Joining my dad’s canoe club late on a Saturday night in Devon, my head hit the bunk excited for a Sunday of kayaking on the River Barle. The last time I had been kayaking was with my dad on another one of his trips when I was about 12 years old. It was going to be quite the crash course back on to the river.
Just after I launched my boat I was turning into the fast flow of running water and rolled over, the November chill took my breathe and I pulled out of my deck and up to the surface. It didn’t scare me, if anything I was more relaxed once I’d been in.
It took me a while to get used to the rapids, the waters tugged and rocked at my boat as I heard my dad shouting ‘paddle’ ‘paddle’, I lent my weight into my paddle and enjoyed being rushed down the river.
For a couple of hours we bounced through the rapids with the odd break of calmer water where we steadily floated along with the current. It was the perfect mix of excitement and time to appreciate the beautiful surroundings the river cut through. Just before our exit from the water and the warm and welcoming call of the pub the Barle flowed into the River Exe.