Kislingbury to NCKC. March 23rd 2019
A wonderful adventurous paddle. 9am meet at the club to collect boats and kit where needed and organise help with transporting kayaks and canoes. Convoy off to the get in at Kislingbury. A bit of twiddling of thumbs and faffing for those of us waiting with the boats while the shuttle took place.
The paddle on this section of the Nene needed some rain. The weather was good, and we were tucked down below the line of the fields for most of the journey so out of the wind. The river had a gentle flow mostly. In areas the weed beds and dead weeds had collected together and blocked off the river, so some interesting kayaking and canoeing manoeuvres took place. Pulling ourselves through the weeds on a throw line wrapped around a tree. Kayaking and canoeing over fallen branches. Hacking, literally at one point with a saw through branches all while sheep, lambs and farmers were unaware in the fields just above.
We had 3 weirs to negotiate on the journey. Alan and Steve‘s knowledge and experience was informative and kept us safe. Our first weir was a gentle paddle towards a slope and a small drop off the end.
The second weir was more of a challenge. A drop which on closer inspection, to me, looked like Niagara Falls. With Steve‘s guidance who dropped down Niagara effortlessly, backwards. An increased heartbeat and some deliberation while I found some courage, I eventually went for it, it was so much fun.
The third weir was hilarious. So, the idea being we were to go down sideways! I think I am right in saying this was because it was too shallow at the bottom to go down front ways. Again, this felt like a massive big deal but in reality it was a bit like a log flume. Brilliant! I secretly think Alan was quite enjoying pushing us beginners sideways down the weir.
Paddling through town was a pleasure. To paddle the river that I have driven over many times and experience the town‘s buildings and bridges from a different angle was fascinating and enjoyable. With each trip I learn more about how the boat reacts to the water, obstacles to look out for and things to consider, how to help each other and I gain experience as new challenges arise. Not to mention enjoying the company of fellow enthusiastic paddlers. Thank you for another enjoyable trip.