Not much water on the Dart

After an all too brief Christmas Holiday, a few of us migrated south as far as Dartmoor. Stopping at the Powdermills Bunkhouse and enjoying the ale and food at the nearby theme pub at Postbridge is a regular treat. This is different to your average Irish theme pub however, as you detect the theme of hunting is more than a plastic veneer. There was a distinct lack of water in the river Dart and so we paddled the loop at probably the lowest level I have ever bothered to get on the water at. The lines (if there were any), were tight, which kept you thinking. Luke looked cold and joined Will on the walk the following day.

We are getting ahead of ourselves however as the rest went walking on Saturday. If there is one thing common to canoeists going for walk, then apparently whenever Mike is involved, it is darkness. Sure enough, the paddlers were safely showered and opening the first drinks of the night before Mike and the rest appeared out of the pitch black from the direction of Bellever Tor.

On Sunday there was no change in the water levels, so the remaining paddlers got on at Holne Bridge to enjoy the very bottom section of the loop. This also avoided paying the newly introduced £3 parking fee at the Country Park. Personally I would rather spend the money in their café but apparently not enough paddlers were doing so. The result was we had hot chocolate and cake in cosmopolitan Ashburton on Saturday. We finished in Buckfastleigh at the old railway enthuasiast’s yard, after a pleasant trip, which included the large weir beside Buckfast Abbey. Driving back up onto the moor there was a good amount of snow settling. Later we saw them sledging at the Warren House Inn (435m).

All characters in this story are fictitious in order to protect the author from any abuse.

Phil Hadley the local Paddlesport Development Officer popped in to the club in early February to discuss some ideas and make suggestions to improve the operation of the club. So watch out for a few new initiatives. Mike and myself also attended a Sport England Conference to pick up some information. There are plans to offer Paddlepower courses as a supplement to 1 star. We should also be getting some stickers from the Canal Society to label up club boats.

You will be pleased to hear that club fees and visitor fees have remained the same for 2006. Please pay promptly when your renewal comes up.

See you on the water.