Procrastinating on the Picton

Date: Thursday, 29 July 2021
River: Picton River.
Water level: 2.1m.
Participants: 4.

Procrastinating on the picton

After downing an entire packet of cyclones for dinner on Wednesday night, Ben decided one last check of the river levels should be done, circa 11:30 pm. Picton was on the rise meaning tomorrow was a rafting day. With friends texted and a trip in the works, Ben’s 6:40 am message confirmed it, and with a post on the Facebook page, the rafting addicts met at the sheds at 8 am, abandoning our uni work and plans for the day. A 2m Picton needed to be run.

With two blue sotars packed, we got on the road, reaching Riveoux bridge by 10:20 am to see a plumping Picton. we set this as our get out, and made our way up to farmhouse creek get-in. Before we could leave however, Josh showed us how lovely and slippery the ground was, falling with a rather hard thud as he get mud all over his pants while hiding Ben’s car key in the ants' nest. I repeated this move later in the day, getting mud all over my nice warm dry pants :((( thank you to Alice for always having spare clothes !!

With plenty of rain in the catchment, the walk-in was fairly soggy. Ben and Josh lead the way, showing off all their muscles by carrying the rafts on their shoulders, undoubtedly ruining their necks. Ben took a slight tumble, only to return to Alice and I pumping with one side of his face and body covered in mud, but refusing to wash it off throughout the day as he “didn’t want to get his ear wet”. This mud remained on his face all the way back to the sheds.

We punched through big holes and surfered some lovely waves. Ben showed off his admittedly rather good skill at positioning our boat in such a way as to cause me to fall in.

After copping some lovely refreshing water to the face and Ben realising just a 3/2 wetsuit might be a bit fresh for the water temp and rain we had, we opened up the lollies and sandwiches.

We reached the broken bridge and swapped boats, with me and Josh now paired up. We scouted the gorge and ran it on the left as the middle and right had large holes with a big rooster tail. Running in the left was fairly easy and both boats cruised through.

Ben realised the trip was going too smoothly, very out of character for his trips, and decided to get his safety boat, well stuck in the hole just above the get out. Josh and I watched him stay with the raft, riding it like a kicking bull for a good minutes before safely exiting the raft. With Alice being ejected early and having a short swim, we quickly assisted her back to shore.

The raft did not want to budge. Following the example of NWB, we foraged a large stick (tree) and attempted to hook on the raft to pull it into us. After some time, this was semi successful. The raft was dislodged and now floating down the river. Ben launched himself powerfully into the water, with Josh following close behind him both swimming for the raft. The boys and boats now both safe and tied off, we met them again for the shuffle.

lLl in all it was, in Ben’s words A “Smooth trip, blue skies, lots of water. A safe trip a medium level Picton with the ever sensible and reliable Ben” and I can’t agree more.

Until next trip, cheerio!

Ruth :))

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