With only 5 days notice, 5 people signed-up for a trip down the River Mole from Brockham to Fetcham, which Dan organised.

While Paul and Maxine waited in the rain at the starting point for Dan, Len and Mark, who were dropping a car at the finishing point before joining them, Maxine did wonder if everyone else had a better long term weather forecast than her and had made the better choice of sleeping in on a bank holiday. Happily, the rain stopped before we got on the river, it was a really good trip, and it was just about hot by the end of the trip.

Having looked at the photos of the last River Mole trip, we expected we would need to weave through some trees, and we weren’t disappointed. Although Dan only had to use the saw once to cut a tree so we could go through.

R Mole Paul navigating trees

R Mole Mark Len navigating trees

We also had to limbo under some trees!

R Mole Mark Len under a tree

As the less experienced canoers, Len and Maxine started in the bow of the canoe, with Mark and Dan steering, respectively. However Len and Maxine weren’t told in advance that when we went over the weirs – that looked much higher as we approached it than the photo indicates(!) – only the bow person would get wet!

R Mole Mark Len coming down wei R Mole Mark Len a small weir

After the lunch break, Dan and Maxine swapped and Maxine was responsible for steering. As the Australian version of a spear is a boomerang [and Maxine is from Australia] , it shouldn’t have been a surprise that her idea of straight wasn’t exactly straight -while the official length of the trip was 10 miles, the inexperienced steering meant we would have travelled at least 11 miles…. A tip for other people learning to steer – it’s hard to go straight when you are chatting or looking at the riverbanks….

Christine met us at the finish point, as she lives nearby, so got to hear first hand of our adventures.

It was very peaceful going down a river between fields, without other boats on the river and I look forward to going down another stretch of the river.

Maxine       2nd May 2016