The canoe club had it’s annual trip to the River Dart last weekend so I thought I would share with you some pictures and videos from the weekend.
The trip went very well with all who went enjoying themselves and wanting to come again next year. Shame that the water levels were at the lowest level that I have ever seen (for those who know it was around a foot below the slab at Newbridge) so it was very scrapey especially the upper (no one fancied it on the Sunday).
We ran the Loop a couple of times and then continued down to Buckfastleigh leaving a large amount of plastic on the Weir there , which was more like a cheese grater than a weir.
A nice balanced group of ten paddlers on the Lower Treweryn in January, with plenty of old lags there to give encouragement and support to those who were at this level for the first time. High points:- Martin’s impressive efforts to stay in his boat; a magnificent team of rescuers doing their bit to to upgrade their rescue skills; a textbook high brace from Nick just above Bala Mill falls; the neatest pirouette halfway down the falls by yours truly (so I’m told- nothing to do with skill, though); a vertical bit of trickery by Tom H Sr (sorry Tom, don’t know what it’s called); and the most welcome bum-warming fire at the Green Inn on the way back.
A Brian Wenlock special!- sunshine and mild springlike weather at the end of December brought out an impressive fleet of boats and paddlers of all sizes and descriptions for the gentlest of paddles along 9 miles of canal. A narrow winding channel to begin with, sometimes waiting for a barge to creep past; then the fabulous experience of crossing the Froncysylte Aqueduct over the River Dee; then single file through a long tunnel to emerge straight onto another aqueduct over the Ceiriog valley. You don’t often need a head for heights when paddling, but this is one trip where it comes in very handy. Nice pub meal at the Poachers Pocket to finish. A classic!
Congratulations to the 7 people who passed their One Star Kayak assessment on Monday night;
Jonathan Roberts Haydn Page Louise Downward James Caldwell
Sally Scholes Mike Bastow Andy Hyde
Here are a few pictures of them in action;
If anyone else wants to do star test training and assessment please let us know. The club isOK to put on 1 and 2 star assessments as we wish but 3 star assessments have to be pre-scheduled with the BCU. Generally speaking it is best to have had a least some recent training and coaching before coming on an assessment. For people looking to progress from 1 star to 2 star you will need to build up assured confidence in your strokes and to get that you need to spend some hours on the water. We have some people interested in 2 star andthis will need some separate sessions,I will think about doing this but meanwhile anyone looking to do 2 star should be putting some hours in on the water.
As a bit of a last minute punt, myself and Bill Maisey decided to head up to the Menai Straits to paddle from Beaumaris round Puffin Island and back.The plan was to catch the end of the NE tide to the headland cross over to the island, take our time paddling round have some lunch and catch the start of the SW tide back to the car.
After a slightly muddy start we made good progress up the Menai straits with the wind and tide behind us.We were treated to fantastic views of the Snowdonia mountains to one side, Puffin Island ad Great Orme in front of us and Anglesey to the other side.Very soon we arrived at Trwyn Penmon as the sun came out so that even the doleful ringing of the bell couldnt dampen our spirits.
The winds were kicking up a reasonable sized sea so we decided to head to the north and paddle with this.We were watched by the seabirds that covered the cliffs and got buzzed by a puffin as we headed to the far end of the Island.At the end we found our 1st group of seals who spied on us as we brewed up on the flatter rocks.
Heading back we were faced with the brunt of the F4-5 winds making progress tough but we knew that the tide would kick in shortly.Unfortunately the promising current that showed as we crossed back to Anglesey disappeared very quickly and we were faced with a slack water paddle into the wind being funnelled up the straits meaning that our progressed was slowed.On the bright side being slowed down did mean that we arrived back at the car without too much mud to cross to get out.
A great trip and one that can be managed even with reasonably poor conditions.
Thanks to Nigel for an excellent trip to Ireland. This is how it went:
Ten people and their boats in two vehicles made it across the Irish sea and over to Belleek on the northwest corner on the Saturday. We were installed in two holiday cottages, surrounded by water, on the border between Ulster and the Republic. Actually, there is no border. Just cheaper fuel and road signs in kilometers and gaelic dual language.
Even-handedly we spent a couple of days paddling in both – going to Donegal and Sligo in the Republic, and Fermanagh in Ulster. Peat-brown rivers and brown ‘white’ water. Wet fields with reeds growing through the grass, and some outright bogs. Lots of lovely rivers – Owenmore, Owenkillew and Kinelly, Derg – grades 1 and 2, with some grade 3 bits. The first grade 3 bit had all the girls swimming, while the best grade 3 bit collected Alison and Elizabeth as swimmers (and Neil trying to do clever tricks), but was successfully completed by Ruth. On a couple of days the boys went to do a short hard river for the second part – including the mighty falls of the Duff- completed successfully by all (Rob without lenses in). One day on surf in Sligo – great big surf, shame about the stony beaches.
Relying on our intrepid captain’s local knowledge we had some interesting tours of the countryside on our way to finding the get-ins. But rivers can change! Weirs can be added!
Culturally, we did ‘sitting around a peat fire’ after our meals together, and also the proper ‘Guiness in an Irish pub thing’ as well. On the way back we had a local’s tour of Derry from Nigel.
Great thanks again to Nigel for organising and driving, also to Rob for driving and transporting so much in his splended van. We all had a fantastic time, and there’s plenty more to look forward to still.
Coming soon to a small screen near Ashley Street – the full picture story.
ADMIN EDIT* what we done and on what days
Monday: Ownwee & Bonnet
Tuseday: Glenlly Ownkillue and Duff
wendsday: esky surfing and Duff
Friday: The City of Derry