Whitewater Aptitude is an idea in development to highlight Gavin Hart's skills, adventures and accomplishments with an insight into the thoughts and feeling he has throughout his journeys. As well as this blog please visit his Photography Portfolio Website showcasing his best photography. For shorter more regular updates on Whitewater Aptitude adventures Like it on Facebook or Follow on Twitter. Get in contact via email using firstname.lastname@example.org
This past week it has been wet in the North. The storms and tides I previously blogged about have changed our favourite surf beach, Silecroft. Masses of sand and pebbles have been moved changing how the waves form and tide surges in an out. This left Tom and I very puzzled the other week when experiencing the new tidal flow as we found ourselves at one point surfing small waves away from shore only to collide with the normal onshore swell. These strange less predictable conditions left us looking back towards the rivers for comfort and luckily its been chucking it down.
Low Force, Upper Tees
To get on the rivers we ventured further afield heading out to the Upper Tees and Upper Swale both known for their waterfalls. Luckily the river gods delivered superb river levels on both days that matched our groups ability. My GoPro accompanied me on both trips and as ever I set it to photo every second mode and left it to do its thing. I'm definitely going to be taking my DSLR to the Swale next time its at a similar level, roughly 0.70m, I'll also have to summon the courage to run the drops first then too to get the shots.
Lower Kisdon Force, Upper Swale
From our later trip to the Swale our return jounrey was also very exciting as we had to negotiate our way back across the Dales in the sudden snow that had fallen.
Due to the supreme weather we are experiencing at the moment the surf on the West coast has been pounding. Even though with the abnormal weather circumstances Magic Seaweed's predictions have been pretty accurate allowing myself and company to select the days we venture to the coast. One day predictions came up as 8-12ft waves. Mike and Thomas went and had a look at this at North Shore for kicks and even had a dip, with their boards for half an hour. When the picture bellow was taken they had retired but those foam piles are easily 8ft high, monsters.
My weeks surf experience was at Silecroft where Pete and I stuck with our playboats. The experience of surfing the juicy waves we encountered was so thrilling. These beasts we encountered had the power to easily back loop us if we let our guard down and due to the foamy sea surface rolling technique and timing had to be spot on but at the same time, it had to be done hastily so not to be smashed by the next incoming wave.
On this outing you really had to earn your waves but it was well worth it as blasting down the faces and carving to keep in the power pocket was so rewarding especially if Pete and I decided to nab the same wave and then it would often become a freestyle king of the wave medly! Were definitely need to get get a bigger crew out next time. I'll probably post to the Whitewater Aptitude facebook page next time we plan to get out, keep and eye on it.
Above and below are two photos I quickly snapped of Pete using my Canon 600D from the beach towards the end of our session, I really need to get back into the habit of using my real camera more.