Sunday, January 01, 2012

Festive Paddling

Boxing Day is the traditional day of sport and exercise that follows the fluid and food fueled festival of Christmas.

Kirstine and I joined in the annual Boxing Day paddle organised by Manchester Canoe Club on the River Goyt at Marple.

For competetive types, this event for part of the white water racing calender. For the rest it is simply a leisurely cruise down a couple of miles of scenic and sporty grade 2 river. After all the fun and games on the river we all assembled at the clubhouse for mince pies, tea and tall stories.

Back at home, the playing fields have become very waterlogged following the recent wet and stormy weather. This has brought in flocks of black headed gulls that feed on worms that come to the surface to escape the depths of the sodden turf. This time the black headed gulls have been joined by a number of the less common 'common gulls'.

The recent wet and stormy weather has kept me away from the sea in recent weeks but I couldn't resist the temptation of a paddle on the Menai Straits on the last day of the year. An informal gathering was organised by local paddler John Willacy.

Some of the paddlers donned fancy dress in keeping with the festive spirit...

Menai Chicken...

Anglesey Penguin... (John Willacy collection)

Coastal Gorilla...

Marauding Vikings... (John Willacy collection)

And... erm other worrying sea creatures?

Before heading home we all assembled in the Anglesey Arms at Menai Bridge for a farewell pint and to bid each other a' Happy New Year!' Thanks to John Willacy for organizing this festive get together and thanks to everyone else for their lovely company.

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