With more than 20 paddlers signed up, CANI’s first rec paddle of the year got off to a good, if slightly chilly start.
As usual there was a varied range of paddlers, abilities and ages with youngest participant just four years old while the eldest was… over 21.
It was nice to have the benefit of starting on this section of the Bann with the levels being higher than expected thanks to some rain the day before.
This meant there was little or no effort needed for the first few hundred meters as the flow made sure we all chugged along at a nice pace. Although it was nice to start of this way, it meant the final stretch of the day’s paddle would be a little more work.
The route started on the River Bann just a few miles downstream from Gilford and continued until the confluence where the Bann, Cusher and Newry canals converge. The next leg of the journey would take us up the canal before we pulled into Moneypenny’s Lock for lunch.
As luck would have it, we arrived to see a blacksmithing lesson being hammered out at the old museum on the site. Participants were making a variety of metalwork pieces including candle holders and wall hangings.
After lunch and a short portage, we started the final leg of the journey on the Cusher for a short if slightly strenuous paddle upstream to the take out.
The paddle was a great success and as ever, thanks to all those who helped out with the paddle and hope to see you back on the water later this year.