We then headed around the loop just downstream of Shepperton lock to end up at Walton Bridge for lunch. After lunch we continued to downstream to Molesey lock where we stopped to look at the rollers. We choose not to go down the rollers but decided to return to Walton Bridge.
On the way back to Walton Bridge we saw an interesting sight a man on a push bike on the water and he was going quite fast. By the end of the day we had paddled 8.5 miles in about 3 hrs which was a pretty good pace.
On the 9/8/2020 we went on our second Club trip after Covid 19 on the River Medway. We were due to meet at 10.00 am, Adrian, Julia, Phil & Malcolm dutifully arrived on time but they had to wait for Robin – who got lost. Hence the Trip started around 10.40. Yalding proved a popular venue that day, with almost no road parking by 10.30. Very hot, and sunny, well above 30 degrees, with many boaters.
We paddled steadily upstream, passing the many swimmers and casual boaters, so we appreciated the quiet, greenery along the banks of the Medway. It was cool on the water, often well shaded and we enjoyed the calm.
We soon reached Sluice Weir, where we portaged around it and pressed onto the next lock at Oak Weir, where we stopped for lunch. The table added comfort and social distancing. After lunch, we embarked to return, just as the next group arrived. Social distancing was tricky on the jetty as the two groups tried to pass each other. Robin took the option to avoid the jetty by tackling the canoe chute, negotiated easily.
We then paddled down to sluice weir, to have a go at the canoe shoot. Julia opted to avoid the chute at Sluice Weir, but the rest of us enjoyed the downward plunge in the calm conditions, barely creating even a mild spray.
Thence onward to Yalding, disembarkation and iced drinks at the Tea-Pot Island Café. The café too was popular, and the whole of Yalding looked like a typical Bank Holiday Weekend with old and young paddling, swimming or just jumping in the water.
We convened at the start, at 12.00 noon and were paddling by 12.20. We were all dressed ready to go and just had to get the kayaks on the water. River was fairly busy with a few canoeists, a couple of racing boats, a few narrow boats and pleasure craft and of course, a few fishermen. It felt a comfortable atmosphere as we paddled gently upstream.
Weather had cheered up and we kept dry. We were in no rush. We enjoyed the freedom and the lush vegetation of the Wey navigation. We wondered the perennial question – how much for these houses alongside the canal, some looking especially attractive (the sun was now out). As we approached Guildford, the tow-path got busier and at the town lock, several people were picnicking. We joined them – suitably distanced from them and indeed ourselves.
Before starting back, we surveyed the new weir – a magnificent stone structure, but the resultant works had decreased the flow and the whole river had broadened now to be rather shallow. The “get-out” beach had been retained. A placid paddle back, past Dap Dune (remaining closed at present, so no tea or ice-cream) and we disembarked by 2.45pm.
We thanked Noel. It was an easy and enjoyable paddle, and the timing seemed excellent. It felt counter-intuitive not to help each other. Equally, with gloves or hand sanitiser, we could have got round any lifting difficulties.
We all agreed this pioneering club trip had worked fine and we are looking forward now to more of the same.
At the end of the trip Malcolm commented “A great day on the river. Thanks Noel.”
Wey Navigation, from Riverside Access, adjacent to the Riverside Pub, to Guildford Town lock & return. 4 miles in total
7 Paddlers joined Marion, Alan and Adrian on this substitute day trip for “Sorry – Wye Cancelled” weekend. Paul, James, Matias and Robin from the original trip were joined by Brian, Joel and Chloe. The Mytchett access point benefits from the Visitor Centre, with Parking, Changing Facilities & Cafe so we were well kitted up as we headed west towards Ash and across the Aqueduct to the lock and lunch stop. We had the wind in our faces all the way, blowing fiercely as we traversed the aqueduct. We passed over a couple of submerged trees and felt we had earned our lunch.
The return began with James volunteering to seal-launch off the jetty – a bold venture as it was around 1.5 feet above water level, which itself was only a couple of feet deep. Adrian gave him a flying start. No problem. Adrian’s own attempt lacked the flying start and he grounded, but of course recovered. Robin agreed to try once Alan had agreed to give him a shove.
