Saturday 26 February 2011

River Eden - Day One

This is my take on the first day of the Cumberland Ring paddle, using only my photos. The group view can be found on the trip blog, with more detail in the second Eden entry.

A ford gave an easy access point to the Scandal Beck. We couldn't have started much higher up the beck, given the water levels:It was still a bit of a scrape at times:The river soon started to get more volume:A novel approach to erosion control had been used in several places. The placing of the vehicles was obviously deliberate. It felt like paddling a long wet scrap yard at times:Some interesting geology:
The first weir of any note:Contact with bank support:More geology:The weather wasn't all good:The spectators didn't seem particularly impressed, but at least they seemed interested:The banks were lined with burrows of some sort. They seem a bit large for water voles!Jim took the opportunity to audition for The Hobbit during our lunchbreak at Lacey's Caves:Paddling past the caves gave a view that most people miss:We had a few bouncy bits before Armathwaite:Some nice scenery as the light started to fail and we approached our bivi site:

Friday 25 February 2011

Planning and preparation session

Kirstine was kind enough to give Jim and me a lift to Kate's house in Cumbria on Friday evening after work. We completed our plans over an excellent meal that Kate had prepared.

My plan was to start with the Lune, followed by the coastal paddle and then finish on the Eden. This would mean that we were paddling the Eden during the working week and thus reduce the risk of meeting too many fishermen. However, Kate was keen to start with the Eden, then paddle the Lune and finish with the coastal paddle. I had some concerns with this plan but was convinced by the expected water levels in the rivers. I was also inclined to let Kate have her way, since this is really her project. Another benefit was that we would get two nights sleeping in Kate's house on Sunday and Monday, after each of the rivers was completed. Paddling the Eden over the weekend also allowed for bank support from David (Kate's other half, driving Kate's van) and photography from Will (another NWSK paddler).

The expected water levels meant that we would be starting further down the Scandal Beck than Kate had hoped. The advantage of this was that we would avoid any portages and taking our full overnight kit in the boats would not be an issue.

Thursday 24 February 2011

Cumberland Ring

Jim mentioned a project that Kate Duffus had come up with. It sounded completely daft, so I dropped some rather unsubtle hints until they invited me onto the team. See the Cumberland Ring blog , Jimski's blog and Kate's blog for more details.

Monday 28 September 2009

Some company

It was great to have some company on the water. Too much of my paddling seems to be solo these days.

Sunday 27 September 2009

Goat Island

It was good to get back in the Carolina after the SOT that I paddled on my last stay in Norway. This is an excellent boat, although I prefer the expedition version that I have at home. It is reasonably fast, very stable, relatively cheap and is a great all-rounder. It can carry my bulk plus all of my gear for an overnight trip without any problems. Since I am having to do at least one working day at the weekends, my aim was to get back from the office early on Saturday afternoon and then get out for an overnight paddling trip. The short return paddle, after camping on an island just beyond Hesnes, allowed me to get back to the office for 10:00 on Sunday.
The weather was fantastic. I have no idea why the beaches were deserted:

Saturday 4 July 2009

The Third Way

My plan was to paddle to the beach just beyond Fevik and have a bit of a swim followed by breakfast. I could then drift back to Grimstad and go to the office straight after lunch.

In the end, I drifted in the other direction to explore lots of little channels and islands near Nedenes and didn't get back until late afternoon. I paid for the trip with a bit of redness of the skin from the sun and wind - my plan for a short trip meant that I hadn't bothered with sun block or a hat.

The swimming part of the plan worked. The beach was a little bit busier than last time I visited; six other people came down for an early swim. The water was reasonably warm and almost completely free of jellyfish.

I passed the beach again on the way back, stopping on the rocks for some lunch. The heat and the sunshine had brought out so many families that there was barely any sand to be seen between the towels and beach toys.

My exploration around Nedenes showed me a third way of getting through to Arendal; it's a slower route but very sheltered and might be useful in bad weather.

Thursday 2 July 2009

Another hot day

I went straight out on the water after work, taking some food and drink. After an hour or two of nosing around the islands, I found a quiet spot to have supper while reading my book and listening to my mp3 player. Not a bad way to spend the evening.

A bit of rolling practice and general messing around at Groos showed that I need to do a bit of work on my left hand sculling support but was a very pleasant finish to the day.