A rather large gathering of kayakers and canoeing enthusiasts took to the Dove River, after a short briefing on a lovely Spring Day. The Rutland contingent of craft comprising of a Red Rocket (Lynette), a Blue Bullet (Mike), three Yellow Perils (Richard, Judy and Trevor) the bright Green Kermit kayak (Pete), Ray and Yvonne followed up with the tree hugging Wenohah Canadian, we all waited with trepidation and anticipation for the forthcoming adventure.
We set off with nervous energy, exchanging banter, for a 12 mile objective, Six miles of Grade 1 (Maybe 2) water, was just enough to provide stimulation to head for the V’s to avoid shallows and steering a course to avoid all the trees.
Avoiding all the trees !!
The scenery as we approached the first weir was post industrial buildings, gun emplacements and remnants of old railways and a beautiful ruined castle (We believe Tutbury) on a prominent hill in the distance. The majority of the group launched themselves off the precipice of the weir (For many it was a first) down the 4ft abyss into the foaming river, Ray and Yvonne opted to portage and Mike supervised us!!!!
Judy shooting weir just ahead of Pete !!
We all sat on the bank shared with many others, to enjoy a light hearted lunch break in brilliant sunshine. The trip continued into more rural surroundings, by this time we were perfecting our white water skills, ferry gliding, tree avoidance and pebble hopping, prepared and ready for the second weir. It was very exhilarating with large standing waves at the base and a good drop to the water below, this time we all enjoyed the experience.
We had completed about 9 miles and Trevor (Obviously tiring) attempted to hitch a ride on the Canadian, Pete performed a shallow capsize drill and amazed us all by the length of time he could hold his breath before surfacing, Lynette by now having fired on full turbo in her red rocket was finding the pace too warm and began shedding her clothes on the bank unabashed by onlookers.
The last weir was encountered with no incident and we all gathered together for the final leg. It was amazing how few people we saw on the whole trip considering the number at the start…we put it down to our speed, efficiency, tight discipline, superior paddling skills and the much improved “Bow Rudder”. Thanks to Mike for organising a great day, do join us next year.!!!!!
Raymond and Yvonne