River: Huon at Judbury
River level: 0.75 – low
Number of Participants: 22
It took us a bit longer to get packed and ready in the morning than it really should, a symptom I think of most of us still being half asleep. We did eventually get moving though and meet in Huonville, confirm locations and a few short minutes after that we were at the put-in point.
It was my turn this time to generate some confusion as to where dry gear should be stowed (still waking up) but with the car shuffle completed we were ready to get the rafts in the river.
It was my first time on that part of the Huon so I was looking forward to some new scenery. A few seconds after hitting the water though I noticed a problem: my raft was about as firm as a biscuit discovered at the bottom of a mug of tea. Either it had been inflated in very hot sun or it hadn’t gotten a top up after the first inflation. In hindsight it wouldn’t have been too hard to go back to the put in and put some more air in… next time.
With the initial round of paddling instruction out of the way and a nice warm day beginning it was time for he rafters to practice pulling people back into the raft. I hopped in the water so I could get pulled back in and got a bit of a shock. Would you believe the Huon is a bit cooler than the Derwent? Anyway, my crew got a lot of practice getting back into the raft during the day and got to be rater good at it.
We honed our method of attack too, with the rafter at the front leaping forward to grab another raft’s OS line and the rest charging forward. Lots of practice getting out of the water. Plus of course once your wetsuit had gotten wet once it wasn’t cold in the water any more.
Luke and Grady gave instruction to some guiding candidates throughout the day which was excellent: the club can always use new guides who are ready for adventure. On this topic: the trip up to the Mersey will be fantastic; loads of fun and it is a really great river to learn and hone skills on. I hope to see lots of people up there!
The trip down the river was broken up a bit by the passing of the Huon Jet Boat, which impressed us all by screaming up rapids all of us had hit rocks coming down. They sadly didn’t gun it past us, so sadly no surfing of their wake. I am looking forward to being back on rivers that boats can’t handle. Dear rain: we’re counting on you.
After getting out, getting changed then getting filthy loading the gear (maybe there is a better order?) we headed to Huonville for a barbie and a chat. Sadly Grady was pressed for time and couldn’t join us and Luke had to head off half way through. I had a chat with everyone to encourage them to be active and vocal club members and gave the details for the April guide’s course/Mersey trip.
Thanks to the Guides, Luke and Grady, for the day. Trips can’t happen without guides. Thanks also for giving some instruction to the next crop!
I look forward to seeing all you rafters again soon.
Award Nominations: Nik Saunders; Orienteer. For finding a new and novel way from Hobart to Huonville.