For some time now I have been thinking about a book I want to write. Fiction rather than non this time. It involves canoeing up the river Wansbeck, the river that runs through my hometown. I have the plot laid out and have even written it down but can’t find a way into the story. I mentioned it in my list of things to do this year.
The plan is to undertake the journey at some time, in a canoe, or perhaps a kayak. I’m not sure of the difference. I am hoping this gives me the inspiration and experience that I need to get me going but I haven’t been paddling on a river since my early teens, which is a scarily long time ago.
To set me off, my eldest daughter and her husband bought me an estuary tour, not on the Wansbeck but on the Coquet, another fine river in the county. It was a Christmas present but we waited until the finer weather came along before taking the plunge (not literally). The tour involved an accompanied party that left from the boat house at Amble, went with the tide up the river to the wear past Warkworth and back down again once the tide turned.
As with all things, I was itching to get on as the instructors gave us the necessary safety briefing and notes on what to look out for, but I need not have worried, there was plenty of time to wear myself out on the water.
The first half an hour was very tiring and I nearly tipped the boat over a couple times, a frightening experience for a novice. My back was aching so badly that I had to pull over to the bank, get out and let one of the instructors check the kayak. It turned out that I wasn’t sitting in the boat properly and wasn’t using the footrests. A schoolboy error. Once back in the boat it became much more enjoyable.
The weather had been threatening all day but we were lucky with only some very fine rain until we got back in the car only for the heavens to open with thunder and lightning.
It was a very enjoyable way to spend a few hours on a summer evening, something that I plan to do again and a very good insight for my literary plans. I must admit that the top half of my body was on fire when I got home, due to the unusual muscular effort. I will need a bit more practice before going out again.
Trips can be booked from the Coquet Shorebase Trust and I highly recommend them.