Friday, 25 March 2011

Number 12: canoeing!

Check. Me. Out.

I was worried whether this would count as a true 'first' as technically I have briefly been in a canoe before while working as an outdoor pursuits destructor in Wales when I was a teenager (more years ago than I care to confess to). But I wouldn't say it was either willingly or successfully, so I am considering this a first in that I am proactively choosing to do it. I should also add that I have a huge fear of murky water - I'm happy in a swimming pool, but who knows what lurks in the rivers and sea. Shopping trolleys? Ford Fiestas? Jaws? Brrrr.

Tim got an inflatable canoe last year, which is far more substantial than it sounds. The main advantage for us is that we can fit it into a Mini and it has been used a fair bit, between canal boat holidays and quick trips on the local waterways. But thus far I have always been a pedestrian rather than paddler.

Helped by an absolutely gorgeous March day, we got the boat down to the river and I managed to get into it without topping over the edge. The paddling was easy once Tim remembered that it was better to kayak with one paddle rather than use the two-ended one. I only panicked once when I could hear a weir coming up and made Tim do a handbreak turn as soon as I realised the current was pulling us towards it (at 1 mile an hour) and then had a very wobbly moment when a swan took a dislike to us, but other than that it was lovely.

To the credit of the Environment Agency there was not a shopping trolley in sight and Tim managed not to scare me. Pretty good all round.

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