Ive been a member of the club for around 15 years for the main reason I love paddling whether it is on the flat water, white water or the sea. I joined the club as we went on many trips, some over night and some day paddles to some epic locations around the country and Europe. I now want to try and share this love of the water and outdoors with other so started with organising a flat water paddle on a Saturday morning from Northampton to Earls Barton. It was only around 2 weeks notice so I sent it out on the Trips email list. Saturday morning arrived the thermometer stated -2 deg C and I expected no one to turn up, by 10am 8 of us are putting our spray decks on and launching into the freezing cold water.
The stretch from Northampton to Earls Barton takes around 3-4 hours and has about 5 locks to portage. Depending on the level of the river there are a few side weirs that can be inspected and possibly shot to take yu down some nice back channels. This Saturday the river was quite low so we had to paddle to the official canoe portage points and carry our boats. With none of the side weirs working you could be lulled into a false sense of safety as when we came to one weir it actually had water going over. I went to check it out and as I approached I was still a few metres away from the actual edge you could see the tow back from the stopper already. As a result the canoe portage was used again. It just goes to show that some weirs are always dangerous this one in particular being walled in would not make life easy to extract a boat or a person.
Even though it started cold the sun was out for the whole day and warmed up beautifully, all in all a great little paddle we had some new people as well as some regulars. If you want some more trips like this please let me know.