Interview With A Serial Rafter – Dave Hard.

17th June 2015

How many rafting trips have you done with Water By Nature Dave?
Well I reckon it is about 17 but I might be wrong, it is a lot though and dates back to the creation of Water By Nature.

Which was the most memorable and why?
The million dollar question! People are always asking for my favourite river or the best river and it is hard to pick out one single trip. I guess a prime candidate would be the first Grand Canyon trip I did, just because it is such a stunning location and the first time you see the place from river level in the early morning is special. Another would be the most recent trip to California and the last day on Cherry Creek – hardcore but so much fun. But then again I have a love for visiting Nepal, and there have been plenty of memorable trips down those rivers! So, I still can’t pick one above the others!

Dave paddling hard through Hermit on The Colorado River, Grand Canyon

Dave paddling hard through Hermit on The Colorado River, Grand Canyon

What is it about river trips that you enjoy so much?
This has changed over the years. When I started it was all about white water and big rapids. Now it is more about the whole experience of the river trip itself, that chance to escape from emails, the internet and mobile phones for a week or so! Might be just a reflection that I’m getting older, or more likely that I now appreciate more the chance to spend time in great surroundings and good company. It is hard to beat the feeling of chilling by the side of the river at the end of the day with a beverage of your choice in hand. Sleeping out under the stars, with the sound of the river as your soundtrack, never gets old, and waking up to watch the mist clear over the river while you get the first mug of coffee down you is a definite improvement over commuting up the motorway!

Paddling through Flip n Strip on the Karnali River, Nepal

Paddling through Flip n Strip on the Karnali River, Nepal

Being a repeat customer, must provide you special benefits?
What, some sort of “river miles” scheme? Nope, tragically not or I would have a few by now! I suppose in reality there are some benefits in that I’ll maybe get a heads up on a new river or forthcoming trips before they hit the brochure or website. One real benefit of repeat trips though, is meeting up again with people that you have been on the river with before and reliving memories whilst creating new ones.
Though sometimes it seems the main “benefit” is the ability of Hamish to fill up my luggage with random kit to take out for him – toilets, tents, oars, rocket boxes and half a van engine to the Zambezi have all featured over the years.

Shuttling oars to the airport for a Grand Canyon trip.

Shuttling oars to the airport for a Grand Canyon trip.

Is there a trip you haven’t done yet that you would like to do?
Probably the Franklin in Tasmania or the Zanskar in India, but I’m sure there are others out there that I haven’t even heard of that I would fancy doing.

Thanks a lot Dave!

by Hamish McMaster

Hamish McMaster is the Water By Nature owner. He has spent the past 25 years exploring and playing on the world's great rivers. He still loves nothing more than getting out there and sharing adventures.


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