Kia Ora everyone.
Well ive just returned from an emotionally charged rafting expedition on the Franklin river in Western tasmania. It was a memorial trip to remember and spread the ashes of WRSI team member and close friend Benny Earle, who drowned whilst attempting a first descent of Finn creek BC during the canadian spring.
I couldn't think of a better way to remember a friend- than to raft the river he loved so much- telling stories , laughing, crying with all his best mates and family.
It was a great trip, perfect weather, great waterlevels and good company. Many a time we thought ben must be watching over us, giving us sunny days and a relatively safe passage through the 'great ravine'.
We did however manage to 'plug hole' a 12 foot raft into a Sieve with all our gear on it. The rapid known as nasty notch is renowned for causing issues and losing rafts. which causes a headache considering how remote the river is and how necessary it is to have your raft and gear to get out of the wilderness. It was either sheer luck or a bit of divine intervention from our fallen friend- that after removing the top layer of gear the raft managed to toaster out of the sieve and we pulled it over the boulder, we did however have to swim for some gear that went floating down river- including the toilet.
Because of time restrictions- we were forced to descend the river in 6 days (usually takes 10), but apart from a couple of long days was no real drama.
I will try and get some photos up and running on this blog.
And to all the crew that came down the river- thanks for devoting the time to remember an amazing man. We will miss you Benny Earle, but rest easy for your spirit will always flow strong and free in the wild waters of the Franklin River.
peace out brother.

cheers- Thorpie

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