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  South Island Gallery / Whitewater / 2008-03 Wet weekend on the West Coast  


250mm of rain was forecast so James and Tom headed for the West Coast.

Blackball Creek looked a bit low at the road bridge but by the time we emerged from Smokeho creek it was a bit bigger than what we'd hoped for (even Smokeho Creek felt like a real river). We were soon portaging a gorge with a long rapid leading into a river-wide boil, followed by a river-wide pourover before vanishing around the corner. An hour later we got back to the river, which fortunately had dropped slightly. It still took four hours to finish the run with plenty more bashing through the bush in search of the next eddy. Probably the most tiring days paddling I've ever had, not helped by the crank-arm falling off the shuttle vehicle halfway back to the car, leaving me to run the last 5km. Awesome run though!

Next morning we went to run Bluebottle Creek. We though heavy showers all night would have kept it up but it was bit low by the time we found it. Would be a great run with a bit more water. Kennedy's Creek was a still good level afterwards.

On the way home we stopped at the Otira, which wasn't as high as we'd hoped, despite more rain, but we ran the section from Wilson's (?) Bridge down, which turned out to be a really nice run anyway with continuous bouldery drops and just enough eddies (unlike Blackball). We'll be putting on a bit higher up next time.

 Tom on Blackball Creek
 
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 Awesome long rapids in the gorge
 
 Looks like I'm boofing, actually just recovering from being vertical in the hole behind
 
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 Spot the paddler
 
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 Tom in search of Bluebottle Creek
 
 Bluebottle Creek--4km of easy water before the continuous rapids start
 
 Tom on Kennedy's Creek
 
 Kennedy's Creek
 
 Putting on the Otira--there's plenty more WW upstream
 
 Boulder rapids on the Otira
 
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 Nice drop on Otira
 
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 Smokeho Creek
 
 First big rapid on Blackball Creek
 
 Blackball creek, slightly lower now we've spent an hour portaging
 
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 New slip rapids
 
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 In search of Bluebottle Creek
 
 Trib of Bluebottle Creek
 
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 Bluebottle creek--a bit low but would have been awesome earlier with more water
 
 Kennedy's Creek
 
 Otira below Wilson's bridge
 
 Awesome boulder-rapids on the Otira
 
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 The drop below Yorkie's Point bridge
 
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