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Peter goes for a ‘paddle’

The sun was shinning above us for a glorious day on the Basingstoke Canal. Starting from the car park near the Barley Mow pub in Winchfield, passing Odiham Castle and up to the collapsed Greywell tunnel.

There were reports of 50 fallen trees blown down by last weekends storm but they had all been cleared away so we had an easy navigation.

Phil & Dan were in a canoe. Andrew and Norma in a K2, Richard, Peter and Stuart in Tercel’s and myself in a Cirrus for the first time.

There was a a slight battle going on under the footbridge near Odiham Castle with Peter. Unfortunately the bridge won and Peter ended up in the canal complete with a full audience from above. One lady quoting from the bridge ‘oh no I missed him falling in ha ha!!’

Everyone except Peter carried on up through the weeds, shallows and sparkling water to the mouth of the Greywell Tunnel. The foliage in this part of the canal was amazing. It got very thick in some parts with our boats scraping above. Phil and Dan decided to go into the mouth of the tunnel and got their canoe stuck, doh!

The day got quite warm. Even Richard had to stop on the way back to get out of his kayak to peal off some clothing. I enjoyed the topless guy riding his bike! Rare bread at this time of year! The other highlight was seeing a foot long dead bream floating belly up!

In total we did 10 miles and everyone but Norma, who had to dash back, stayed on for a rightly deserved lunch in The Barley Mow.

Jenny John Chuan

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