Descend upper Dart in Sea kayak

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nigelhatton
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Descend upper Dart in Sea kayak

Post by nigelhatton » Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:04 pm

Is it possible to descend the upper Dart in a sea kayak, plastic one that is. Where would one put in if they wern't too worried about the odd knock and scrape. The further up the more satisfying.

I fancy paddling to Kingswear without getting out, until I get to Kingswear.

Ray Latham
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Re: Descend upper Dart in Sea kayak

Post by Ray Latham » Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:27 pm

Did it in a Topo Duo with Bambino, Thats a pretty long boat. Not sure about a sea kayak though, I reckon it depends how long it is.

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Simon
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Re: Descend upper Dart in Sea kayak

Post by Simon » Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:04 pm

The upper Dart used to be paddled in four metre boats before short boats were invented, so it is quite possible. I have paddled from Two Bridges in a four metre boat, so starting at Dartmeet is fine.

The only problem is the longer the boat the more water you need to get down intact. In those days you would not think about the uper Dart unless there was about two to three feet of water over the slabs at Newbridge. If you want to paddle the whole Dart without getting out of your boat, then Buckfast weir at that sort of water level will be a bit pushy (to say the least).

Why a sea kayak, why not a plastic WWR or long touring kayak which might be better on the rocky stretches, and still perfectly good on the flat bits.

Good luck

Simon

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cripper
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Re: Descend upper Dart in Sea kayak

Post by cripper » Mon Dec 15, 2008 11:38 pm

I did the dart from its source at dartmeet down to dartmouth, got out at the ferry ramp, with our school. I used a g-force to paddle the upper, then a dancer to a couple of weirs after Buckfastleigh, then a burn and a jefe (just to mix it up a bit, and I was looking at getting a creeker then, so wanted to see how comfortable they were for long slogs!)
However, most people did it just in their creekers.

I would like to do the upper in a dancer at somepoint though!!

Good luck with using a sea-kayak though!!
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Simon Westgarth
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Re: Descend upper Dart in Sea kayak

Post by Simon Westgarth » Mon Dec 15, 2008 11:45 pm

Like Simon my first decent was in a 4m glass boat, and I was on there in a 3.5m beast the other weekend. I would certain take something that would be nibble for a micro adjusting your line, and a sea kayak is not really that good for such movement.

Exeter School do Dartmeet to Kingswear every year its takes 10 hours or so.

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Jim
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Re: Descend upper Dart in Sea kayak

Post by Jim » Tue Dec 16, 2008 1:17 pm

It might be an idea to run it in a more normal boat first to make your own mind up - we assume of course that you can run fairly difficult rapids already?

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Re: Descend upper Dart in Sea kayak

Post by David P » Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:08 pm

I've done Euthanasia in a Dancer a few times (the usual mixed group thing - some people decide to walk round, you get to paddle their boats down!) with no problems. But for a longish boat they're pretty manouevrable... Sea boat doesn't sound like a nice idea at all.
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Simon
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Re: Descend upper Dart in Sea kayak

Post by Simon » Thu Dec 18, 2008 3:49 pm

David P wrote:I've done Euthanasia in a Dancer a few times (the usual mixed group thing - some people decide to walk round, you get to paddle their boats down!) with no problems. But for a longish boat they're pretty manouevrable... Sea boat doesn't sound like a nice idea at all.
It's not so much the manouverability, on big enough water you can get anything down the Upper Dart. It is the risk of entrapment in a sea boat that concerns me(all those pointy ends) and the possible absence of easy to escape WW keyhole cockpits.

Simon

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Mark R
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Re: Descend upper Dart in Sea kayak

Post by Mark R » Thu Dec 18, 2008 9:46 pm

Entrapment, steering, whatever ... I'll certainly give it a try, if someone will lend me their sea kayak.
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cripper
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Re: Descend upper Dart in Sea kayak

Post by cripper » Sat Dec 20, 2008 10:38 pm

If anyone is willing to lend me a sea kayak, I'd be happy to join you =]

I'd recomend something more along the lines of a dancer, or some other boat that doesnt need a rudder to steer, as the rock will probably decide to remove it permanently from your boat!
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Re: Descend upper Dart in Sea kayak

Post by Zoe Newsam » Sun Dec 21, 2008 6:09 pm

cripper wrote: some other boat that doesnt need a rudder to steer...
Rudder on a sea kayak? Wash your mouth out with soap and salty water!! ;0)

Didn't Cheesy do the Upper in a 5m plastic touring kayak not that long ago? I have vague memories of hearing him say it wasn't a particularly pleasant experience...
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