With the meanders temporarily out of use this weekend we relocated to alternate water and hosted a club paddle on the River Rother for a paddle up to Bodiam Castle, Sunday 22nd August 2020.
Our mixed fleet of CVCC paddlers set off from Bodiam Boating Station for a tranquil journey through the High Weald to National Trust’s Bodiam Castle. This section of river is locked at Scott’s Sluice just outside Rye so has no current, making it an easy paddle, although the wind had us work a little harder on the way to the castle, but enjoyably gave us a bit of a lift on our return journey.
In total we covered 7.2 miles of paddling with some taking the opportunity to practice a few skills on the way. An interesting exercise was paddling with eyes shut for 10 strokes and then seeing how straight you had managed to keep the boat.
Lunch was a picnic on the bank by Bodiam Castle – with some testing of Steve D’s new rescue shelter to provide the entertainment. Those who tried it were happy to confirm it warmed up very quickly inside!
It was a picturesque paddle; yellow water lilies bobbing on the water, banks covered in pink and white flowers and a good view of the owl-nesting boxes erected in the fields alongside the banks of the river. I was fortunate that while up at the front I spotted one of the resident kingfishers, a quick flash of blue catching my eye as it flew off in front of me.
The dark cloud threatened to soak us on the return journey but held off long enough for us to get back, load up cars and enjoy either a pint or a tea/coffee at the boating station cafe. A very agreeable way to end a good days paddle.
If there is somewhere you would like to paddle please let us know as we are always keen to run club trips in-line with members’ interests.