Written by Penny Jones, aged 8 (with help from her mum)
This was my first time paddling with Whistler and Nathan in a canoe, so I was very happy and excited to be there. Usually I kayak, but this trip was too long for me at this time of night.
It wasn’t long before we got to the first weir (Mountsorrel), I was excited to go down it in that type of boat – it had a bridge over it and there was a barrier that we had to go round, which was tight, then we bumped down 3 steps. All the other paddlers went down first, then we followed in our canoe, with a little ‘hotch’ at the end we made it down without falling in (luckily, thanks to Nathan).
We paddled along some more, through some reeds. Whistler kept jumping in off the side, so each time he would swim a bit and then we would have to stop and pull him in back in, which made us be further at the back, but at least he got back in.
Nathan said to me “try and get through that hole Penny” (a tunnel in a bridge), so I did, it was very easy as I was walking not paddling, but it was fun.
When we got back to the group, Whistler climbed aboard Shaun’s kayak! He climbed to the front of our boat and onto Shaun’s. He got a very wet kiss.
At the next weir (Barrow) we had to walk down and drag our boat behind us, we had to be careful at the end step, so we didn’t fall in – I kept an eye on Whis. Because Whis was swimming a lot, the boat got filled with water, so we found land and Nath emptied. They played fetch in the water with Nath’s big canoe paddle whilst I was sorting my shoes out. Whis hit me with the paddle, NAUGHTY!!!
We paddled next to a few river houses and narrowboats and we saw a heron, swans and signets (one signet was riding on the mum, so cute).
When we got to Barrow, Andy had his paddle all the way in the water, I wondered what he was doing. They said that Mark’s GoPro had fallen off his kayak and sunk to the bottom of the river – Elliott said he would have swam down with a snorkel to get it if it was his.
We had to get out then as we couldn’t get through the lock and when we got to the other side I had to go for a wee. I decided to walk along the path for a bit, then we got to a field and Whistler kept jumping in and out and running along the side with me.
Then we had to get back in the boat and we paddled to the end.
Thank you to Nathan for paddling me, Whis for making me have even more fun and Shaun for leading our little group.