Hello, my name is Mal Tabb.
Thanks for visiting our web pages. Marion & I operate a small outdoor activity organisation called Canoes, Mountains & Caves. We provide activities for: adults, young people, schools, charities, families & individuals. A key aspect of our work is the provision of a "Community Programme" which is offered free of charge to participants. If you think we might be able to help please don't hesitate to contact us, you can find out more about what we do on our main website www.canoesmountainscaves.com

Monday, 1 September 2014

The Song of The Paddle



Upon moving to Cumbria, nine years ago, as a very enthusiastic open canoeist the open canoeing sadly became a seldom practised art. Caves; mine exploration; fell running but more than anything the rigours of managing a large Christian Residential & Outdoor Activity Centre took over. The open canoeing has been largely on hold, until this summer where there has been a marked resurgence with many days spent afloat in the Lake District; North East & North Wales - this is a good thing! I would even venture as far as saying that this weekend whilst on a short "micro-expedition" I began to hear the Song of the Paddle again for the first time in all those years. I do love and wholeheartedly agree with this quote from Bill Mason:

"Some people hear the song in the quiet mist of a cold morning; others hear it in the middle of a roaring rapids. Sometimes the excitement drowns out the song. The thrills become all that matter as we seek one rapid after another. Sleeping, eating and living outdoors become something we do between rapids. But for other people the song is loudest in the evening when they are sitting in front of the tent, basking in the camp fire's warmth. This is when I hear it loudest, after I have paddled and portaged for many miles to some distant, hidden place."

Our miniature expedition this weekend contained many of the elements of the "perfect" open canoe journey: Fine weather; open water; a river; an overnight camp; campfires; outdoor cooking; sleeping under tarps and whilst there are many pleasures in solo open canoeing the company of good friends is an equally special ingredient.

Plans for the next journey are already in hand, river trips for the autumn are in the diary and thoughts of a big trip in the far north next Spring are slowly fermenting in the mind. Hope you enjoy the photos & are inspired by thoughts of journeying in the outdoors using this unique vehicle.

Thanks to Adrian Wintle for the "header photo" to this post.







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