Monday, August 16, 2010

Canoeing the Rivers Rye & Derwent (North Yorkshire)

Dropped off at Newham Bridge a few miles NW of Malton on the R.Rye. The river is narrow and I soon encountered the first of a handful of log jambs which had to be negotiated. This section of the Rye contains several simple rapids. But the biggest challenge was avoiding the many sheep drowned in the winter due to flooding. There's no way around this. Through Malton. Not pleasant but no one noticed!! An hours paddling took me to Jeffry Bog a couple of meadows managed by Yorkshire Wildlife trust and absolutely packed with many species of grasses, flowers and awash with common blue butterflies. I decide to camp just downstream. No tent, just the canoe, a karrimat and my fishing gear. Its a warm evening and as darkness approaches I notice a ripple advancing towards me from close to my side of the bank. I knew this was no bird and keeping as still as possible a pair of otters came and swam in front of me, one of which approached to within several feet to see what I was. I woke early the next morning to be greeted by this young bullock.. My arms were still sore after some neck and shoulder injury so I decided I wouldn't paddle much further that day. Another night was spent further upstream and I discovered a family of otters playing in a tiny feeder stream. One of the many moorhens nests along the banks side. (To be continued)

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