Review By Tim Harris
After meeting up at Rushall and Blackroot everyone made their way to Peels Wharf for a 10am start for this year’s Christmas paddle, well that is everyone except Graham who arrived at 10.15 which is early for him I guess. Mike kindly came along to do the ferry which should have been just two runs but just short of Peels Wharf on the 2nd trip, Mike’s phone starts to ring so I picked it up as Mike had two hands on the wheel only for Simon to say Liz has not got a paddle (think it’s an age thing) we all know that you need one to propel your boat along on the water, that’s if you has not got one of those funny looking things with a sail or engine on it. So Mike took Pete back to the get out and picked up a paddle so Liz never had to use her hands!!! at this point in the day we all started to get into our boats dressed in the normal Christmas attire, Just so we did not forget what paddle it was Adam mounted a Christmas tree on the front of his play boat, Then showed off to all by seal launching backwards so as not to get the tree wet (not sure why it had no lights maybe he will have saved up a bit more of his student grant for next year and add some).
We then set off along the cannel to the aqueduct where we hopped out of our boats and carried them down to the River, Where We looked for a place to get on the river, at this point we seemed to split into two groups one clambering down the bank next to the bridge the other being slightly braver (or is that more stupid ?) Finding a place to seal launch, We picked our spot and me being me I knelt down and slid everyone down the bank slowly as it was quite a drop.
Pete went first to show them all how easy it was and slowly the other brave members followed with no problems, That before it was Amie’s turn, down she slid then dropped off the end with a splash! up she came over she lent and in she went ( did you get your £10 worth Alex’s ?) then one or two more slid in, again with no problem and I got up turned round to realise there was no one to help me. By this time the rest of the group had caught up and I felt their eyes burning into me as they waited for me to get in. I climbed in my boat slid down the bank hit the water with the biggest splash of the day and then popped up nice warm and dry ( maybe it was close). After that we paddled of along the River stopping to pose for a quick picture for one of the local Anglers.
We then paddled on down past the castle bridge after going under it made our way up to the Paper Mill Weir, time for Pete to do his bit, down he went to do safety followed by Andy H in his open boat, it was at this point I saw Simon doing a runner, don’t think he wanted to scratch his open boat (or was that he never wanted to risk getting wet ?) guess we will never know for sure. Finally everyone else went over the weir and all stayed dry. We then loaded up the cars and headed off to the Tame Otter to meet up with the non-paddlers to join them for Dinner and a Drink before setting of home.
My thanks to Adam C, Adam G, Alice, Andy H, Andy M, Alex, Amie, Brian, Diane, Ethan, Graham, James, Liz, Lizy, Pete, Sam, Sarah, Simon and Steve (sorry if I forgot anyone) for a good day out. Tim