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    Re: Dependence on GPS
    From: Peter Fogg
    Date: 2009 Oct 31, 06:08 +1100

    Tom Sult wrote:
    I keep mine [GPS] in the dry bag only to be pulled out if the S••• hits the fan
    Hopefully this mysterious S-stuff won't involve the "dry bag" failing to live up to its promise.  Paddled down the Grose River from up in the Blue Mountains almost to Richmond, and we knew that everything was going to get wet, and it did.  The only things we tried to keep dry were the lighters.  Each of us carried our own, thus separately wrapped, each inside such a supposedly securely sealed plastic bag, which was then placed inside another, and tucked away inside other bags.

    "The hard part about going down the Grose is actually getting to it. We parked the car miles down a dirt track off Bells Line of Road and headed down a steep slope that led to a creek. Then followed the creek down. It fell precipitously, a jumble of rounded sandstone boulders of all sizes, some as big as a car, some as big as a house. The whole was clothed in dripping green, gardens of lichens, ferns, scenes only glimpsed as a blur. We didn't stop, only slowed down a little by barbed vines. One of them has a common name of 'Wait a While'.  We were already wet. Mostly by our own perspiration and via contact with the scenery, least of all from the light rain falling." 

    That was before we got to the river.  I guess the lighters were still dry at this stage.

    "As the river grew bigger so did the rapids, and more dangerous. It was easy to lose control and end up going down some chute backwards. It was humbling to realise that this method worked at least as well as going forwards, while thinking that we were directing events with the paddle. Often I would get stuck, having to climb out onto rounded slippery rocks with boiling water rushing past on either side and with great difficulty drag the inflatable out of some hole it couldn't fit through. Then, often, the only way to rejoin the river was to launch the boat into the rapids and dive onto it with the same motion. It didn't always work. In any case sometimes I would be tipped over and have to swim through the rapids after the canoe, which would be floating upside down. Robert's story was similar. We stayed together; I would find him at the beginning of a long pool on the side, emptying his kayak of surplus water, which was worth doing as it made a big difference to the weight of the thing, even knowing it was going to be refilled at the next rapids."

    Both lighters were wet in the evening when we made camp.  Eventually we got a fire going.  So much for "dry bags". 

    "...So it was a long day. We made camp, decorated the sandbank and its bushes with our sodden belongings, made a fire - with difficulty, the lighters were wet - ate our dinner, and went to bed as it was getting dark.
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