Shoalhaven – Power line Section – 27 March 2011
-By Melanie Luxem
Water Level: 1.4m at Hilview
Paddlers: Jiri, Scott, Mel (and eight members of the River Canoe Club)
Number of swims: 5
Although the Shoalhaven Power lines section starts with some flat-water, do not be fooled by the gentle rapid at the put-in as it is not long before you reach the big stuff. The section is characterised by some really nice rapids (very pushy at this water level), a couple of nice drops and three major (and named) rapids/falls with some short flat-water sections in between.
At this water level holes were plentiful and Jiri’s advice for the inexperienced paddlers (meaning Scott and me) was: “Paddle hard, follow the current, lean downstream, try to brace and if you capsize, try to stay in the kayak so others can flip you back up”.
With this advice in mind, the group (more or less) successfully managed the river with Scott becoming an expert in rolling (doing his first roll in white-water) and me hugging rocks and leaning downstream. However, when it came to boofing, neither Scott nor I managed to perform one successfully, instead pencilling-in and intimately exploring the depths underneath each waterfall.
The members of the river Canoe Club took pity on us, so we stayed together as a group throughout the day which was great for Scott and me, as we had lots of experienced paddlers giving advice and support. Plus, it was great to watch good paddlers on a relatively difficult river.
Altogether we had a great trip, with good weather, great river conditions and no casualties (apart from a slightly dented paddle).