By: Blonde Two

After a book delivery yesterday, I was so near to Dartmoor that I decided that it would be rude not to make a visit. The River Dart was looking so lovely that I didn’t make it up onto the actual moor, but rather stopped at Deeper Marsh for a (previously packed) cuppa and chocolate bar.

Deeper Marsh was looking marshy and indeed deeper than it usually does.

Deeper Marsh Mud

I spotted a pair of Mallards who obviously thoroughly approved of the marshy deepness and were demonstrating this by doing a bit of sprint-wing-cleaning (they are in this picture – honest!)

Deeper Marsh Trees

Down at the river there were paddlers (kayakers). I had been hoping there would be because I wanted some pictures of some. In a previous Blonde life, I was a paddler myself; in fact, I believe I still hold the Paignton Canoe Club record for the fastest white water capsize (3 seconds). Mr B2 and I have two kayaks stashed behind the garden shed (they make great homes for snails). We also still have two sons who both spend a lot of their time teaching youngsters to paddle.

Paddlers DM 2016 1

There were three distinct groups by the bottom rapid. All were learning about ‘breaking in’ (getting into the flow of the water) and ‘breaking out’ (getting back out of it again). There was also a bit of ‘ferry gliding’ going on (this involves facing upstream and using the force of the water to propel you across the river). In my case ‘ferry gliding’ often used to involve using the force of the water to prompt an inelegant and untimely swim! “Paddle! Paddle! Paddle!” by the way is what everybody else used to shout at me, most of the time.

It was the youngest group that I enjoyed watching the most. Three teenagers who clearly had some experience with moving water but were still a bit nervy. In charge of them was a young man about the age of my boys. He did an excellent job of demonstrating to, encouraging and praising the lads in his care. When he smiled his goodbye as they headed off downstream, I told him how much I had enjoyed watching his work.

It all made me wonder if I should have another go at paddling sometime!