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Chelmer starts off 2024

The River Chelmer was the venue for the first club paddle of the year.   So far the weather has not been on our side, either too much rain or too much wind, but today eight of us ventured out onto the Chelmer for a one way float from Papermill Lock to Beeleigh with the rapid current.

After shuttling, or shuffling some cars we all set off from Papermill on a chilly Sunday morning.   The river was high following the rain of the previous couple of days, this certainly made the portages easier, no big climbs to get in or out of boats.

The first lock we arrived at was Rushes, a weir that in normal times we’d go over and mess about at the bottom.   Not today, knowing it can have a big towback we chose to get out and have a look first,  it may look like fun to some, but not for us, we stayed well clear of that today, apart from throwing some sticks in to see the power of the towback.

Further down at Hoe Mill we had a look at the bottom of the weirs, the water was very bubbly and confused, no real waves to sit in, but we did do a bit of ferry glide practice.

Rebecca developed a new technique of seal launching,  rest the front of your boat on somebody elses while getting in it, this was better than the other attempt which was to seal launch her boat before she had got in it 🙂

Ricketts Lock was nice and full, it was just about possible to paddle up onto the bank to portage,  then we were nearly there, although maybe a little play at the bottom of the lock.

Smiley faces all round,  it was a good trip and eventually everyone was reunited with their car keys and their cars.

Thanks to the coaches for running the trip.