We’d done bits of river, open boating and even the odd rapid in a kayak, but this was going to be Sarah’s first “proper” river trip. Unfortunately, with just the two of us, we were going to have to walk the shuttle. We’d chosen a nice bit of the river Derwent in the Lake District, from Grange down to Derwentwater. We hid the boats and other bits and pieces over the wall below the road bridge, and drove down to the National Trust car park I’d usually use for taking sea kayaks out on the lake. Despite being October, it was a warm and pleasant day, so we didn’t feel the need to be overdressed for the walk along the road, and the traffic wasn’t busy, being well out of summer tourist season.
The Dagger Blast was Sarah’s new boat – and a bit higher performance than the Master (with drop skeg) which the kids had shared before. But it wouldn’t necessarily go straight 🙂 The (caving) helmet wasn’t straightness-prone either, but on an easy river, we weren’t expecting any capsizes, so dry fleece gear and no spray deck were entirely appropriate. I had a remarkably cheerful girl at the end of a successful descent !