I managed to get out in the Packraft again recently, a nice steady 17km float down the River Ouse from Linton Lock Marina back home to York.
As usual the GoPro came along and I've cobbled something together from the footage. It's not the most exciting video on earth as this section of the Ouse is very flat with similar views for much of the day but it's a nice little record of the trip, hope you enjoy it.
I'd originally planned to walk the 19 or so km to Linton-on-Ouse as there's a footpath that runs alongside the river the whole way but as I didn't have the full day to play with I caught a lift up to Beningbrough and from there it was just a short walk to my starting point at Linton Lock Marina.
|Linton Lock Marina from downstream|
It was the first time I'd been to the Marina and in the sunshine it looked to be a lovely little spot, with the picturesque weir, fish ladder and lock as well as the pub and campsite it could be an ideal overnight stop for a two day paddle from Ripon to York. I've also seen a few videos of people kayaking the fish ladder... maybe one for the future.
After a quick chat with the owner of the site he pointed me in the direction of the best place to launch and wished me well on my journey. With a light breeze helping to fill the inflation bag it didn't take long to get the raft inflated and with my pack secured to the front (do I have to say Bow?) it was time to head off. I found it a little tricky getting in to the raft from the slippery jetty as there was a bit of a drop but thankfully I didn't take an early swim and was soon on my way.
|MRS Microraft ready to go|
|Linton Weir and Fish ladder - a future packraft playspot?|
I had no real idea how long it would take to get back to York but figured if it was taking forever or if I encountered any problems I could just hop out (it's more an unsteady wobble-out at the moment) and walk along the adjacent footpath. After an hour or so I checked viewranger and found I'd travelled about 3.5km, most of which was gently floating along without any great effort. This was roughly my average speed for the entire 17km journey which seams ok, although I've nothing to compare it to at the moment so who knows. Viewranger showed I had a brief spell at 6 km/h but I can't imagine this was for long.
|MRS Microraft during my lunch stop|
It was good to spend some more time in the raft, at times the journey did feel like a bit of a slog due to the lack of any real current but it was good to get an idea of how fast the raft is on flat water. The views were pleasant but very much the same for most of the journey, being so low on the water meant at times it wasn't possible to see much beyond the tree lined banks. A Kingfisher was the wildlife highlight of the trip spotted near Beningbrough Hall as well a couple of Herons.
I think I spent around 5 or so hours in the raft altogether and with a bit of shuffling around managed to stay comfortable. I was surprised how difficult I found it to get to the bits and pieces I wanted from the external pockets of my backpack but better packing and more practice should help with this. It also gave me my first experience of rain whilst in the raft and I'm happy to report the spray deck kept me nice and dry as the showers came and went.
All in all a good/useful little day trip... not sure where I'll be heading to next with the packraft but I'm already looking forward to it :-)
Distance: 16.9 km
Max speed: 6 km/h
Average speed: 3.4 km/h