Monday, 29 November 2010

Around Wales 2011 - 2nd training weekend

After 3 months since the first training weekend, our 2nd weekend was upon us. Thanks to Sonja, Friday night was spent in a camping barn and with the news saying "this was the coldest November for 17 years" it was a gentler introduction. To top it all there was a super pub, the pheasant inn just 10 minutes up the road. With the van saying it was -4 at 0830 morning, we were certainly pleased to have had the shelter of the barn!

The plan was to explore and become familiar with the estuary/canal link and test systems of carrying, portaging and lifting the sea kayaks, around the locks. The river Dee and then the Shropshire Union canal was the chosen area and despite a wintry Friday, Saturday was bright, with blue skies and one advantage of the colder temperatures was that the mud was frozen!

Here we have Paul, working his way up one of the lock staircases, I think it was a height gain of 33mts?

Having reached the top, we were met with the first patches of ice on the lock. Di is helping Sue, who is in the kayak.

Sat night saw us camping out and with a temperature at 0830 on Sunday morning of -7 I'm sure it must have been -10 during the night. Put it this way, the inner tent had ice crystals on the ceiling! Sunday, saw us return and do a lower section of the river Dee, working on forwards paddling and structured breaks, in more glorious sunshine, blue skies and no wind! Last two photos were taken by Sonja.

Just look at that reflection!

All in all a super weekend, even if I say it my self! Really impressed with the team work, openness, ideas and suggestions on different ways of trying something. May this continue. Thanks to Sonja for finding us and picking us up at short notice, when the ice wouldn't let us get any further out of Chester! and for shuttling us about over the weekend.

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