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  • Alick Burt

Flat water Makes for an Easy Paddle up River on the Nene

Hello Folks

As the weather has been so poor lately I was glad to get out last Saturday even though it was on a stretch of river I have paddled many times.

The thing with paddling is it is like an addiction and after a few weeks off you feel in need of a good day out to stretch your paddling muscles and relax your mind.

This paddle was to be up river and I wasn't sure how far I would go, I just felt I would keep going until I had felt I wanted to turn around.

I set off passing under the railway bridge on totally flat water.

It is surprising how easy it is to make headway when the surface of the water is so flat despite the fact that the current is against you.

I have been practising heeling my boat over which means I was able to go even faster as doing this also reduces the amount of hull in contact with the water and means you can move along without so much compensation in your paddle stroke.

I reached Wansford Lock quite quickly and was amazed to see that sand on the lock surface had formed small ridges rather like that on a beach.

Perhaps this is as a result of the heavy rain we had? Was the water really high enough to be above the lock platform?

As I carried things through tot he far side I noticed a curiously marked pebble on the gate post. It had been left by passing walkers and I was tempted to move it on up river but I'm not sure if that would be cheating as I am paddling rather than walking!

I wonder where it is now.....

On the far side I chatted to a passing boater and had a cup of tea after all, the pace of life is slower when you are on thewater.

I paddled on the flat calm water to Yarwell lock and passed this sculpture that is weathering nicely since I last saw it.

On the other hand there was also this boat that had an unfortunate accident last winter but is now beginning to be rebuilt.

Things in a poor state of repair is becoming a theme of this trip and I also noticed this section of concrete on this bridge looks rather precarious as the crack continues all the way around.

I wonder if anyone knows about this? Perhaps the metal is enough to keep it safely attached for now....

At the Yarwell back water there was a closure notice due to a fallen tree so I didn't run it although it would have been good to do so with the levels this high.

A short way up river all was super calm again. A glassy mirror like surface.

At Elton the lock was looking busy with boats and swimmers so I went up the mill race and got out eat the top which is also softer on my varnish than the concrete platform by the lock and less wobbly and scratchy than the floating platform.

My turn around and lunch stop was at this pool I have found that has a lovely ephemeral nature about it. A very calm place to relax and have a sandwich.

In the afternoon the wind increased a little but it didn't matter as it was behind me most of the way on my return journey and with the current also on my side I made very rapid progress.

As ever my camera developed a flat battery so I didn't take many pictures aside from this one as I went under this bridge on some very flat water.

Happy Paddling!


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