Friday, 18 July 2008

Blackwater Canoe Expedition - The big day

After a week of planning we finally made it onto the water. No thanks to some builders at Blackwater Town, the slipway was made inaccessible so we had to chuck the canoes in at a fly tippers paradise a bit further upstream. Once onto the water everything started to go smoothly.

I had measured the trip using a bit of local knowledge and some common sense, this had lead me to underestimate the length as 3 miles. In the end it was more like ten but somehow we managed to cover it in the time predicted.

As Paul hadn't been in a canoe for about twenty years I took it upon myself to coach him in my softly softly manner, luckily I've known Paul for some time, so he didn't cry after being shouted at for the first half an hour. I would have tried to teach him some more strokes and techniques but he had stopped listening to me after five minutes. Ian needed no such encouragement, an avid sea kayaker in his youth he was happily zipping up and down the river in no time. It wasn't long before we tried to harness his enthusiasm by tying him to our canoe and getting him to tow us.

As usual our progress was hampered by our constant need for caffeine and nicotine, this meant plenty of stops to get the trusty stove and camp cow picnic bag out. Also as I had remembered a camera this time every time a photo opportunity presented itself, five minutes had to be spent rummaging in the waterproof bag to get the camera and then a further five minutes extracting ourselves from the foliage which we had drifted into.

Going at the speed of a one legged tortoise enabled us to appreciate the wildlife and we saw a great many different species such as kingfishers, herons, buzzards and a dead cormorant.

The luckiest animal conversation was brought up shortly but only to get Paul up to speed with the standard of chat.

Luckily we all managed to end the day without any major injuries although Paul nearly received some after leaving one of my life jackets at a lunch spot.

All in all we had a great day and i would recommend this canoe trail to everyone. We wouldn't be of the highest level of fitness, in fact we probably wouldn't even be at the lowest level of fitness, but we covered a good distance and were able to walk afterwards and by the time we reached Bonds Bridge we looked like seasoned pros.

10 comments:

Claire said...

Loved your music choice :)

I like the mix of photos and video, but is that all the video footage you had?

Both my sisters are master canoers and kayakers, I have yet to have a go. It looks like great fun though.

I felt sorry for Paul though, how mean of you! lol.

thebigandyt said...

Cheers Claire, I didn't want to bring viddy camera out on canoe, wifey had it with her when she picked us up.

You should give canoeing a go, it's as easy or hard as you make it and it's a great way to see the countryside. Although you don't see many llamas

Claire said...

I use my camera to film stuff when I am out hiking.

But then again if canoeing I would probably drop it in the water :)

MY-NI said...

Awesome. I really should have mentioned they are building business units in Blackwatertown so more difficult to get down to the river side.

thebigandyt said...

@my-ni, yes that probably would have been useful info. Ah well, we got in, in the end.

Fish Whisperer said...

I am still waiting to see the pictures of this epic canoeing adventure.
Cheers

thebigandyt said...

I stuck them in a video at the top of the post. also on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elN0-MP1t4U

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

What a great time you had!!! WOOT that you are enjoying nature. Nothing else in this world makes one content. :D

My hubby is building a wooden kayak and I can't WAIT to snap of pic of him skimming the Lake Huron waters in it!!!

Have a super day, JJ

Brian said...

You lucky gett. I have always wanted to do that. Two years ago I wanted to build a cedar strip canoe. I am a joiner so it would not have been beyond my abilities. Only thing was, as an unemployed joiner, I could not afford it. I have never been in a canoe in my life, but I just know I would love it. Maybe some day my dream will come true. If it doesn’t happen soon I will be too old and stiff.
Great pics, looked like a great day.

thebigandyt said...

Cheers Brian. The hardest partof the canoing is getting the canoe to the wateredge. We pretty much when with the current