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Thread: An Unexpectedly Long Day on the Welland

  1. #1
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    Default An Unexpectedly Long Day on the Welland

    I thought I'd pop out for a couple of hours; no longer as it was hail-stoning and blowing a hoolie........chose the Welland as the generally steep-ish sides keep 90% of the wind off - doesn't do much for the views but you can't have it all.

    Launched at Cottingham beside a monumentally naff bridge - more naff and even naffer bridges to come



    Keeping down and out of the wind with the lambs



    It soon started to look a bit ditchy



    And it wasn't long before some of this



    A bit of this



    And a bit more like this



    ....made me feel right at home.

    Quite pretty in places



    Nice little riffle by the really naff bridge on the Corby road - although this one does have an extra pipe



    Between Rockingham & Gretton there are no blockages, it started to brighten up and the river has a change of character





    For the first time you get a glimpse of the wider Welland valley





    The flood plain is a mile wide in most places and the villages are nestled safely up on the hillside - Gretton






    At Gretton weir they are building a fish ladder - very nice for the fish but they've blocked my usual route





    So this is where I intended finishing - don't want to overdo things - unfortunately a well known courier company that sounds like an explosive hadn't turned up and Mrs Patterdale was unavoidably detained until they did. No worries my love, says I, I'll carry on to Harringworth.

    A newly downed tree soon blocked the way



    But the sun was out







    I had an unplanned swimming event last time I shot this weir - doubly embarrassing as I was showing Bisbrooke Hippo how to do it at the time



    But you can nip through the tunnels just upstream



    Into the old mill stream which has yet more tunnels - naturally all blocked with flood detritus but I need the exercise



    Evidence of an industrial past - or at least piling to stop erosion? Pretty whatever it is.



    Back on the main river and everything looking almost unnaturally blue - a bit of a riffle over a ford



    Followed by a couple of boulder field weirs





    Fast but shallow for the next mile after the weirs



    Far from naff - the magnificent Harringworth/Seaton/Welland train viaduct - still used by trains - maintenance schedule like the Forth Bridge!



    Anyway, approaching the decidedly naff bridge at Harringworth I called Mrs Patterdale who was now ready to commit atrocities towards the staff of that well known courier company.



    'Best I carry on to Wakerley then dearest' - 'Best you do' says the most wonderful shuttle driver in the world (she reads these bloggs)

    Look hard enough & you might see a naff'n



    I thought I'd get away with kneeling on this log and hoisting the boat over - good plan until it rolled 90 degs - got away with just wet legs



    The first bridge of any interest - complete with an indecently large tree blocking it - it will have to be moved soon as the weight of caught-up material plus the weight of water can cause structural issues



    The obstacles seem to increase in frequency as I get more tired



    Coldness and wetness beckon



    Kilns built by Napoleonic POWs to make gunpowder to shoot their mates



    Barrowden church - taken whilst being blown backwards at a rate of knots



    Two step weir at Barrowden Siphons - portaged today but can be run



    Getting rather dark, cold and forebidding now



    The welcome sight of Wakerley Bridge - whatever the parcel situation I was stopping here!



    The blue at the top is Rutland Water, the blue lower down is Eyebrook reservoir - about 13 miles with added arborial gymnastics of various disciplines



    Thanks for looking - and No, the parcel never did turn up!

    Regards to you all,

    Dick
    A ship should not ride on a single anchor, nor life on a single hope - Epictetus

  2. #2
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    Good day out! Nice to get an extension on your pass, and amazing the weather played ball too!


    The bridge with the big tree across shows how different the levels were 2 years and a bit ago


  3. #3
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    What a fun blog. Thank you so much for the great photos and, in particular, the excellent English.

    How do you snap photos so soon before the drops? Are they so insignificant that you just float over them, or do you get the photos from an action cam?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhofmann View Post
    How do you snap photos so soon before the drops? Are they so insignificant that you just float over them, or do you get the photos from an action cam?
    Just a handheld Nikon Waterproof/bash-proof point & shoot - press the shutter, drop camera on wannigan (I think that's what it's called - zipped bag across boat right in front of centre thwart), hand back on paddle. Camera attached to big yellow floaty thing in case of inaccurate drops onto wannigan.

    Glad you enjoyed the blogg.
    A ship should not ride on a single anchor, nor life on a single hope - Epictetus

  5. #5
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    Southport, really in Lancashire, UK
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    A great challenge for a ditch!

    Water to paddle can be found if you are determined enough. My local ditch is the River Douglas that I've paddled a few times. Blockages on the Dougie can be trees, fridges, shopping trollies, even plastic bottles on one occasion!



    Thanks for sharing the adventure.

    Doug
    Last edited by dougoutcanoe; 8th-April-2016 at 11:35 AM.
    When there's trouble on shore, there's peace on the wave,
    Afloat in the White Canoe.
    Alan Sullivan


  6. #6
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    Blimey, that was a bit of an epic. At least the blog delivered, even if the company in question didn't.
    Cheers
    MarkL
    www.canoemassifcentral.com
    Open Canoe hire/outfitting in the Massif Central
    ”We will make your trip work”



  7. #7
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    I was reading this while I was waiting for a parcel delivery - Synchronicity!
    My parcel turned up (DPD 1 - TNT 0) but at least you got an interesting paddle.
    A shame for Mrs. PP having to wait in for non arrival of package though - I hope she still picked you up and you're not still waiting at Wakerley Bridge!
    There's a Bluebird in my heart

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhofmann View Post
    What a fun blog.
    Agreed, was smilling away to myself

    Quote Originally Posted by bhofmann View Post
    How do you snap photos so soon before the drops?
    I too have a waterproof camera on a short leash attached to my BA, I take a picture the deftly stash it down the front of my BA, it fits between the foam never budged even in a swim situation.
    Cheers
    Tim


    Paddles a Prospector

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim View Post

    I too have a waterproof camera on a short leash attached to my BA, I take a picture the deftly stash it down the front of my BA, it fits between the foam never budged even in a swim situation.
    I have mine clipped to a piece of elastic chosen to be long enough to take pictures freely, but short enough so it doesn't bounce on the floor when I drop it just before I hit something or suddenly panic about the approach of a rock/weir/seamonster. When I use the same camera on land, and its not clipped in, I often find myself letting go and watching it plummet to the ground, so used to it being attached am I. Good job its shockproof!

  10. #10
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    I keep reading your blogs Dick, and they're just torture to me 'reet the noo', knowing that I'm stuck down here, and can't get up there join you for a day or two, whilst that Easterly wind's blowing a hoolie and the trees are coming down in big bunches of three or so...which is just the kind of weather that I need to go paddle-camping in once again. (I very much miss the excitement of camping overnight at Fotheringhay Castle, in a 45-50mph wind, one Halloween evening, and then on a subsequent camp-out in a field not too many miles further downstream...great memories, once again fired-up by your paddle trips!

    Keep 'em coming!

    Mark

  11. #11
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    The weir I chose not to shoot due to previous swim - so much easier in higher levels and wearing a santa outfit !



    The two-step weir at the end of the trip - as I mentioned, can be run

    A ship should not ride on a single anchor, nor life on a single hope - Epictetus

  12. #12
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    A great read, thanks for that.
    This is my local river, I must pay a visit!

    Simon

  13. #13

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    Looks like a great adventure was had navigating the river & many obstacles some good photos & blog ��

  14. #14
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    Another great blog that I missed first time round. I enjoyed reading that!
    Juvanile delinkwit, vaguely faffing around with a pair of pliers. Du skal ikke tro at du er bedre end mig!

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