On Saturday the 24th of June Nomads Kayak Club took a trip to Bedfordshire, at the River Ivel. The journey up there was a long and painful one as Jenny’s car only managed to reach 40 mph on the motorway. After about an hour and a half we did reach the drop off point where we dumped the stuff and I was left looking after the kids and boats, which was highly amusing with the ideas we were coming up with to lose the adults’ boats (one was to take their boats and leave ours so they couldn’t fit, then we realised they had Arthur…).
Once we they came back and much to their dismay we were still there, we all jumped in our boats and seal launched* down the bank just as it started to rain. We worked our way along the river with Dell and his canoe taking the rear, after about 10 minutes we reached the first weir where our convoy stopped at the top and one by one went down, Jaygo our 12 year old daredevil got stuck in the bottom of the little waterfall and after a good 5 minutes of surfing the wave got dunked and had to bail out. The weather got brighter and windier and the weirs seemed to be getting better and better, being my first official club trip I found the white water a great experience and really worked on all of my techniques- from edging, ferry gliding and going in and out of the stoppers*.
There was a beautiful wooded area which was about 2 metres wide hiding some fun little rapids, which I have to admit was the best bit of the trip and they were great to run down. The big drop was a very different experience from the usual calm lake I’m used to but I enjoyed it so much I went down it twice. James went over after going down the drop but did a very graceful roll to right him. The very end weirs were great to go down being a double one and landing in some great waves, this is where I met my demise after ferry gliding across it a few times I lost my balance and my grip on my paddle, (much to my annoyance as the previous week I had been practising my rolls to perfection) after bailing out and jumping straight back in my boat and into the rapids it was a great way to end the day.
Getting to the ‘get-out point’ which was a cow field we went to the cars where we all had to get changed beside the junction, definitely not my proudest moment. Jenny and I then set off and after only a half an hour drive the car goes Kapput and were stranded on the A4 waiting for the AA man, who couldn’t actually fix the car so we all ended up in the truck driving home, all we could say was at least the car got us there.
As a trip it was thoroughly enjoyable and a great laugh, being my baptism to white water I definitely have the lust for more.
*seal launched: getting in the boat attaching spray deck on and sliding into the water.
*stoppers: where the water rushes out creating rapid like water.