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A perfect easy paddle! OR Cows go Canoeing by Mike A

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A perfect easy paddle! OR Cows go Canoeing

WOW! What a fabulous paddle on the Dee from Farndon to Eccleston Ferry.

As promised, the weather was glorious as all paddlers arrived over 30 min early at the get in for the 9 mile flat water paddle to Eccleston. Shuttle finalised, we set off under clear blue skies on flat calm waters. It was literally perfect.

This section at the right levels, as today was, provides a perfect day trip for any canoeist – even those whom have done very little (or non if paired with a suitable tandem partner) paddling. Today we were a group of 3 boats, myself and Keith solo, Andy and Emma tandem.

The old bridge at Farndon

Pretty soon we were cruising through the fields and past the off grid community that inhabits this section of the river. Sadly no kingfishers were spotted today, but we had a pleasant encounter with a pair of swans.

Andy and Emma were practicing their skills, swapping places, trying J stokes and stern rudders, and just generally looking really comfortable at home on the water.

It was soon time for 11’s. All canoe trips have elevenses, and many have more than one! For a bit of entertainment, the river bank decided to be awkward at the get out – but we all stayed dry as we made our way to a very conveniently placed sitting log. Suncream applied, we tucked in to Andy’s home made fruit pies (which were amazing)!!!!!!

At this point we had a bit of excitement / danger / panic! A huge herd of cows suddenly appeared and headed right for us. They had obviously heard that canoeists were cool (Half the blade, twice the paddler and all that) so decided to join us for lunch.

We had a bit of excitement / danger / panic! A huge herd of cows suddenly appeared.

Farmer Andy shoed them away, some refused as they wanted to bask in the glory of being near canoeists, but many decided to head for the local drinking point in the river. Luckily we hadnt landed the canoes there! However, my boat was tied up afloat not too far away, and several HUGE GINORMOUS GIGANTIC cows decided that canoeing is such a great sport and they wanted to get in and have a go. Well, either have a go or lick the canoe to death.

After questioning the average weight of a cow, and weather my 15ft canoe could host three cows, Farmer Andy came to the rescue and shoed the cows away.

Given the cows desire to be part of the cool canoeing gang, which is understandable, we decided to leave them to the grass and head off. Yet again, we paddled under the blazing sun, gently assisted by a mild flow. All too soon we reached the Grosvenor estate, met some old friends who were introducing a very young person to their first paddling trip (a canoe and a fishing net on a bamboo stick gives hours of fun) and then paddled in to the end at Eccleston.

A fantastic trip, great for experienced and novice alike.

Keep your eyes open for more trips and come along!

Mike, Keith, Emma and Andy