The river Chelmer - discribed as a nice little flatwater paddle with 5 weirs. Early give aways should have been taken a bit more seriously as the locals pointed out the river flooded err yesterday. Whilst the shuttle tried to find a dry road we had tea and cake and got caught for the licence fee. Oh and contempleted the first weir. After some stretching and suggestions for some summer fun (hydrozorbing and stand up paddling anyone?) Jay talked us through the 1st drop. This went pretty well until I went down, over and swimming, almost managed the t-rescue really.
Anyway we all paddled down to the second weir and things got a bit more 'fun'. 3 down and Mike takes it all a bit too relaxed leaving his boat in the stopper for Keith to livebait out. OK we'll all still keen to go and paddle! paddle! paddle! Me next this one didn't go well either so after Jay had pulled me out and Keith got my boat back and Charlotte got retrived from a nice tree the rest proceeded down. One though, two though, Rich not though. Patrick's turn at boat fishing, very nicely done. So three swimmers and an hour later we paddled down to the next weir.
This one has a limbo so Rob got on to the bridge to help us through. Quite a lot of umming and ahing going on here. But the limbo isn't as low as it looks and Jay makes it down. Keith next to join the swimming club and oddly enough no-one seems to want to try it now. Nice spot for lunch though. Which leaves everyone rested for the portage though the waterfilled ditch and down the very muddy field to get round the trees.
Some tree dodging leads us to the next drop which everyone runs ok and onto the next weir. This time quite a few of us portaged round and watched the action from the safety of the bank. No dramas here but there's trees coming up and we're running late. The group get through the first few bits but the current is getting strong and the trees closer together. While we are waiting for the go signal it all goes a bit more pear shaped and Chris loses her boat and paddle. Everyone out and portage this bit hopefully we can get to the get out from here. At the last weir Jay checks for the lost boat but its hiding somewhere else and the light is fading. The last part was paddled in the dark followed by loading the boats and collecting car from the start before we all went for a well earned post paddle pub visit.
Final hiccup of the day the pub had no hot drinks but Chris did have some lovely banofee and chocolate muffins to celebrate Mike's and Dee's birthdays. We arrived back 4 hours late with all paddlers intact. Even though this was Charlotte's first trip we failed to put her off and she's going to bring a friend next time! Although we'd prefer the other Chelmer (carnage free) next time, when are we going back ?
Statistics of the Day
In joint first place with no swims or rescues
Adrian, Ali and Dee
In joint fourth t-rescue only
Jay, Patrick and Rob
Seventh - you swam
Last - twice!!!