Flow Watersports Campaign – CANI Recreational Paddle Saturday 14th May 2016

13245375_10209615184160396_2892922447241217660_n     13151578_10209610385720438_1916895081240886912_n     gareth eva 3

CANI Recreational Paddle Newferry East to Church Island. 29 People and a dog turned up for a sunny recreational paddle into Lough Beg in County Antrim, led by some of the guys from Lisburn City Paddlers. The plan was to paddle from Newferry East to Church Island in the middle of Lough Beg, stop and have some lunch and return to Newferry.

Doing it this way meant that no shuttle was needed to be set up so we were quickly on the water and off on our journey. The ever Trigger happy Navarat was on hand to take photos of the journey (383 last count) to document the day for several first timers and several other more experienced.

The conditions were as close to perfect as you could ask for with glass like water on the outward journey. The forecast had been for some wind to come in, however as we paddled off as a group this looked an unlikely forecast as there was a bright sun in the sky and not a hint of a cloud to be seen. On the journey we looked for birds and other wildlife that makes Lough Beg such a special place.

We arrived at Church Island in good time and this made for a wonderful time for some lunch and a bit of exploration of the history seeped location. Some of the younger paddlers collected the fresh water clam shells from the shore as keepsakes of their journeys. We also took part in a Litter Pick to support Keep NI Beautiful promotion of the Coca Cola Coastal Clean Up campaign. A fire extinguisher was one of the least expected finds!

As we returned to our boats the wind arrived. Thankfully not enough wind to make the journey unpleasant but certainly enough to give a bit more of a work out to the otherwise very leisurely paddle. Coming back across the Lough lots of new friendships were formed, with lots of happy (and tired) paddlers returning to their cars for the onward journey.

If we could book weather for a future recreational paddle, I think I speak for everyone when I say more of the same please. A very pleasant day was spent on the water with a wonderful group of people.

Gareth Mahood.

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