Friday on the holy North West Bay

Date: Friday, 11 June 2021
River: North West Bay River.
Water level: 24 Cumecs.
Participants: 11.

The day started for some us with a text from Ben at 8:30 and then the mad search to find a senior guide who was happy to trip lead on a pumping NWB at 24 Cumecs. Luckily James was free and up for a good time on north west bay.

We got to the sheds at 12:30 and rolled two purples and a blue for the 11 of us. Getting on the water about 2, we definitely had some interesting communication on what time we were meeting and where to park the car.

Before getting on water we chatted to some friendly kayak friends who informed us of a tree down to watch for on our run, definitely good to know.

We got on water slightly upstream to allow us to punch through the first feature with James guiding one purple, Ben the other and an R2 team in the blue – the river sure was pumping. With some nerves in the air we got to paddling.

Throughout the day, we punched through a lot of holes and some pretty hectic water, chased down dropped paddles from a few incidents,most of us had a lil swim, smiled a hell of a lot throughout it all, and found our way pumping through the fast moving water.

Highlights for us all include some great self rescues from the R2 team, including one rather wild one where there raft well very well stuck in hole, in the end using a large stick to grab to OS line and pull it to them while they waited on the bank, the traditional slightly soggy sour patch kids, the very partial staking of the two purples (non intentional), Ben’s close encounter with a log – ending in a well executed manoeuvre around it, attempting to recall what a feature looked like at a lower level before discovering it was fairly different at 24 cumecs, some fairly passionate chasing after paddles, and a full tyre stuck in recirculation in the second weir.

Both weirs were well examined for safety and then the appropriate action was taken, walking them around the first one and then running the far left of the broken second. With such a hectic run through a lot of intense holes, we were all keen for a nice rest at both weirs and a lil time to reflect on our days.

We got out just shy of 4:30, with a quick car shuffle, most of us got changed and got back to the sheds to pack up in good time.

A great day on some big water were we all got plenty wet but had one hell of a good time!

– Ruth

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