Monday, March 10, 2014

Making the most of it.

Topsham and Turf Locks on a 5 to 9 mission.

Well not exactly 5-9 more like 6-11 but the idea is the same. Get out of work and in to your boat (bike, board, insert other mode of transport here) and go a for a mini mission. The idea is to make the most of the few hours you have between work or even days off. You don't event need a whole weekend to have some fun.
See more about this over here: http://www.microadventures.org/

Just a short paddle, walk, cycle out of town and you can find yourself in some beautiful countryside and landscapes.
Here in Exeter we are blessed with the Exeter Ship Canal and River Exe right on our doorstep giving two easy ways to escape.
Then you also have the historic (and picturesque) village of Topsham and the Exe Estuary and Marshes which are internationally recognised for the birdlife and is a SSSI (site of special scientific interest).


So with out further ado we loaded boats after work on Saturday and set off in the dusky light on the canal. (most of these photos are through an Aquapac so a little blurry and some are great)



 Leaving Exeter Quay on the canal. I love leaving and coming back in to the basin. All the boats moored up, some with wisps of smoke from wood burners on the live aboards, the climbing tower at Haven banks all light up on the way out and then coming back the rowing club and canoe club all busy on a Sunday morning with training sessions going on the cafes and bars doing a brisk Sunday breakfast trade in coffee and cake. mmmm cake....


 A refuelling stop at the Passage House pub in Topsham. This makes a perfect mid point stop as its easy to land using Mikes Ferry slipway. (as long as Mike isn't using it).  Not sure why they have a Torrington sign though.



 Post pub beers. Well, you can't have too many and then get back in your boat for the short paddle across the estuary to the bivi spot.


 And what a spot. A perfectly sheltered flat bivi spot right next to the water. This is my little set up, no pegs just ropes. Fortunately plenty of things to tie off on. A good collection of "sports hydration drinks" as well.



 Max's spot. He's just picked up an Exped hammock .   Combo that with a tarp for a very comfy sleeping arrangement. me, jealous, no....

                                      
 The start of another beautiful day.

 Early morning mist burning off as the sun comes up. Full of song bird








 Launching back into the Exe at Topsham Lock cottage (in the background).

 Mikes ferry boat.



Topsham, off down to the Turf Locks for the return journey. At this point my memrory card was full but the remainder of the trip back up the canal was done in short sleeves dodging rowing boats and fishing lines and the buzz of a sunny day with family's out for walks, fair weather runners and cyclists all enjoying themselves. All done by 11 am with a full day left to enjoy.

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