Four part harmony

I haven’t been out in my kayak for a few weeks, but with a day that saw heavy mist clear into beautiful sunshine, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get out on the water. More to the point, I wanted to try out a couple of extra items of kit – a large rucksack that takes my Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame inflatable kayak along with all the other equipment, and a paddle which breaks down into four sections so it too can be stowed in the rucksack.

The plan is at some point to try a few longer linear trips using public transport for the return journey. My first one is likely to be from Norwich down the Rivers Wensum and Yare to Cantley, around 15 miles of paddling. After a beer or two and meal at the Reedcutter Inn, it’s just a couple of minutes walk to the station for the return trip to Norwich.

Paddling on the Broads at this time of year is delightful. With virtually no other boats about anywhere, it was incredibly peaceful, and felt as though I was a lot further away from civilisation than I really was. When I took this photo of Barton Broad – the second largest of the Norfolk Broads – I had it all to myself! Then paddling along Limekiln Dyke back to Neatishead Staithe, I had the most amazing close encounter with a kingfisher.

Perched on the branch of an overhanging tree, it would launch itself into the water with a resounding plop, then reappear in the tree seconds later with a small fish in its bill. I watched it do this several times, and although it was quite difficult keeping station without making any noise, it was worth the trouble, as I was just 15 feet away from it. Quite a show!

The kit
Kayak: Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame
Personal Flotation Device: Palm Taupo
Satnav: Satmap Active 10 plus Broads 1:25,000 scale map
Accessories: Riber throw line (used with karabiner for mooring), dry bag, PFD

Amazon Kindle book: “The Broads – A unique National Park”. Everything you want to know about the history, wildlife and landscape of the Broads, along with a guide to places you can visit.

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