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Chester Weir Paddle Last Wednesday by Penny O’Hare

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Chester Weir Paddle Last Wednesday by Penny O’Hare

I was very excited to go on my first trip away from the docks with the club on Wednesday evening. I wanted to push myself a little further and try a little white water. Keith very kindly helped me get there by car sharing as my car doesn’t have a roof rack.

We joined the river at Sandy Lane, Chester which has a large free carpark (4 hours free) with the weir not too far downstream. It was a beautiful paddle along with my first challenge of trying to keep the smaller white-water boat straight (It was my first time in this type of boat as I had normally been in a longer touring or sea kayak).

The weir was stunning, but the noise of the water pouring over the lip was very daunting. I was very nervous and cautious but was supportive by the group to still try the slide over the main weir first which was great. I then got use to the movement of the water in the tail below the weir. I soon became much happier with the balance of the boat by paddling into the moving water and trying different manoeuvres. (Breaking in and out and the ferry glide)

To get our boats out and back to the top of the weir we had a very creative group scramble up the bank and hoisted the boats up the bank, great fun. I eventually managed to gain enough confidence to paddle down the weir steps and not fall out! It was nerve racking, but I was so pleased I achieved it. I felt encouraged and knew there would be someone there immediately if I did get stuck.

Everyone in the group was so friendly and helpful. As we were all enjoying ourselves so much, we even enjoyed our return paddle in the dark with all the lights from the houses surrounding the stretch of river, which just finished the evening off perfectly.

Thanks to Keith for looking after me and to everyone who went and made me feel so welcome, very much appreciated.