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  • Alick Burt

First paddle on the Nene this Year and I get on Yarwell Backwater.

Hi Folks

I have been waiting for a suitable day to do this the route on the Nene for quite a while.

The Yarwell backwater is a route that is only really suitable for my canoe in high water because of the remains of a foot bridge part way down that could do serious damage to my boat if the water is low so I was glad to get the opportunity today as the water was very high.

Yarwell is two locks up river from my start and first I had to get there.

At the put in a tree had fallen.

I was on the water by 9.30 and the only sign of life was a solitary swan.

A little further up river I met a couple of canoeists climbing on board their stitch and glue boat and I did my sales pitch and gave them a card.

Paddling against the current and a very small breeze wasn't too bad and it was beginning to warm up with the intermittent sun so I stopped for a coffee break.

You can see my very handy coffee cup hooked into the gunwale scupper as usual.

I paddled on up to Wansford and was passed by a narrow boat on the way however when they got to the lock they didn't go through but turned round because the gate wasn't high enough for them to get into the lock!

I also passed through Yarwell lock without incident and found the portage platform to the backwater submerged, another sign that the water levels is high!

I hauled out and then had lunch by the platform and went to check out the put in.It was looking easy because of the height but the water was flowing fast so I would need to be careful.

I carried my boat and kit round and then got back on the water and carefully steered my way along the back water.In this situation there isn't much need to propel yourself forward and the paddle is used more to steer with as you go around bends avoiding getting swept into overhanging trees etc.

As I neared the end of the backwater I spotted an unattended nest.The egg had a hole in but you can't quite see it in my picture.

I had floated high over the footbridge remains and other obstacles and made my way back onto the main river again.

Just above Wansford lock I noticed there has been a lot of progress on this development as new houses have been springing up.

At Wansford the old stone bridge was looking very photogenic reflected in the water

A little further on I stopped for a tea break but this time stayed on board another time when my cups handle in gunwale scupper comes in handy

I was early returning to my start point as the flow meant it took about half as long to get back as going but I do like the way the clouds improve the pictures in this weather.



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