Dittons Paddle Boarding
Activity - Safari

Rowbarge to Newbury Tea – A Paddle Boarding Safari

Brett Scillitoe – 27 June 2022

How quickly a year passes. High Summer is the time to visit the Avon and Kennet Canal. We are making our way west towards Bath and Bristol. This year’s section was from The Rowbarge at Woolhampton to Newbury, The County Town of Berkshire.

The weather was a little challenging with a strong South Westerly breeze blowing. This meant that the number of paddlers was down not a normal Safari. However Paul wasn’t going to let the wind stop him getting a good supply of Vitamin D!

Most of the canal is in fact sheltered from the worst effects of the wind with trees giving protect. Just occasionally we had to paddle efficiently and make sure every paddle counted.

Paddling into the wind

The sun shone and it was fun going. We occasionally to a break to rest and enjoy the conditions.

After about 3 hours, having passes Thatcham we arrived in Newbury and had a look around some of the little backwaters. We got chased out of one private back water by a please lady asking us politely and her 3 big dogs, who made it clear, we shouldn’t be there 😂

After exploring the central area of Newbury, we stopped at the lovely Teashop By The Canal for amazing sandwiches and cakes.

After lunch it was time to head back and this time with the wind and stream in our favour. We saw a Terrapene by a lock and met Di who had come for a paddle in the afternoon. Then Emma Lost her fin as she lowered her board into the canal at a portage point. Time to improvise and we lashed her Quroc board to Di’s and then the fun just increased and they tried to sail the raft home or splash others. So many laughs. Hopefully Quroc will return her repaired board very soon.

Ewa and Di trying to sail the 2 Quroc boards. Di’s face tells how much luck they had.

We cover 14 mile in 8 hours, had hundreds of laughs and got chased by 3 dogs. Not forgetting the 5 beers and food we had at the Rowbarge on our return.

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