20th January 2019
With very little water in the rivers anywhere it was looking like the improvers weren’t going to get an improvement opportunity this weekend – until Mike stepped in with a suggestion to try the Leven.
What we newbies didn’t quite appreciate at the time was just how much of an opportunity to improve it would be!
Colin, John S, and Eric set off accompanied by responsible (but slightly grinning) adults Brian, Mike H and Sten, what could they possibly be holding back on. – Off into the mist.
Gently through the ‘Racecourse start with a few scrapey bottoms giving a warning of bumps to come.
Mike had been emphasising the need to assess the water and chose a line; so that bit was easy at the brick chute weir, it was just staying the right way up at the bottom which was difficult. A quick bank side chat of options, guided by Brian before the next drop Miill force.
Colin made the first eddy, – joe cool; John and Eric took the same option only to watch Colin fall in breaking out of said eddy!
Squeaky bum time down the next broken boulder barrier, with John the first to find one of those bowl you over rocks.
I think it was the first time down the front of a weir for us all, but I guess it’s a bit like sex really, you don’t know what it’s going to be like, but then it’s OK and you want to have another go.
The improvers portaged around the bridge at Backbarrow, but gave us an opportunity to see how things should be done – mind your head on those big rocks Sten.
Below, on the next ledge, we were tested even more, With a tricky line sending two of us over to the right when we were aiming left.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
A bigger, sloping weir led directly to a long grade 3 where we tried to play ‘follow.’ Every time you miss one rock you hit another – plenty of opportunity for improving here and telling tall tales of improvements made; I now understand why Mike is so keen on everyone developing their backwards paddling techniques!
The next weir was soon upon us and following the previous analogy I was playing really cool, just drifted up to it; and …..got stuck on the precipice. Here the analogies will stop.
The decision was taken to go to the left of Fisherman’s Island although the slide into a narrow slot at the bottom was a bit of a surprise to everyone.
The Lakeland Motor Museum Café provided welcome coffee and cakes and an opportunity to recount tales of daring do. We certainly agreed that it had been a pretty challenging day for us all but just the thing to push us on that little bit further. As the adrenaline subsided, the conversation turned to the possibility of a visiting the actual motor museum, maybe on a rainy day sometime – but then if its raining there may be more water in the river ………
Once again very many thanks to Brian, Mike and Sten, without your time and guidance, (and throw lines) we wouldn’t be able to enjoy kayaking as we do.