Date: Saturday, 9 October 2021 River: Picton River. Water level: 0.95. Participants: 9.
Ruth’s second go at organising went a fair bit smoother, with a beginner friendly day on the picton the go for this October Saturday. Josh (blue hair) arrived at the sheds just in time to sneak his gear into a car and make it; following in the noble club tradition of just late enough to make the trip but miss the packing.
Stopping at Huonville we picked up some bakery and supermarket snacks, in a very efficient manner. With everyone well fuelled we got back on the road, meeting at riveoux beidge to have a look at the river. With Tahune gauge at .95m but a majority of the rain in the picton catchment we were looking at a great level for a fun beginner friendly trip. We were all excited and ready to go!
Heading now for the get in an unsure Nik confused himself about directions, and pulled over letting us lead the last minute before we got to the get in. Good call - always better safe than lost – it’s hard to get to the end of the road. Perhaps directions wasn’t the only thing he forgot, as his feet seemed rather unprotected apart from the neoprene socks… whoops – nothing we aren’t happy to fix with a bit of gaffer tape for you Nik!
Tony and Nik did the car shuffle while we all pumped rafts and I did the safety briefing and had a good chat to the gang. We then got on river and spilt up the boats. Our boat was a lovely chatty gang, all excited and ready to attempt to ID trees and appreciate the beautiful scenery. “Is that a Huon pine?” “I think so!” “Is it?” I guess we will never know. We definitely saw at least one – right?
I guided my boat up the gorge and then Tony and Marlee took over the old guides seat taking us down to Tahune.
The top half of the Picton was great fun, all the rapids were far a great level to have a good play on. We paddled down and chatted about the club, getting to know each other and what the club and rafting is all about. At a nice pace we made out way down to the gorge, all feeling nice and comfy in the boats now and ready for a lil fun. After Josh and I volunteered to scout the gorge we clambered over the VERY SLIPPERY rocks we gracefully returned with excited eyes, keen to run it. The gorge was great fun with some nice push but nothing too nasty, a lovely rapid for a beginner friendly fun adventure. Having run through with no dramas, a team in good spirits was up for some fun. I suggested practising white water swimming, throwbagging and rescuing swimmers as the day had been otherwise fairly dry on all accounts. Tony properly tested his $200 eBay dry suit, which to everyone’s surprise, and perhaps my disappointment, was swim proof and he was still very dry underneath and didn’t drown. That’s a pretty good win if you ask me. After this he really worked his muscles and demonstrated great throwbagging and how to, somewhat aggressively, pull someone in.
With some lovely fun and chocolate at the gorge done guides swapped over and we continued to enjoy the beautiful picton in the sunshine. Nik was the only brave and tall soul to touch the overhanging branch before the bridge. Running past riveoux bridge on the right we continued down to tahune.
We all had some fun in various play waves and shared the guiding around a bit. Tony found himself while rather enthusiastically rocking the boat slipping right out and into the water, to much delight of the gang.
With swims and rescues and beautiful sunshine we found ourselves nearing the end of our lovely day on the Picton.
The rafts very well rolled rolled and the car shuffle done we were all done and in cars on the road by 2:30! A very efficient time, and quite a quick run.
Pack up at the sheds was easy with great friendly hands to help and plenty of enthusiasm.
Thanks everyone for such a lovely day on river! I really enjoyed meeting a few new faces today and seeing some of my favourite friends return!