CSCC Reports 2005: Mystery Tour 22-23 October 2005

On Saturday 22 October, four intrepid CSCC paddlers set out on Fi's magical whitewater mystery tour. So mysterious was this that Fi herself was not there. The paddlers drove blindfold to the river so they would not know where they were. They set up the shuttle and were on the water - before midday! Clearly mysterious things were afoot in CSCC.

The Saturday's paddle was a pleasant enough grade 2 and 3 paddle, with some great scenery, wherever it was. The only swim was Dave M (in a boat belonging to someone called Anne Ring) throwing an intriguing play move at the bottom of a drop, which none of the rest of us could replicate. Towards the end of the paddle, we realised that arriving blindfold had not been a good idea in terms of gauging the river level, and a few times it got very scrappy, sorry, technical. Martin decided paddling with legs outside the boat was easier, so he could paddle in both senses of the word.

The evening saw a very pleasant meal and several nice pints in the Talbert. Amazed by how much sooner our group had got on the river, we discussed the need for a "faff survey" to detect what was stopping us doing this usually - expect this to follow soon!

The Sunday involved a much longer (blindfold, of course) drive to the second river. The previous day's speed had got to our heads, and faff once again abounded, though we just slipped onto the river before midday. This river had plenty of water, and a great Grade 3/3+ paddle followed, with a fair number of waves to play on. After Pete's swim on a drop, Dave M astounded us with a quick boat empty in the middle of the river while floating downstream, delivering the boat ready-to-paddle for Pete. There was part of the river supposed to be Grade 4, but Hils reckoned it wasn't, and she should know having stayed in the knarly bit jumping between every micro-eddy looking for a challenge. A few more drops and we were done, and wondering how long it would take to drive home blindfold.

Thanks to Hils for organising and showing me two rivers I've never paddled before.

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