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  • Alick Burt

Paddling In Cornwall a chance not to be missed!

A while ago my friend Andrew mentioned to me that he had a cottage in Cornwall and that it might be free sometime this summer. As it turned out it was available from the 18th-22nd of June and he invited me to stay so we could both go paddling with the proviso that we did a bit of maintenance on the place whilst there in preparation for his next guests.

Our first outing was to be on the Helford river and we began at Port Navas.

The village is very pretty and whilst getting ready we discovered this garden called Pope's Garden that is maintained by the residents for the Enjoyment of all.

The put in was a little muddy and we were paddling tandem with a new seat configuration. We put the adjustable thwart in place as our front seat and used the back seat as the back seat.We soon found this wasn't quite right and shifted gear around till our trim was a little better then headed down river.

It wasn't long before Andrew spotted a seal but said seal soon dived out of sight and we continued whilst looking around in the hope of spotting it again. Sure enough we did and I took a still picture and a short video before it dived again. We were both amazed by the sound of its breathing and thought maybe it had a cold, if seals get them?

Further along we saw this splendid old boat the first of many we would see over the next few days.

It wasn't long before I expressed an interest in a coffee break and we wanted to have a leg stretch so we paddled across to Tremayne Quay which is a national trust property where it appears they allow a few camp fires so it would make a good overnight camping spot.

The weather was hotting up and we made our way to Gweek where we paddled up the creek past more boats.

We met some Kayakers on this last leg and made our way to the green where we ate sandwiches whilst waiting for the Black Swan to open for Ale.

We had timed our trip allowing for the Tide as we needed it to be high to get into Gweek and had to be on our way back before it got too low again so made our way back.

The water was developing small ripples.

The weather was still hot so we were glad of the slight cooling breeze that developed and as we were paddling tandem it was not a struggle to paddle despite the water beginning to get a bit choppy.

along the shore I spotted this deadwood looking like a huge skeletal hand!

We stopped at the quay again on our way back for tea and to recharge ourselves before the last leg.

We figured out our muddy put in would probably be lower and muddier than when we got in so decided to get out a little earlier at this slipway that is down the road from the Yacht club.Then I walked up and got the car.

We returned to our base at Helston where we walked to the pub via the river.(unfortunately this one is a bit small for canoes).

The day ended in the Blue Anchor with entertainment from the Oakum Boys who strangely hail from St Ives in Cornwall but have taken their name from the oakum used to seal boats which is where my nearest town at home Oakham in Rutland also gets its name.



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