TR... An Xmas adventure

Merry Christmas all.
I’m typing this one from my knees…Blog report


Lovely, except for the end bit (pun intended). May I ask (1) did you go by yourself, if so congrats on doing self portraits in your boat!; and (2) what camera setup do you have…and what’s your method of keeping it dry? I notice on your blog you use it a lot in wet and snow conditions. Pelicase? Padded drybags?

Great report and photos Darren as always!! Bummer (literally) about the injury and early finish to your amazing trip. Well done on paddling that section solo - an impressive effort and particularly for completing a self-evacuation rather than simply calling for help. Have paddled Oallen Ford to Sewells Pt a couple of times in kayaks and raft - its one of my favourite sections of river in Australia. It’s on my ‘must do’ future packrafting trips. Certainly the 600m(?) height gain on the walkout at Sewell’s is hardwork with raft/kayak and one that highlights the advantages of a packraft. I managed to severely(!) sprain an ankle a few km upstream from the pull out after misjudging a seal launch around a drop in a kayak and struggled to walk/climb the 1.5km or so out of there. Walking 16+ Km with your injury would have been extremely tough - well done!! I am these days using a small thermarest seat as well as the packraft seat to try to reduce potential injuries. I very much look forward to your next trip report after hopefully a speedy recovery.

Cheers all and Happy New Year.

Chrisp, yep this one was solo. Self timed shots can look a tad wanky sometimes but can occasionally add some perspective to an otherwise average shot.
The camera is an older Canon G9 which gets bashed around a lot. Really tough little camera. The snow stuff isn’t a problem as it’s a dry environment generally speaking. Just gotta be careful going from a warm pocket to cold shots with lens fog etc. First line of defense is a Lowepro small padded lens bag stolen off my wife’s smaller 400d lens…perfect fit.

When it comes to rafting, I haven’t come up with a perfect scenario yet. The yellow Sealine drybag you see in the pics gets binered (pronounced Been-ered…is that even a freakin word??) to my pack for easy access. I now have a light weight Sea to summit drybag inside that as the yellow one is 15 years old and beaten up. I like the idea of the Pelicase thing but would be very nervous about it until I have tried to purposely destroy one to understand it’s real world potential.

With my photo’s and the camera in general…It has taken years to figure out how to use even the simple functions built into the camera that make slightly better shots. The camera does all the work and most mid range compacts have the ability to capture really cool pics once you figure out the settings.

Mark, yep, awesome section of river and not the kinda place to take a packraft without a reasonable skill set. Definitley a step up from other rivers I’ve fiddled around on.
I was thinking on the walk up from the river, I really can’t fathom how kayakers carry their shit out! It’s hardcore terrain without injury, so a big thumbs up to your effort getting out too! …and all three gates on Sewell’s are locked up.

I’m looking into some closed cell and/or minicell under the seat for future protection, but the injury occurred while I was out of the raft and swimming back to it mid rapid. I’m sure you understand the beating you take in a very short swim! Best thing about the human body is the clever way adrenalin masks pain at the time of injury. Every bone I’ve ever broken has been painless until well after the accident. Even the one that snapped and protruded four inches out of my arm! It’s always the weeks and months after that suck.

Anyway, thanks for the kind words…and Steve…Can only 2 days be considered epic? :slight_smile:

An epic effort and trip concept :slight_smile:

Bloody hell Darren! Have been thinking about how you’ve been going every day since I left, and now I come back to civilisation to find you down & out after only a day or two! At least it was a genuine combat wound inflicted whilst battling the elements, much better than being stuck in bed with a cold or some other annoyingly weak yet effective ailment and having to dream about what might have been.

As the coccyx is left over from some tail that we had in the past, my first thoughts were that you should get the offending item surgically removed, enabling you to get straight back into it, confident that there would now be one less weak spot in the body :mrgreen: However, it seems that there are still a few other functions that this relic still performs (tendons etc, all too medical for my liking) so I guess you’ll have to let the body do its thing. Hope your recovery is as swift as it can be mate.

Btw some great photos there, and the rapids look phenomenal. Well done :slight_smile:

PS: Seems like the ‘Pain Campaign’ lived up to its name, albeit with different pain to what you may have initially expected :open_mouth:

Hey Craig, : ) Epic trip fail…
I was wondering how you were going too? How’d it go?

Yep the Shoalie is no place for 1st graders but doable for sure. Some big rapids down to Sewells! Soooooo disappointed at doing the crux then having to pull out. Not really my style but I was there to paddle rapids not portage. The injury seems to be on the improve with some Anti inflams doing their bit. I can almost sit!

Trip went well Darren, pulled the raft out of the water yesterday afternoon and arrived home an hour or so ago. Did it a lot quicker than expected, which is nice. Once I’ve sorted out the gear I’ll knock together a trip report and upload some photos, give it a couple of days.

Awesome mate, looking forward to it.

Love to see more TR’s around here no matter how big or small the trips are.

Amazing effort Darren, and great photos. Those rapids look fookin terrifying! Wishing you a swift recovery so you can get stuck into it again… I always enjoy reading about your adventures

Thanks Ross!
Terrifying is forgetting your anniversary… :slight_smile: