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Thread: Hard Labour - Summer Ditching on the Welland

  1. #1
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    Default Hard Labour - Summer Ditching on the Welland

    Like two besotted old fools seduced by a pretty face, Bisbrooke Hippo and I were lured from the Nene to the Welland on the promise of some hot summer ditching action; amazing what two days of torrential rain followed by some sun does to the brain cells.

    Anyway, we pitched up at Gretton to launch in this far from picturesque location



    The river had gone up well over a foot in two days - first obstacle is the tree known as Big Bertha



    A simple reverse bench press squeezes us under her



    Of the next 12 miles I reckon 50% were this or variants thereof



    Turning a four hour paddle into a six hour gym session from which I have barely recovered - if it wasn't for Old Speckled Hen I really don't think I'd have recovered to write this.

    When you get a glimpse of something other than a reed it really is rather pretty



    If it hadn't rained so much the entire river would have been impassable



    Random clear bit with reed bank ahead - whoopie!



    The odd weir provided welcome respite









    But mostly it was forcing our way between bank and reeds





    Another random open bit



    As railway viaducts go, this is the biggest in the land





    Even when we weren't doing our David Bellamy impressions



    We were keeping our heads down



    It's a matter of pride that we don't leave the confines of the river to get past river-wide obstacles



    More reverse bench pressing required



    I know insects may one day become an important food source but I had my fill of the critters on this trip



    Thankfully, as you get nearer to Wakerley the open bits arrive more frequently







    The weirs at Barrowden are being remodelled into fish ladders and we have a running joke with the foreman (he has to give us the all clear to carry on) - I complain bitterly that he is ruining all my fun messing about with the weir but in return he claims to be building a white water course for us....



    Certainly a most unusual portage - the entire river has been diverted through huge pipes so they can build this



    To journey's end at some rather older river engineering - Wakerley bridge



    If I was a peasant being tried for stealing a groat's worth of bread and the judge offered me transportation to Kylie-land or a year of Welland reed bashing I reckon I'd think seriously about the antipodean option - jeez it was hard work.......but better than the shopping-with-Mrs Patterdale alternative.

    Regards to you all, Dick
    Last edited by Patterdale Paddler; 11th-August-2017 at 03:29 PM.
    A ship should not ride on a single anchor, nor life on a single hope - Epictetus

  2. #2
    Crow's Avatar
    Crow is offline こんにちは。私はカラスと私はスコットラ ンドの出身で す。
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    A classic of the genre!

    It's got everything.


    This worries me though:

    Quote Originally Posted by Patterdale Paddler View Post

    .......but better than the shopping-with-Mrs Patterdale alternative.
    Mrs. P's shopping trips must involve crawling under barbed wire, negotiating minefields, unspecified insectile hazards, tank traps, invasive species, blood, sweat, tears and more sweat!

    Or something like that.

    Now I wish to God I'd joined those men when they were set ashore, but I chose a wild and a reckless life serving under Captain Moore.

    Crow Trip Log

  3. #3
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    Ditchtastic, as always, chaps. Canada must have been good training for the real hard work on the borders of Rutland...
    Covering as many malmiles as possible before being distracted by the pub!

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

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    Yet again the boundaries of ditch work have been pushed back by these intrepid adventurers. It's simply selfless work they are undertaking.

    Is there going to be a guide book of britains ditches in the pipeline anytime soon ?
    MarkL
    www.canoemassifcentral.com
    Canoe outfitting packages in the Massif Central


  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkL View Post
    Is there going to be a guide book of britains ditches in the pipeline anytime soon ?
    I do believe that Hippo is currently writing a pamphlet on ditching in the style of The Compleat Angler or Journey to the Centre of the Earth or something eccentric - watch this space as media types say!
    A ship should not ride on a single anchor, nor life on a single hope - Epictetus

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patterdale Paddler View Post
    I do believe that Hippo is currently writing a pamphlet on ditching in the style of The Compleat Angler or Journey to the Centre of the Earth or something eccentric - watch this space as media types say!
    Can't wait for that one! Another classic, thanks for posting.

  7. #7
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    Nice one gents - they're remodeling Barrowden to make it more fun for you guys
    Up a lazy river by the old mill run..the lazy, lazy river in the noon day sun

  8. #8
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    Another last ditch attempt at river supremacy. Excellent day out and blog to match. Well done lads.
    Big Al.

    Only when the last tree has died
    and the last river been poisoned
    and the last fish been caught
    will we realise we cannot eat money.
    ~Cree Indian Proverb

  9. #9
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    Brilliant!....Absolutely brilliant fellas!

    I haven't managed to get out paddling for a wee while now, due to the usual trials and tribulations of normal life....but, this post has certainly fired me up once again to get out there...Hell, Yeah!

    Loved the stunning Aqueduct shot (pic. no.15) and the Willow shot at no.18 and both the limbo shot at no.21 and the Church Spire at no.24....Outstanding stuff!
    Keep yer paddles wet, and powder dry....

    MB

    `..`. ><(((( ((>
    `..`..`. ><((((>

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