Wet and Wild!
This is our second consecutive wet summer. Not least, lots of rain this past week, so the river is again high and vigorous – and fun.
I’ve discovered a great swimming spot I wasn’t aware of before, just a mile or so upstream from Tavistock and within walking distance of home. First time I went there was classic swimming weather (the kind we’ve had very little of this year): hot and sunny. It was fun, a good swim, and there were children playing. In the main flow I could swim on the spot at a comfortable pace.
This Monday I was there in wet weather, and felt the force of the river as I swam the turbulent main flow. No way I could swim on the spot any more: I was being swept rapidly downstream despite my best efforts. Strike out vigorously for the calmer water on the right hand side of the river, where I find there’s a countercurrent taking me upstream, at a comfortable pace for swimming on the spot. Hinting at scary, and a swimmer could’ve been in trouble if they’d lost presence of mind.
Thursday I was in again, after sustained wet weather. The river was higher and more vigorous, and the main stream had a powerful pull that was sucking me back in as I struck out for the countercurrent side. Even the latter was pretty vigorous. Lots of fun, but it’s reached the point where I could use some proper white-water training to help make sure this river remains my friend!
Must get a riverboard too, so I can get some real thrills when the water’s high. But for that I’d love to find a local club with local knowledge. The only ones I’m aware of are canoeists from Kelly College, Tavistock’s exclusive private school. I was about to say they’re not open to outsiders, as that’s what they’ve said when I’ve met canoeists in the street, but their website hints that it might be worth my while to try and enlist for a course. Hmmm ….