an excellent example of rescue skills in practice – thank you Jamie for being a willing volunteer ;-)

The other big lesson from the paddle is that the river from Llangollen to Trevor rapids is a very picturesque, peaceful, relaxing run, perfect for a sunny afternoon summer paddle with a nice beer and BBQ to look forward to.  Unfortunately on a Foggy November afternoon, after the fun of paddling the usual Dee section it is a VERY long, uninspiring, tiring, slog! Thankfully livened up by Colin's decision to 'Donkey paddle' a large chunk, a feat which many of us joined in, then Sam and Colin decided to challenge each other to turning round, then over without falling over...... They both failed! (Surely that counts as a swim!!)

The day was rounded off in the best possible way with Beer and nibbles at the Gaskell Arms (Much Wenlock) which has become our regular stopping off point from days out in North Wales.  Even better – the ‘swear box’ wasn’t on the bar, so we didn’t get stung for fines!!

Thanks for another great day on the water.    Paddlers: - Zaf, Steve, Dave Y, Laurence, Gina, Sam, Chucky, Colin, Jamie, Ryan and yours truly.

See you next time - Keith