So. A little increase in the degree of difficulty. We've moved from the still water of the Shropshire Union, to the River Severn, andJackfield Rapids. I understand these are Class 2 rapids for novices, but you've got to start somewhere. Mine and JT's Whitewater Kayaks are still en-route from the USA, so we're cadging a lift with P and Q.
A quick dive onto the river at above Ironbridge in the two inflatables. We have to keep it quite short because this is after work and we'll run out of light. It's a leisurely paddle through the gorge though some excellent scenery and historic bridges, and then forty five seconds of Class 2 adrenaline, then out into the pub.
In the pub conversation is typically bravado. You'd think we'd gone over Niagra in a barrel, rather than navigated some slightly choppy water on an inflatable banana. But it's seriously good fun, and the guys are enthusiastic and great company.
A couple of drinks later I'm silent as the other fellas talk about other adventures. This leads naturally onto broken bones, car-crashes and operations. I stay silent because I've been lucky in all these departments (tree-mountainbiking not withstanding) and don't want to appear inadequate. It begins to darken outside as we hunch over the table in the riverside inn, as the Severn rolls past us. Trousers are rolled up and torsos revealed to review the remnants of battles, hair raising escapades and dices with death. After viewing a particularly impressive appendix scar, I'm noticed again.
"What say you, VS?" says Q.
I pause. The scene looks oddly familiar.
"You're gonna need a bigger boat."