Canoeing on the River Dee

Martin and I at the start of the trip

On Wednesday, I met up with my good friends and fellow outdoor instructors Martin Digby and Matt Craig for a paddle on the River Dee.

We started our trip from Glyndyfrdwy and made up challenges such as coming into eddies backwards, standing up when paddling rapids, trying to make the small eddies behind rocks and of course trying to push each other out of eddies or off waves. After a few grade 1 and two rapids we soon arrived at the Horseshoe Weir and grinning like Cheshire Cats.

Matt on the Serpents Tail

Between here and Llangollen the rapids become a little more serious (Grade 2, 3 or 4) and it was now time to concentrate on the paddling. We used the ‘Chicken Shoot’ to bypass the weir and avoid portaging soon arrived at the Chainbridge Rapid, which we shoot with ease. The next rapid is the Serpents Tail (Grade 3 or 4) which Martin and I negotiated with ease but Matt came off a bit worse for wear and ended up swimming as he dropped into the stopper on the tail. Not put off in the slightest he emptied his boat and on the second attempt run it with ease.

Between here and our get out (Mile End Mill Site) there are a number of easy Grade 2 / 3 rapids that need to be negotiated, which we all run with ease and then it was time to get off and to use Matt’s catch phrase find a suitable venue for tea and medals.

Thanks lads for a great days paddling.

If you’re interested in reading Martin’s side of the story, have a look his blog entry about our day out.


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