Nomads visit the River Ivel, Bedfordshire

On Sunday the 9th October 7 Nomads arrived nice and bright and early on a glorious crisp bright autumn morning in Sandy. Everyone arrived in good time, for fear of reprimand from the ‘lay-in’ police (Dave Hillier). It was really great to see the lift sharing coordination which meant all vehicles were fully occupied minimising our environmental impact! 😊

Ian Walker led the trip with Dave Hillier assisting. We covered roughly a 5 mile stretch of the River Ivel with intermediate waters and several weirs. Although water levels were quite low giving some challenges, some areas gave the feeling of paddling through a thick soup and less water coming over the weirs meant less fun for the paddlers! As always lots of fun and laughter was had by all!

After a shuttle run to get the vehicles insitu for the end of the paddle and a safety briefing, we hit the waters around 10:30. Heading for the first weir of our journey, we took advantage of a great photo opportunity at a pretty bridge requested by Rachael! Taken masterfully by Maryam as she gracefully glided around in the currents drawing her ever closer to the group wedged under the bridge!

We then proceeded to the first weir where Ian and Dave assessed the best place to proceed over the weir and gave the all clear!

Everyone took the weir in their stride and proceeded along the winding river. Some trees had fallen, but everyone meandered around seamlessly, ducking and limboing as and when necessary!

Then came the big weir! Dave immediately demonstrated how not to do it!

Ian then demonstrated how to tackle the weir in style. Andy proceeded with a slight hiccup due to the size of his boat, I hope your ankles are ok now! 😊. Whilst Nathan Maryam and David waited eagerly at the top of the weir for their turn. Sadly, much to the disappointment of Nathan and Maryam it was decided it was too risky for them to proceed due to the low water levels. Such a shame as both had been so excited and ready for this moment!

A nice spot was found for lunch after Dave’s little swim, he discovered the limitations of his dry bag and lunch box. Soggy sandwiches thrown, towels & socks wrung out, food offerings from the whole group rejected. We sat enjoyed our lunch and drying out in the sun!

Then we encountered our second professional photographer of the day, after a 30 minute photoshoot took some very respectable photos without is thumb or finger making an appearance.….. only to find these were all short videos!

We set off again after everyone had refuelled, refreshed and almost dried, down smaller winding parts of the river.

A nice continuation of the paddle, going with the current, with a few more weirs to experience. Some of the more experienced paddlers braved some fun and games in the weirs. All enthusiastically sharing their knowledge of various support strokes and techniques to help the less experienced paddlers improve.

After a short burst on the Ouse we were soon at Tempsford for a tricky exit, with a steep bank and an electric fence to contend with. But as always, the whole group helped each other leave the water, banks and electric fence behind us!

Cleaning and drying of boats and kit took place, whilst Dave kindly passed round beers from his cooler. We debriefed and agreed it was another wonderful Nomad trip enjoyed by all!

Thanks Ian and Dave for arranging an amazing trip and keeping us all safe.

Thanks to Maryam, Nathan, Andy, David for attending.

Write up by Rachael Hall

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