The Basin to Gypsy Lane just south of Nuneaton was the plan. Fine but we should have gone the other way as the head wind became somewhat tedious over the nine mile course. Sarah, Mike and myself set off for a leisurely two hour paddle to bridge 17 where we had left a car ready for the drive back to the club. There was one unfriendly swan and a lot of fishermen at the end but it all went extremely well.
The question now is when will we do the next leg of around 10 miles to Polesworth. With a everyone having a full diary it remains to be seen when we will complete the full course of the Coventry Canal, split into four legs.
It was time for a club trip to Bala to paddle the dam controlled River Tryweryn. This is a popular rafting and canoeing centre with 5 miles of quality white water. Sarah came along for a walk in the sunny welsh weather (22c). As we arrived in the town which is the finish car park and Bala Lake was like a mirror, which is rare for such a large body of water. John Whitehead paddled the open Canadian down from below Chapel Falls to the road bridge in Bala with a portage around Bala Mill Falls. Ed Brandley did the same course. He had spent most of Saturday adjusting a whiplash to be comfortable and then found that he couldn’t get in with his wet suit trousers on, so had to take off his shoes. He had a few wobbles but his paddling was sound at the end. JW had to get out of his boat twice, which was pretty good considering the narrow lines, large craft and plenty of rocks. NP did an excellent recovery roll on Bala Mill. Jo reckoned she hadn’t paddled anywhere harder than Matlock in the last two years since she had been to France. She came to a sudden halt at the bottom of the Mill Falls but carried on quite happily. Ryan, Bob and Kyle spent all day on the top site but joined Will, Mike and myself for the last run of the day on the top site. Most other paddlers were getting off the water by 3pm so despite the centre being very busy with paddlers and rafters we actually had the river to ourselves at the end. To cap it all the M6 was running smoothly and the journey home was smooth. Sarah took some cracking photos.
This time off to Myton Fields for a paddle up the River Avon to the greyhound track. This has changed enormously in the past year with the destruction of the Pottertons site and development of a large housing estate on the flood plain. After the driest April and sunniest since whenever, we managed to break the trend by choosing the coldest day of the month for the trip. Anyway a flask of coffee and sandwiches soon made amends. Several shot the main weir but Will spotted the most fun was to be had on the weir at the bottom of the mill buildings.