bunn (bunn) wrote,

Halton Quay

At Halton quay, there is very little, apart from this very small chapel, which claims to commemorate St Indract and his sister St Dominica, saints and Irish royalty, who arrived in Cornwall in 689AD. Very little of note has happened since this very firm and established event, is the impression you get from the sign.   Wikipedia, on the other hand, seems very reluctant to even admit St Indract was alive in 689AD, so who knows.

Supposedly, they brought Christianity to the pagan Cornish, although I'm not entirely sure why the Cornish are considered to be pagan at this point, since presumably Cornwall converted to Christianity along with the rest of the Roman Empire via the Edict of Thessalonica in 380AD.  But perhaps there were backsliders. Or if St Indract has slipped through Cornish history by two or three hundred years, in the slippery manner common to obscure saints, it may be that the pagans who martyred him were Anglo Saxons and not Cornish at all.  But that would mean this chapel is on the wrong bank of the Tamar, which surely cannot be true.  Look at it standing there, quite convinced it is in the right place.


We were here to canoe, of course, rather than to celebrate St Indract.  Halton Quay is rather a muddy quay, even at close to high tide, and we did carry some of the mud with us into the Queen Emma on our shoes.  The quay is also rather ruinous.  There was clearly a slipway here once, but there is not a lot left of it now.  But there was enough muddy beach to launch the canoe from.

We canoed up to Cotehele, and practiced getting out there to swap seats, again without falling in!   There was rather a lot of wind, and mysteriously, it managed to be blowing against us both coming and going.  But we had canoed upstream and then the tide turned, so at least we had the river and the tide with us on the way back down again.

The little yacht you can just see in the distance below,  passed us at Cotehele running downstream on her outboard motor, but swapped to sail for this wider section, and flew away from us!

I envied her sails.   Canoeing is fun, but it does require quite a bit of muscle, particularly when you are paddling against the wind.   One can sail canoes, but I am not sure if they are very well adapted for it.  In particular, how do you compensate for the lack of a centerboard and rudder?  I have no idea.

I keep meaning to take a photo of the canoe in the water and forgetting, but here she is on top of Helga Saab.  I have to admit that getting the canoe on top of Helga is by far the hardest bit of the whole canoeing thing.  We haven't quite got the knack of it yet, and it usually takes us a couple of attempts to get it up there.

Tags: canoe, tamar valley, yay
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