The CANI recreational paddle weekend started off with a 10mile paddle from Carrybridge on Upper Lough Erne and making its way to Enniskillen along the meandering River Erne where it winds its way around the drumlin hills with splendid views of the mountains of Cuilcagh and Toppid on the way. The conditions where a little breezy with the odd shower and bright spells. First stop was Cleenish Island, have a snack and quick look at the remains of the old monastery, and then on to meet the Get Wet Be Active flotilla event organised by SportNI at Bellanaleck.
This was a mix of craft, from the traditional currach from Row the Erne club, with other skiffs from Down Coastal Rowing, Belfast rowing club and supersized SUP with a group from Tollymore OEC on board. The pace was easy going and it was a great celebration of water sport activity with some good banter between these different groups on the way. With the wind picking up down the Killyhevlin straight, this was opportunity for some to improvise putting out sails on the open boats and SUP board to make the most of the gusts.
Arriving at the Erne Paddlers base at Castle Island, it was time to set up camp, have something to eat, though for a few that meant going off to the Chinese. After a paddle around the island town of Enniskillen, then it was to time to have a few toasted marshmallows and a few yarns around the fire pit and plan the day ahead. Sunday morning started bright and sunny, the wind still blowing but it was off to Devenish Island to see the tower and ancient remains of the church and monastery before returning back to Castle Island to end the weekend and say good bye to new paddling friends.
Trevor Foster Erne Paddlers