Exe Descent 2004

At 11:00am this morning, instead of diving, the usual suspects gathered at the boat shed for other duties. No diving today, but safety cover for the Exe Descent. The stars were Chris Giles, Dave McDonald, Phil Thomas and myself lauching the squidgy. Nigel Chappell joined us directly at Flower Pot Weir (Mill on the Exe). Derek Boustred and Alan Walker manned Cowley. What fun awaited!

Just as well we made an early start, as it took Dave and Chris many attempts to get the boat anchored up in just the right position. Then the wait for the first canoes. The first boats down were all double kayaks all clearing the weirs without a problem. Then boats appeared at regular intervals, some in groups, others on their own. Chris and Dave''s services were frequently required,  with them in the water more often than not. Phil and Nigel stood on part of the weir on the field side. I was solo on the pub side. Rachel took most of the pictures.

 Salvage!

One canoe recovered onto the squidgy, Phil is standing on the weir, line at the ready to assist another upturned boat in the stop wave, with Nigel just to the left (in orange).

 A bit of mayhem

A bit of mayhem. Dave in the water, working towards the inverted white canoe, a couple of other boats traversing the weir sucessfully.

Rescue

Dave manfully struggles towards a solo canoe stuck in the stop wave. The canoist escaped OK, but his boat stayed there for some time, a bit of a hazard. Dave took several attempts at reaching it, being knocked back a few times. At last he reached it and pulled it clear to a resounding cheer from the spectators.

My view

My typical view of events. Hardly any boats came down my side, maybe 10 or 12. One solo canoeist tried though and broke 4 feet off his kayak for his efforts. Very little for me to do all day.