bunn: (canoeing)
On Friday evening, we decided to set off from Saltash and go downstream.  The nice thing about launching from Saltash is that it's practically seaside down there, so the water is clear and salt and the bottom is all sandy and there is no mud!  The slightly alarming thing is that the river is wide down there, so it can get a bit windy, and there are a lot of boats.  If you go down towards Plymouth, there are frigates and submarines, too.   I find  being in a canoe and sharing a river with a frigate a bit alarming!

 But fortunately there were not many boats moving on a Friday evening, and all of them were tiny.  The wind was quite calm too, so we crossed the Tamar just downstream of the railway bridge, went downstream and found ourselves outside the naval dockyard.  We weren't sure quite how close to it we were supposed to paddle, so we crossed the river to the Cornwall side again, which was much less daunting.

I forgot to bring the SD card for my camera, so you'll have to imagine the three egrets, the heron and the oyster-catchers, and the deep clear green water under the trees leaning down from the rocky shoreline.    We went downstream a little, then went around into a cove, where we saw a labrador sitting sadly by the river waiting for its person to stop doing other things and throw a ball into the water.  The labrador's person told us that the village was called Wilcove.   I've never been there before, so we paddled in to have a look, and found that it had a pub, and a driveway going behind the pub that was currently underwater.  I liked seeing the cars parked as far up as they could go, unable to escape until the tide went down.
bunn: (canoeing)
I think these are from a couple of canoe wanderings.  This was the day that we arrived a little later than planned and found that there was a lot of high tide to go around!   That granite lump is actually a bollard on top of the quay, and behind it is a bench for people to sit on.  It was hard to tell where the river began!
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bunn: (canoeing)
We meant to go out on the river on Friday evening, but misread the tide times.
We meant to go out on the river on Saturday, but the skies were black, the rain fell, the wind blew and the storm warnings warned dolefully.
We meant to go out on the river today, and made it!
Halton Quay is a very convenient quay in some ways: it's easy to get to, has plenty of parking and is used almost entirely by fishermen and canoeists, so it's not too busy.  Unfortunately the other thing is has in generous quantities is MUD.

Not too bad on the way out, because we arrived not long before high tide.   The tide and the wind together helpfully wafted us up the river, listening to the sound of the wind in the reeds.  I love that noise.  It reminds me of childhood holidays in the Norfolk Broads.

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bunn: (canoeing)
It was a cloudy day when we set off, but not too windy, which is good, because the river is wide at Weir Quay, and it's down at the point where the river starts to feel like it's turning into sea.   We decided to go up-river, and found that the mud-bank on the far side of the bend at Weir Quay goes out a long way!  It didn't matter, since the canoe needs very little water, but we had to paddle cautiously.

Turn the corner, and  the sun was starting to show through the clouds as we came up to the Pentillie estate.   Someone had noticed the sunbeams and had climbed out of the river to sunbathe...Read more... )
bunn: (canoeing)
It's getting a bit cold, and the weather a bit erratic for canoeing. We tried to go out on Thursday but got rained off.  But on Friday the sun shone!  I wanted to have a go at fiddling around using different camera lenses, so we kidnapped my sister who is temporarily in the UK,  and made her paddle.

See how we charged out into the river, leaving a wake behind us!
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bunn: (canoeing)
Today we bunked off and went to Wacker Quay, to paddle up the river Lynher.  We tried to paddle the Lynher from Saltash before, but the wind and the current down at the mouth of the river defeated us.  So we thought we would try launching higher up.  It was pretty tranquil up there.

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bunn: (canoeing)
We really should have stayed home today, cleaned the house, sorted the garden and other similar chores sadly overdue.  But the weather forecast was hopeful, and the tides were right, so we abandoned our dusty house and overgrown garden and ran away in the canoe instead.

Still haven't quite got this tide thing down.  We set off up the Tamar on a rising tide, but it turned before we would ideally have liked, and we ended up paddling very slowly upriver,  against the current, the wind and the tide starting to go out again.  

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bunn: (canoeing)
And it turns out that if you canoe upstream when the tide is coming in, you can travel a surprising distance before the light goes, and then, if the tide is still coming in, it can be rather hard work to make your way back down to the slipway where you launched.  And putting the canoe back on top of the car in darkness is a bit of a fiddle.

On the other hand, you get to see the sunset, the twilight, the moon-reflections and the bats, and hear the owls calling across the river.

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bunn: (Skagos)
We went canoeing from Weir Quay the other day, but the light was not very good for taking photos.  There's a nice slipway and it's not too muddy.  We saw some egrets.  That's about it really.

Then today we went to Saltash, which was a bit daring of us: so far we have only gone out on the upper river, but Saltash is very nearly the seaside, down where there are speedboats and warships.  The seaside bit means that you can launch at low tide without getting completely covered in mud, but sharing the water with so many other watercraft is a little alarming.

Pp looking very intrepid, about to set off:

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bunn: (Skagos)
At Halton quay, there is very little, apart from this very small chapel, which claims to commemorate St Indract and his sister St Dominica, saints and Irish royalty, who arrived in Cornwall in 689AD. Very little of note has happened since this very firm and established event, is the impression you get from the sign.   Wikipedia, on the other hand, seems very reluctant to even admit St Indract was alive in 689AD, so who knows.

Supposedly, they brought Christianity to the pagan Cornish, although I'm not entirely sure why the Cornish are considered to be pagan at this point, since presumably Cornwall converted to Christianity along with the rest of the Roman Empire via the Edict of Thessalonica in 380AD.  But perhaps there were backsliders. Or if St Indract has slipped through Cornish history by two or three hundred years, in the slippery manner common to obscure saints, it may be that the pagans who martyred him were Anglo Saxons and not Cornish at all.  But that would mean this chapel is on the wrong bank of the Tamar, which surely cannot be true.  Look at it standing there, quite convinced it is in the right place.


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September 2017

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