Richard Claus

On the one hand you could spend the shortest day of the year moping about shovelling in the pies and chocolates and then feeling guilty (but then having ‘just one more’), on the other you can join in with probably the motliest band of motley kayakers ever to gather together in South West England, for a legendary paddle down the Tamar.

Fifteen kayakers  distributed between one canoe and twelve kayaks…one double and seven single sit-on-tops and four sit-ins. Christmas hats and a goofy look were the order of the day.

Austen issues some paddling tips
Hector and Eric are the picture of concentration. Richard isn't

Age range was from upper fifties , and the healthy sense of caution that goes with it, down to the tender age of twelve and the anarchical disrespect and astounding paddling skills that go with no sense of fear at all, and spending an awful lot of time on the water.

Jack and Josh. Fools....possibly. Future World Surf Kayak Champions...probably.

 As the convoy headed downstream the leading boat saw an otter but with a general noise level that would have done justice to a Motorhead concert the only thing I saw was a Kingfisher flying away…fast.


O.K. Malibu 2....probably the most popular Sit-on-top in the world

 We came to the BIG weir and the more cautious portaged while the more confident shot. Not the age split that you might have thought. Yes the boys went down like newts in a pond….but so did some of the more wizened. Like Jeremy:

Jeremy guns it. The Scrote looks on

 Josh was completely absorbed by a maelstrom of foam…..

Josh thumps the stopper

 so Tim and Harry could not turn down the challenge despite almost certainly messing up their carefully contrived ‘One Direction’ haircuts.

Tim and Harry take the plunge

 Time for a tea break at the stunning little beach below the cliff.

Take a breather

Kevin and Bob sport their camouflage gear.

Kevin and Bob

 The post tea-break session continued with thrills and a few spills over the next series of weirs. Jeremy demonstrates the concentration and commitment required:

Exemplary technique

 Team leader Dr. Dave kept his Christmas hat firmly in place till only half a mile from the end when it was consigned to the depths.

Dave…bemused. Tim and Harry….amused. Scrote….confused

And so the gloombuster paddle came to an end and the cold and damp (some a lot damper than others) retired to the obliging pub at Chipshop for chips and pavlova.

Happy to slob it now till Christmas is over. 


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