On the last day of our half-term holiday I promised the kids a pumpkin adventure. Not content with your average ‘drive to a pumpkin patch’ scenario, I decided to use this as an opportunity to get the paddleboard out in mid-October.
The paddling team
Now admittedly my 6 year old was very enthusiastic of a paddleboarding trip and even better if there was a pumpkin and carving at the end of it! However, my nearly 1 year old is still on the young side for paddleboarding adventuress of more than half an hour. She did not look overly impressed at being bundled into layers and lifejacket but was unfazed on the water which I take as a good sign!
Once everyone was kitted out, and the Naish Alana 11'6 was pumped up, we launched from the pontoon at the Park Bistro - admittedly only a few hundred yards from the Narrowboat Farm. Alexander at the front and Ellie leaning back on my knees. It has taken a lot of cajoling but Alexander and I have settled into a tandem paddling rhythm (instead of him just trailing the paddle like a brake!)
Downwind to the Narrowboat Farm and stop just by the Narrowboat that is moored at the side of the canal. We left the board tied up alongside and popped Ellie into the sling to be carried up to the pumpkin patch.
At the farm
We met Iain who runs the farm, gamely dressed as a pumpkin, even on the Monday morning which was fairly quiet. He didn’t quite believe we had arrived by paddleboard but the lifejackets clinched it! Alexander had a happy time clambering on the painted tractors, posing for photos on the ghost boat and, of course, choosing his pumpkin. Top tip, the rounder ones taste better as soup/pies etc.
More customers arrived as we headed back to the board for the return journey but Iain kindly volunteered his father to help get the pumpkin (and kids) back on board safely. The pumpkin was strapped securely under the cargo bungee but I think a Red Paddle Cargo net or Red Original Deck Bag might have done a better job!
Return trip - pumpkin loaded
The wind had picked up by this stage and it was gusty. Cue Alexander stating (very loudly) that he preferred going downwind! We made it safely back, tucked the kids in the van with the pumpkin while I deflated and rolled the board quickly. Bumped into a friend who told me I was completely crazy, but these adventures are what makes life interesting!
The Narrowboat Farm are offering a prize to anyone who arrives by eco-friendly transport and were extremely helpful both in terms of advising what shape of pumpkin to get (waste note, want not - will let you know how the soup recipe pans out). We are looking forward to carving our perfect pumpkin and displaying it outside the door for Hallowe’en.
*No pumpkins were harmed in the making of this adventure. (Until we carve it!)