Simon, our instructor, supported by another experienced canoeist, Jo, took us to the Neath Canal on Friday to gain experience on doing a longer journey in a choice of kayaks or canoes. We had a wide range of ages, from young, Thomas and Seren, to a fair bit older.
It started off uneventfully, as we set off from the basin at Clyne and paddled down, carrying the boats through two locks. We stopped for lunch and Simon set up a water heater, Bear Grylls style and Gill as always, proving that there is no catering challenge too hard for her bought along her usual supplies of refreshments, supplemented by Joanne and then it time to get back in the water, with Michelle pretending she was on a Venetian canal.
The after lunch section was more eventful. Simon strapped two canoes together to make a very stable raft, which was able to take up to six people. Gordon serenaded us with ‘Running Bear’ as he paddled it along.
There were several trees across the canal, and with the help of Simon all the boats got through underneath them somehow. Some people laid flat and went under the trees with their boat, while others climbed over the trees while the canoes went underneath and dropped back in. David, as the most experienced kayker followed up the rear with John to ensure that everyone was safe and no one went missing in the trees.
At the next lock, all was going well, until Thomas fell in the canal getting out of his canoe. Not to be outdone, Martin then fell in trying to get in his kayak Martin, Not to be outdone, Gareth also fell in. We managed tog et some photos of Gareth, although they may be out of focus as we were all laughing so much. As you can see by Jo and Chris in the boat alongside.
They all bravely got back in, dripping wet, and we carried on to the Aberdulais basin. Where Gareth dried himself off and kindly posed to a fashion shot.
We all had a fabulous time and would like to thank Simon and Jo for their help and patience with us all.