• Shaun Monkman

River Tees, Cotherstone to Barnard Castle

Written by Cian Murray, age 14

My report includes a Yay for Cian no swims!

It was an early start to our Saturday, with a clear bright blue sky. The journey for us was two-and three-quarter hours with no hiccups or traffic, we sailed through. As we turned off the A1M, the scenery was so pretty. Scott had kindly sent us navigational instructions and as we came into Barnard Castle we concentrated on where our meeting point was, we think we arrived at our destination(?).


Is this the right place? Yes (Phew) - we saw Tony and Anne, Nathan arrived shortly after, and then we waited for the minibus. Who, as we found out, had been to Greggs, well, once you know that, you instantly want a steak bake!


It was a long way and a bit of a wait, but I was still raring to go, yet a little bit nervous as this was a trip that had been previously cancelled (due to weather conditions). So, here we are with our boats unloaded. Everyone was almost ready, aside from the King of Faff – AKA Dean (Jon told me that :)...


As the trip started, we took our boats to the edge of the river, and mischief began - somehow a Very new boat mysteriously found its way to a small island?? (Where its owner could not reach)

At last, we were on the water where we had a short warm up, it was rocky and some parts were faster moving than I had done before, but I started to get the hang of it, a couple of rapids in, and bits of practice in-between (ferry gliding / ‘s’ turns, surfing) I felt more at ease.


I had some great support around me (I knew that at the start of the day), Tony, Sophie, Dean, Clive and Fay were all encouraging me in the early part of the day to try and keep trying.


Mid-way through the trip, going through rapids, I hit a small rock and a wave of water washed over me and the boat – I kept paddling and came out of it OK. It certainly woke me up!


The scenery was so beautiful, and I was enjoying the rapids more than I thought I would. I felt great after the weir at the end, although it wasn’t a big weir, I was by then feeling a bit tired.


At the latter stages of the trip I started to ache, so after the last rapid we did ‘feet out to take out’ to get the circulation back in my legs, which I was glad of.


I am so grateful to the brilliant people around me; Dean, Sophie, Anne, Tony, Scott, Fay, Nathan, Jon, Clive, Niamh & Sean, your encouragement kept me going and it made for an awesome day, still smiling at the end – I loved it, so thank you!


I wish we could have joined you for chips in Barney...


My report includes a “yay for Cian no swims”. I felt really pleased with myself having done this trip, which I think was a step up for me. I’m now ready for the next step............. Thank you again!

Cian



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