After 3 weeks giving my arm rest, we planned to ease back into boating gently. We picked the Wye. A well flowing river with no locks or portages wouldn’t put undue pressure on my injury. We know it well so any ‘epic’ day are unlikely. We also knew our chosen put-on would give us space to build a footrest allowing me to change my paddling style and not injure myself.
A Saturday of no water whatsoever
Building the footrest was easier than expected. The river seemed rather further away than usual giving us lots of space to work. This was due to there being rather a lack of water in it. Once on It proved to be a challenge to get down the river without getting caught on rocks and gravel.
Our boat really doesn’t like gravel. In solid plastic boats – you can give it a little push and scrape and you’ll be over it in no time. Our soft folder likes to stick, and dragging risks putting cuts and wear in the thin layer that keeps us floating.
This new river condition meant looking forward and reacting quickly – well it should have done. Instead it meant lots of bad communications and misunderstandings, so we had to stop and talk about what was and wasn’t working. We were both were tired and making mistakes from hard week and a very long drive and late arrival. We were probably low on fuel and helped each other by ensuring we ate and drank lots.
As we got further down the river we found it was much fuller in places giving us some time to relax, drink and snack.
Even though there wasn’t water in the river, there was in the air. We got to test out our new rain coats out all day. Good news: they were great, keeping the rain off without getting damp and sweaty inside.
Sunday was big contrast. Short sleeves all day through, and we were so much better in terms of communication
With so little water we planning a slower speed and less distance to protect my shoulder and arm injury. We had a great day getting everything about right. I was still achey at the end of it, but paddling without painkiller. My achy gluteus maximus the next day an indication that I was starting to get my legs to be working in my paddling – the footrest was working.