Ben goes for a swim

Date: Saturday, 3 July 2021
River: North Esk River.
Water level: 1.78.
Participants: 10.

The day began at the rafts sheds with some keen beans packing up the rafts ready for a good day on river.

The long drive began, with lots of hype music, good chats, and lots of laughs. The Northern crew met at the get-out, primed and ready for a great day on the river. Before too long, Alice, Lauren, Josh, Will, and Ross were in their wet gear and ready to rumble!

After a short drive to the get-in, catching up with the Southern crew, James, Luke, Tom, Ben and Jess. The rafts were unloaded and swiftly inflated. A thorough safety briefing was given by Luke, with all participants feeling confident for the day ahead. R2 ing was the word of the day with four rafts on the river, with Josh and Ben rounding out the team on two-pack rafts.

With strict instructions announced that Ben could not afford to swim due to a serious ear infection, the rafts made their way down the river. Although lower than ideal, the river provided some great drops and the occasional rock to avoid. Ben found it hilarious when Luke and Alice became stuck upon a shallow rock shelf. It was so funny, that it completely distracted him from the shelf itself which led to him also become stuck on it and promptly flipping.

Coming up to the main feature of the day (the two drops) we safely eddied out and scouted the best route down. It was decided the best course of action was straight down the middle of the drop while maintaining a straight line between two boulders. With safety organised, the first R2 team of Will and Ross began their descent. Maintaining a good line they only got slightly stuck on the rock before the drop, but with a quick jump around they safely navigated the drop with cheers all around. Luke and Alice were up next and with much hype, they entered the raft and prepped for their descent. In much the same fashion, after only a slightly sticky rock at the beginning of the drop and lots of jumping around the boat, the first drop was safely navigated.

The same could not be said of Ben who was next up, he did a great job of showing the team what a great swim looked like, with a nice flip and a swim in the hole. Ben came out smiling but not a paddle to show for it. The chase for the paddle then began. Luke and Alice took it upon themselves to help Ben out and save the day. The pack raft was held tightly by Alice in the back of the raft, while Ben and Luke expertly navigated the second drop. With the paddle retrieved, the following rafting teams showed great skill in navigating both drops.

Ben follow-upped on his mischievous ways and took it upon himself to steal a raft and eject the very crew that saved his paddle. After a tussle and many a complaint that he was not allowed to swim, Ben was safely placed back into the water.

The rest of the trip was mostly uneventful with the exception of Luke attempting a large drop in a raft but flipped prior to reaching the actual drop. Although not physical injuries occurred, his ego was definitely brusied.

All in all, it was a great day on the Nesk, with fantasic weather and a great crew.

Trip report written by Alice

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