It was a triumph for Joel – his first major trip in 2 years- but the star was definitely Chloe, who aged 9, kept up the morale of the group by singing her own compositions during the paddle back to base.
Tea and cake to finish. Sunshine during lunch.
Thanks for a great trip.
Recent rain and wind made for a fast flowing river but thankfully Marion and Alan bought gardening tools to clear a path! We didn’t make it to the weir, but managed to get lots of moving water practise in!
We assembled at the Furzeleigh Mill during the Friday evening, 22/11/19, knowing the water level was high and rain was forecast all night, so Adrian & Marion would have to make a big decision the next day. The new owners of Furzeleigh Mill, Tessa, Geoff, made us very welcome and we liked their new decorations.
At Saturday breakfast (23/11/19), St Austin’s Bridge read 1.7m and rising, so off we went to Totnes, hoping the flow would be reduced by the incoming tide. We experienced a tough work-out, managing the 2 miles to the weir in around 90 minutes. We enjoyed the noise of the flow whilst we lunched.
Sunday (24/11/19), the level at Austin’s had dropped back to 0.98m, although the water was looking frisky, we were able to paddle the “lower, lower” section of the Dart. Our PCC team were joined by Izzy’s DW mate, Jas, and the 12 of us set off at a brisk pace towards Staverton. Adrian set up a buddy system for Kevin, Matias, Sam and Robin whilst Marion & Alan looked out for Izzy & Jas. Sam & Saeeda did a grand job together in their Open, with Julia paddling solo.
At 0.98m, there was plenty of opportunity to ferry glide and break in / out of eddies. You had to be quick. It cleared the cobwebs. Being Matias’ first experience of white water, it really was a “Baptism of Fire” for him, if you’ll excuse the expression when referring to water. It was certainly an exhilarating trip for all of us.
The Salmons Leap Café was a warm refuge at the end of the weekend, for coffee, cake etc for those wanting a relax before driving home. Alan & Marion wanted to make the most of the light so the 4 of them lost out.
It was a great weekend and thoroughly enjoyable. Many thanks to Adrian and all our coaches.
Article by Robin, Photos by Adrian & Robin, Video by Sam B.
On the 2nd September 2019 Noel ran a sea trip from a new location. It was a bright sunny day as we headed down to Ramsgate in Kent, to hunt for a colony of seals on the Stour estuary . We stopped close to Ramsgate harbour and unloaded the Sea Kayaks.
We stopped for lunch but the tide was still rising so we jumped back in our kayaks and headed back to Ramsgate. The tide had just turned for our return trip, but as it was slack water it was quite hard work going down the estuary.
We paddle across to Newhavem harbour where we re-grouped before crossing the harbour mouth and making shore we didn’t get in the way of any other ships as we crossed. We had lunch on the beach on the other side of the harbour.
After lunch we headed back to Seaford and because we got back at about 1.30pm we paddled along the shoreline until we reached the Martello Tower at the end of the promenade. Here we turned around and headed back to the cars. We finished off the day in the tea shop with a nice cup of tea.
It was a great day out to be on sea which great fun and a new experience for some members. Adrian had been a bit concerned about the wind all week but in the end it was fine. The forecast was for a force 3 or 4 but it was only only force 2 or 3 even though it was a bit more windy in the afternoon. As the pictures testify the sea state was only smooth to slight and we paddled about 7 miles .
Adrian, Julia, Sam K., Paul and Tony all came along to enjoy this lovely paddled on the sea.
On the 11th May 2019 Alan, Sam and Marion organised an Open Water and Sailing day on Ardingly reservoir. There were 17 of us on the course including the three coaches. We had 15 open boats out at anyone time.
Sam taught us how to use a down wind sail which looked really colourful.
Someone said that Purley Canoe Club finally became a Canoeing club on this day. The Weather varied from very wind and wet to flat calm and sunny. Thanks goes to Alan, Sam and Marion for a great day out where we learned so much..