After a lovely meal Saturday evening from our hosts Sheila and Simon at Barton Turf Adventure Centre followed by a few ales I was unsure if I would wake early enough for an early morning paddle but luckily I awoke feeling surprisingly fresh and ready to go at 6.30 am.
I quietly made my way to the put in where I saw just a goose and a duck watching the water.
As before I decided to go to Neatishead and back and as it was later than last time I wasn't hopeful of seeing anything of note but proceeded quietly all the way there. I didn't take pictures and it was cold as the wind had got up slightly and it was coming from the other direction to the previous days.
I was on my return journey and just turned the corner where I saw an otter last year but this time I was a bit closer to home. Then as if by magic I saw two heads appear in front of me!
I carefully reached for my camera as they looked at me and I looked back at them. We had all stopped and were looking each other straight in the eye.
I raised my camera and took a picture as quickly as I could but I got this!
Two circular splashes where they had both dived. I had no time to look at my picture at this point but instead turned towards the bank as I saw them head that way. They surfaced to my left and I took another two pictures. One of them turned out to just show reeds as they had dived again but the other shows two otters on the right although I have to admit they are not very clear!
It is fantastic to be able to get so close to such wonderful creatures and I feel privileged to have seen them.
I got back to camp with a smile on my face.
Our group paddle for the day was to be to Honing lock on the Dillam Canal.
This is a trip I have done a few times now but it is always a pleasure as it is such a pretty route.
The route begins amongst the cruisers until we get to Wayford Bridge.
We had a wide variety of craft in various erm! Colours not sure I approve of this one :-)
Once past Wayford Bridge we turn off and are soon in a cruiser free zone.
Sam was in his wide board and batten and was sponging again.
This has to be my favourite picture of the day as we approach the lock in a world that looks like the land that time forgot.
As there were quite a lot of us on this trip we had split into two groups. We sat having lunch in this wonderful place.
The second group began to arrive including another lovely old wide board and batten boat.
Our return journey seemed a lot quicker with the flow behind us.
We made rapid progress which was a good thing as it was starting to look cloudy.
It was another great day of paddling and the only thing that spoilt it was the sound of my phone protesting about a lack of battery power but at least it was on the way back.