Wednesday, 22 January 2014
Came in second - couldn't quite unwind the handicap of Margeret Huyton, but no-one overtook me. Did an extra mile and half going to and from Clarke Lane. Pretty cold on my hands for the first half - perhaps should have worn pogies.
Friday, 3 January 2014
I've been meaning to paddle the Goyt for a long time, and finally got around to it as a chance to burn off some turkey and my mum's Christmas puddings!
Despite the wild weather over the holidays, the river was at a normal winter level (0.55 on the gauge?). At this level it is a bit bumpy in places on the more stony rapids but still interesting with some fun drops over the weirs.
I paddled with half a dozen kayakers plus an open canoe from Macclesfield Canoe Club. The sun was shining and it was surprisingly pleasant as we put in at Roman Lakes. A number of small rapids led to the first major interest point, the drop at Marple Bridge. We shot this on the left, with one of our party taking a swim. While he was being re-united with his boat I thought it rude not to jump out and nip up to do it again, this time dropping over the middle (a more vertical drop - 2.5 feet? - compared to route on the left that gives a more defined shoot).
We passed on through Brabyn's Park and the next weir, which has three slopes divided by vertical walls. I shot the middle slot which had a stopper, while most of the others scraped over the left hand side.
The next weir is horseshoe shaped and can be dangerous, so most of our group portaged it, but a couple of us shot it towards the left hand side.
A number of small rapids continued the interest, some with small waves or features to play in as we made our way down to the Manchester Canoe Club site and the slalom course. We had another couple of swimmers at, or just below, the abrupt left hand turn just below the club house.
It was starting to cool off now, and the last bit of excitement was the broken weir as we entered Chadkirk park. A new bridge straddles the remains of what used to be a 3ft sloping weir. This has mainly been washed away, leaving wooden stakes that the unwary could be pinned to. With a bit of care these can be negotiated and just below the ruined weir is a shelf that was kicking up a very friendly surfing wave that provided some sport before we continued onto our egress point, near the Country Park car park by the A627.
An entertaining trip and only 30 minutes drive away, giving a paddle of about 7.25km.