Wednesday, May 20, 2009

UK spring, 2009

I made my usual spring trip to the UK, primarily to hang out at Nigel Dennis' sea kayak symposium on Anglesey. It was a great event as always and I got to do some fun paddling, coach a lot, and catch up with friends from all over! I rarely take photos at these events - it's usually blowing too hard to take your hand off the paddle - and I alway regret it!

Nigel Dennis about to head out with a bunch of 5* hopefuls. Saddly, the Force 8 wind that had been blowing for days and was forecast to continue throughout this day, unexpectedly and suddenly vanished, making it impossible to complete the assessment.


I did take photos during a memorable day canoeing with Phil Hadley....
We paddled a section of the Dee in northern Wales. The shuttle is excellent - you simply park at the bottom and paddle up the canal that runs along side the river! Old steam engines run along the river and dappled sunlight streamed through the trees. We passed a barge being towed by a big draft horse and waved at the tourists onboard. At the put-in, you climb over the bank and off you go downstream. It was a fun little stretch of river - nothing too tough for my second ever whitewater run in an open canoe....except for the Serpent's Tail! It was a proper class III+ rapid with undercuts and holes. I wouldn't have thought twice about it in my kayak, but a canoe was a different matter. We had a good water level and it was a pretty straight shot, super fun, and I didn't flip! Phil went first and made it look easy.
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My run was a bit less graceful....
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After finishing the whitewater run, Phil had a surprise.....

We drove a few miles and stopped at another access point to the same canal. Here, there were lots of canal boats - 7 feet wide and up to 70 feet long - that are used as "holiday cottages". People drive them around the canals by day, and tie up along the banks at night. That was pretty cool, but then the canal narrowed down to a single boat width and headed out into thin air - 173 feet above the river valley! It was extremely cool to paddle across a Victorian era aqueduct!





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3 comments:

Chris Griffith said...

That is so cool!

mackenzie said...

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Jeff said...

Very cool, we have nothing like that in FL.