Wednesday, 1st November 2000
Tyne Tour 2000 Written By Adam Brewster Nine of us went on the Tyne Tour this year; Jamie, Jes, Anneka, Adam, John, Chris, Richard, Rachael and Steve.
The water was lower than last year, I think the release from Keilder reservoir was held back to reduce any problems lower down the river. We saw several large salmon jumping near the weir at Hexham and we were tempted to play at the weir during the weekend, but thought better of it. We paddled the lower section of the South Tyne on Saturday from Haydon Bridge to Hexham - it had a few play spots, waves and opportunities to break in and out of the current behind the rocks. It was a cool start followed by great weather for paddling.
We tried to paddle up-stream to a small riffle at the start to warm up; less than half of us reached it. Later in the morning Steve took an early dip and was T-rescued. Anneka and I paddled my new Interlude open; our first moving water tour in an open, we made the most of it but managed to stay upright.
Our lunch stop was taken under an over-hang carved out of the bank by the river, and if it had been raining would have made a great shelter; the roots of the trees made a latticed ceiling and the floor was sand, which was fairly dry.
There was an interesting lecture and slide show on the Saturday night - New Zealand, Turkey, Iceland - serious stuff, followed by the Ceilidh (pronounced Kaylee), most of the group joined in with the dancing and somehow followed the steps given by the caller.
Usually over 300 paddlers attend the weekend, but floods nationally reduced the turnout and the campsite was quieter than in previous years.
On Sunday we went on the North Tyne from Barresford to Hexham with a brief break taken at the Roman ruins, then on to Wardens Gorge. Plenty of play-spots on this section, but nothing too serious until the Gorge, which cannot be portaged or inspected due to access restrictions, although Hexham Canoe Club provides excellent safety cover.
Anneka and I swam big-time from the top of Wardens Gorge after shipping a huge wave of water - the boat now has an 18-inch crease up the side!
We caught a throw line and after swinging into an eddy, used my line attach to the boat to swing it in as well.
A great weekend enjoyed by all, and well worth repeating.