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  • Alick Burt

SOTP Big Meet Day 2 River Ure Ripon to Boroughbridge.

Saturday began a bit dull and wet looking with a grey sky.The river level had risen a little since my arrival and the plan was to paddle from our camp at Ripon to the junction with the Ripon Canal using it as our route back or alternatively those with an excess of energy and determination (like me!)could paddle on to Boroughbridge where Greg would collect them and shuttle them back.

We began by getting ourselves onto the water using the beach for access.

After finding myself grounded between the beach and the concrete bridge I got out of my canoe and pushed over the low water and then climbed back in. We waited whilst more people got into their boats and then started off on a reasonably fast flowing though still quite shallow river.

Sometimes we had to pick our route carefully to avoid the shallows and there was an occasional rock visible above the surface.

The low water level meant beaches at almost every turn.

There was also the odd falling tree to negotiate.

Next came something I wasn't expecting. This stone bridge was something I am used to but on the other side of it is a small drop peppered with rocks. Had I known they were there I would probably have portaged around it but I soon found myself in front of them.

Luckily I was being guided by one of our more experienced paddlers and managed to line my canoe up and get through a gap in them unscathed.

On the far side of the bridge was a channel of fast water that I was not feeling confident about so I portaged around it on a shallow area and then we were off again.

Then for the first time that morning we found ourselves with the wind against us just as we were passing the sailing club so no surprise there!

Paddling on we passed Newby Hall. Judging by the size of the marquee I guess they had a function on.

Just after that John found a backwater which I suspect might go to the hall because of the stone arch.

Debbie checked out the back entrance to the house which looked equally impressive.

Our party then split as some returned via the Ripon Canal and some (including me) paddled on to Boroughbridge.There was a lock to portage around and I still hadn't had my lunch so took the opportunity to eat it there in the pouring rain where we met some more paddlers.

Once back on the water we began to see signs of civilisation.

We passed a camp site and the sky still looked grim as we paddled under one of the biggest concrete bridges I have seen.

Then we reached the marina with a yacht that looked like it had fallen from the sky!

and a bit further on we exited just after bridge 8 on Milby cut where I saw this board with some historical information and an interesting walk on it.

Once out of the water we realised that no one had Greg's number but luckily he called me and was able to pick us up in 20 minutes.

I had my last cup of tea and reflected on an interesting paddle with good and helpful company.



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