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  • Alick Burt

A Little Paddle to Wansford for lunch. (Well, Sandwiches and a Mug of Tea!)

A Little Paddle to Wansford for lunch. (Well, Sandwiches and a Mug of Tea!)

Hello Folks

I haven't been paddling for quite some time so it came as a surprise to find myself nipping to the workshop this Sunday for a short paddle while the sun was shining.

Yesterday it was tipping it down and blowing a gale and today's weather was a total contrast. It was warm, still and to begin with sunny!

I paddled towards the railway and there was the sounds and sights of a steam train in the form of steam/smoke coming from the direction of the platform but the train did not proceed across the bridge at least till I was well gone. So no train on bridge shot today.

A little further on before the bend I came across this cow having a scratch on a low growing tree.

One reason for this trip is to test a paddle that I have recently done some work on.It is the cherry one on the top of this picture that as you can see has a rather long blade compared to the size of its shaft.It is one that my friend Andrew gave me to see if I could improve it as it was over heavy and used to flutter. I worked on the blade lightening and thinning it and reduced the amount of wood around the throat and also thinned the shaft a little. I am happy to report it now works far better though it still has an over large blade area for my taste which makes it hard work on a long trip.

As I rounded the bend at the boat yard I saw a most unusual craft for these waters!

Looks like some kind of life boat or rescue vessel of some sort I wonder what it will be used for?

As far as I can see it only has tiny windows so wouldn't be much fun to be in for long, but definitely unsinkable!

I paddled on up river marvelling at the flatness of the water today.

I was dying for a coffee as I reached one of my often used coffee spots where this line of trees is but whilst getting out looked straightforward the bank is a bit overgrown and slippery from the previous rain so I decided to continue till I could find somewhere else.

Further on the edge of the bank was low enough but still quite reed choked so I would have had a faff getting the canoe close enough and again I decided to keep paddling.

I'm not sure what this sluice is for exactly, whether it is just that or if it performs some extra function, perhaps a bit of power generation. As I passed I noticed it was undergoing maintenance or repairs with the aid of a huge crane.

Talking of repairs Wansford bridge has had a lot of work going on over the past 6 weeks as I have noticed from my journey to and from work when it has often been closed for repair. Still it is looking good for its age and the work is still going on.

I reached the lock without incident although by this time the sun had gone into hiding so I had my lunch by the lock and decided to return.

Just before I left I noticed that despite the cold there is still a large number of people happy to jump out of moving aircraft. See if you can spot them in my picture.

I returned the way I had come and it was a little faster with the flow and as a kingfisher crossed my path I reflected that I prefer the quiet life!



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