River Dart – Friday 12th – Sunday 14th April

On Friday 12th April evening seven intrepid Nomads met at the Dartbridge Inn in Buckfastleigh to plan the weekend’s activity over a meal and an enjoyable glass of wine, beer or mineral water. With a driver prepared to do the shuttle run (thanks to my wife Sue) the  logistics were simple and we arranged to meet the following morning at 9:30 after breakfast in the hotel car park in kayak kit ready to depart for Newbridge, our put in for both days and then shuttle the cars and dry kit to the takeout at Strawberry Fields Farm Shop and Café in Buckfastleigh

The weather was being kind and the safety briefing, warm up and launch were all done  in beautiful sunshine. The river was at an ideal hight (just touching the slab at Newbridge). Considering the time of year and the possible water levels the conditions could not have been better.

The seven  paddlers, Anton, Chris, Graham, Ian, Martin, Nigel and Rob set off from  Newbridge towards our takeout point in Buckfastleigh.

Time was spent honing our moving water skills (or at least shouting “paddle” and “stop paddling backwards”) practising our ferry gliding, break in and break outs.

There were a few swims and a couple of bruised egos and bodies but we all made it down to Lovers Leap where we had lunch just as the sun was going behind a cloud. After the stop to replenish our energy levels and patch up the odd body we proceeded down to Triple Falls and on to Buckfastleigh.

A few decided to seal launch from a well known rock before Triple Falls which is always good fun.

On the way down the river we stopped to play on all the waves we could find to continue practicing our surfing skills, break-ins, break-outs and ferry glides. We shot Holne Weir on the right hand side looking down river

Another enjoyable meal on Saturday evening was followed by a slightly cooler day but still warm conditions for time of year. Anton decided to visit an elderly relative in Exmouth so we were six Nomads on the Sunday. Again, with almost perfect levels we decided to paddle from Newbridge to Holne Weir. Slightly shorter so we finished in time for people to make the trip home. Sue again helped with the shuttle (thanks) so all cars were at the get out.

Another enjoyable paddle playing on all the features.

Martin also decided to go for an extreme seal launch. It was made perfectly clear this was not part of the led trip and was doing at his own risk but you can’t stop a mad man!

Congratulations to Anton and Chris for completing the Dart Loop and the section from Holne Bridge to Buckfastleigh. First time on some proper white water is always a challenge!

Thanks to all for making it such an enjoyable weekend with good company, good food, great weather and great water levels.

2 thoughts on “River Dart – Friday 12th – Sunday 14th April

  • Ian Walker

    Thanks for leading great trip Nigel & write-up of event. Really enjoyed weekend & ageing Kayaker is feeling the aches, but hopefully fitter now too. The lovely Dart River & no rubbish at all in the section we paddled. Lovely!
    Cheers Ian

  • Anton Zuccaro

    Thank you Nigel for organising an epic trip. The weather gods smiled on us and the setting was glorious. And a big thank you to everyone for all the patience and support you showed me on my first time on “the Loop”. Rumours that Devon has been drunk dry of Chateauneuf du Pape are totally unfounded!

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