A year ago what fresher would have ever thought that they would be rejoicing because of the amount of rain that was coming down over the whole of England particularly the South West?! Well after braving the treacherous roads back to Exeter in order to paddle, we met in the pouring rain for Robin’s first trip. Everything was organised well and we were under way with just the usual faff. It was particularly hard for George as he said an emotional fare well to Hugh, who was heading to Wales hoping to run some ridiculously high waterfall.
Half way through the journey, the front of the convoy received a distress call from those aboard the fun bus. We may have been loving the rain but it was too much for Heather and unfortunately we were to retrace our steps and find her stranded in a lay-by with a broken wind screen wiper motor. The trip was officially over as 2 hours was spent waiting for the RAC and then the tow truck to arrive. With the Walkham out of the question and levels on the loop approaching 3rd arch, Nixon and Lynne were to lead a few of us on a loop trip. Piled into the other 3 cars Nixon, Lynne, George, Stonham, Jacky, Jen, Tinsy and myself headed over to newbridge.
The dart was pumping. Paddling through 3rd arch seemed a bit surreal after it being so low. So much water created pretty awesome waves trains the whole way down. Lovers leap was non existent, eddies were scarce and smiles were vast! One swim at triple step seemed to be taking a while to sort out, it was only after I found out Nixon, on trying to get out, had slipped back in the river dragging his paddles and boat with him! Nixon swimming! As no one was in front he pretty much had to rescue himself and kit, and credit to him as he managed it too even if he did end up a fair way down the river. With people back in boats we continued to enjoy the rest the river was offering us. Upon reaching the end, 1 trip down just didn’t seem enough. Nixon, Lynne, Marie, George and myself raced back to the top for another run. Marie had the only misfortune, and that was being pushed over by the random guy who tagged along with us. 25 to 30 minutes to run the loop. Awesome.