Monday, 23 November 2009

Day Two

With water levels still high in Wicklow I headed out for another day of boating. I paddled with the same people I had on Saturday plus a few additional paddlers from UCD. The water was still high though a good foot lower than Saturday if not more. There was still fun to be had all the way down but unfortunately once again I had to walk Jacksons. The drop was runnable for those in larger boats but even the shorter creekboats were getting backlooped and recirculated so there was no chance of my tiny C1 playboat making it through.
The river was really busy with at least 5 groups getting on at Lough dan at the same time as us. At times it was impossible to tell where the groups started and finished with a continous line of paddlers down the river as far as you could see.

Unfortunately that is my last session of paddling for a week or two but at least it ended on a high note!

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Annamoe, high water

Due to massive amounts of rainfall in Wicklow over the last few days I decided to have a go at the annamoe. We paddled from Lough Dan down to Lynhams in Laragh. I had never started from Lough Dan before but will be doing so from now on as it was a lovely section. Due to the massive amounts of water a lot of the drops were completely different. Guinness's rapid was unrecognisable completely being a very continous train of holes rather than drops, similarly the 2 boulder gardens and trooperstown were very large and bouncy.
Jacksons unfortunately was completely unrunnable. There were several groups on the water and I don't think anyone I talked to even considered running it! I will get some photos up as soon as my internet stops being so rubbish.
I think I need to get myself a larger boat, running stuff in the agent is good fun, but I got badly backlooped in a few holes. A C1 river runner or creekboat is definitely next on the wish list.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Rain at last

In the last week or 2 we have finally had decent rain in Ireland. Last weekend I was up north getting some paddling in. I had never paddled the annacloy before and decided to tag along to a UUJCC trip down it. It's nothing spectacular being a grade 2 run with a single grade 3 section but was perfect for the group we brought down it with some less experienced paddlers in the group. Due to the high water levels anything else would have been pretty dangerous. The river still has some nasty enough wiers. In particular the new one built last year seems to have been designed to kill kayakers! It consists of a double horseshoe wier with the towback from the first horseshoe reaching the 2nd wier. Unfortunately I did'nt manage to get any photos of it but I would not reccommend paddling it under any circumstances. Our test football did not manage to beat the stopper and only got out of the wier after several minutes due to it being forced so deep it came several feet out of the water and flew over the top of the stopper!
The face of the wier itself also has rocks embedded in it for some unknown reason. I really don't know what they were thinking when this wier was built but surely it could have been made so much safer.
On the Sunday a small group of us went to paddle the Roe. It seems it hadn't rained as hard over in Derry as the river was running at a medium level but it was still a good run down. We ran the lower section a couple of times, getting off the river in the dark.

There has been about 60mm of rain in the last 48 hours with more on the way and everything flooded out. Hopefully there will be some excitement this weekend also.