22nd-April-2012, 01:59 PM
Bridgewater Canal - Sale to Lymm
OK second trip out in my lovely new Nova Craft SP3 (we need to think of a name for her) and I took my son Dan (12 years) for the trip. The day started with loading the car in pouring rain. It was the kind of April rain that comes straight down in rods.
Getting the boat onto the car was made much easier with my new fancy roof rack from Kari-Tek (see here
http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...ddler-New-Boat) but the rain was so bad I seriously considered leaving Dan at home as I didn't want his first canoe experience to be cold, wet and miserable.
As it was we wrapped ourselves in many layers topped off with water proofs and set off to the canal and as we arrived the skies cleared The weather was changeable all day but with the right gear on we were never really bothered and quite enjoyed some of the showers when they came.
Dan had to overcome a little trepidation getting into the boat at Sale Rowing Club but once he was in he quickly settled into it and we set off towards Altrincham. This stretch of the canal is quite industrialised with factories and new build flats along one side and a few bits of green on the other but the ducks and their chicks seemed not to be too fussed. The Canada Geese didn't appreciate our company however and scattered noisily as we meandered slowly towards them.
As we progressed through Altrincham the banks became lined with small house houses with neat little gardens, weeping willow casting shade across the flat, glass like water and the occasional walker/jogger and dog passing us by on the canal path. By this time Dan had really settled into his stroke and was having a useful effect, making my job a bit easier.
After Altrincham, the scenery becomes much more rural with farms either side, Dunham Massey estate in the distance and a number of handy country pub stops along the way (mental note for next time when I have an adult with me). Lots of walkers and canal boat owners smiled, nodded and commented on how nice our boat looked. My guess was that open canoes were not often seen on the canal.
But then suddenly we sighted a group of half a dozen open canoes heading in the opposite direction apparently led by a man standing in a canoe in the centre of the group and using a long pole to propel himself along. He shouted out "Board them, they might have chocolate!" and Dan and I found ourselves the target of a vicious attack by children in a variety of canoes all yelling and paddling furiously towards us. After a bit of dodging and crunching of boats we discovered that the man with the pole was called Ian and he regularly supervises groups on the canal and the river Mersey nearby and he invited us along to one of his Friday evening excursions. You can find his site here http://www.messingaboutonthemersey.co.uk/index.html. It's amazing who you can meet and what can happen when you get yourself off the sofa!
We pressed on towards Lymm but by now Dan was getting tired and my arms were feeling the strain. We pulled the boat out at Lymm cruising club and had butties and orange juice from our dry bag. Had we gone a further couple of hundred yards we could have climbed out in the vilage centre and found a number of good pubs and cafes to lunch at so if you decide to head the same way bear it in mind. Suitably refreshed we set off back towards Sale. We pressed on slowly back down the canal. Dan by now was contributing in fits and bursts and the old man's wrists were on fire (in a painful way rather than a going like the clappers way). Lymm is roughly 7 1/2 miles up the canal so the return journey brought us to a full fifteen miles before we heaved the boat from the water.
We both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and I think Dan may be a new convert to the song
22nd-April-2012, 02:18 PM
Lovely account of your day out. The weather certainly can't seem to make up it's mind these days can it?
22nd-April-2012, 02:19 PM