Category Archives: News

Windy on the Basingstoke Canal

Date of PCC Event : Sunday 23rd Feb 2020

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.

Article by Robin

Photos by Robin, Marion & Adrian

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Dart Weekend 2019

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.

The return paddle was much calmer as we were close on high tide and we cruised gently back to Steamer Quay for land-based rolling coaching for Sam and Matias tested his dry suit.

We had our evening meal at Furzeleigh Mill, where there was a tasty menu. We enjoyed watching another group having their Christmas party with a Christmas pudding being set alight.

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.


At Sea with the Seals

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. 

When we got onto the water we headed across Pegwell Bay to the Stour estuary.  We paddled up the Stour estuary on a rising tide which was going quite fast where we saw loads of seals.

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. 

The weather was wonderful all day and we had a great trip. Noel, Arun, Sam and Michael were all on this trip.

Photos by Michael and article by Adrian 

Come and Try it day

We had a great time on the Come and Try it day on the 10th August 2019 even if the sun was not shining!! We had all sorts of craft out on the water including open boats:-

As well as Sit on Top Kayaks, Stand up Paddle Boards and Racing kayaks.

But I think everyone really enjoyed having a go at Stand up Paddleboarding

Although other people seemed to really enjoy falling in and swimming”””


Photos and article by Adrian 

Sailing on Ardingly Reservoir

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. 

We split up into three groups. Marion took one group and demonstrated how to paddle into or against the wind using extreme trim.

At lunch time Sam & Alan demonstrated how to rig a raft with an “A” frame sail but we did not use it on the water.

Alan took another group out and demonstrated how to raft up to assist with coping with the wind.

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..


PCC first visits the Norfolk Broads

During the first May bank Holiday of 2019 Purley Cane Club made its first visit to the Norfolk Broads. We stayed at Canal Camping in Dilham.  We all had a  great time. Here are some photos of the event

Sam video

Saturday was very windy and a bit damp. We paddled from the campsite through the old lock and round to the outskirts of Dilham. Returned through hail storm and against the wind -total distance 6.5 miles 

Sunday was not as windy with a lot more sun, but we still had an opportunity to use our sails to sail across the open Barton Broad. Paddling from Stallham staithe, across barton Broad to have lunch  at Instead and finished at Ludham Bridge – total miles 7.5miles

On Monday we cleared our tents and set up a shuttle. We then paddled off form the campsite and through the old lock. We didn’t stop for lunch at finished at Sutton Staithe at about 2pm.  

Thanks must go to Gary for organising such a great weekend, lets hope there is another weekend in Broads 

Photos by Adrian, & Matias; Video by Sam and Gary provided the maps

PCC on the high Seas!!!

On the 7th April 2019 a few club members when down to St Margarets Bay, near Dover to paddle below the white cliffs.

As we drove down to Dover it was a bit damp but when we arrived at Kingsdown, the rain had lifted even if it was a bit overcast. The Sea was “Smooth” to “Slight” with a force 3 to 4 wind so it was great conditions to be out on the sea. We had the wind and the tide in our favour as we headed  out to St Margarets through the crashing surf on the beach.

We enjoyed paddling along the “White Cliffs of Dover” until we reached St Margarets bay. As usual we had great fun landing on the beach due to the steep and pebbly beach. Basically  we crash landed onto the shore and jumped out of the kayak before the next wave picked it up and dunged it on the shore again. So the landing was exiting but we all made it to dry land safely where we had our lunch.

After lunch we had to launch again through the waves and paddle back along the white cliffs. The tide and the wind had turned again in our favour so it was a geat paddle back to Kingsdown where we had another exciting landing.

All of us – Julia, Adrian, Sam and Noel had a great day out on the sea.

Photos and article by Adrian






High water on the Presidents paddle

The President’s Annual Trip down the Mole on the 17th March 2019, from Brockham to Leatherhead attracted 5 Kayaks (Noel, Kevin, Adrian, Tony and Robin)  and 7 Open Canoes (Marion, Alan, Tom, Ali, Fiona, Sam K and Julia).

We had a young guest kayaker-  Aaron Humphrey who paddled the first third to the garden centre, with occasional guidance from his dad and Alan.

Mole was high, brown and fast flowing.  The day was bright, sunny but with a chill wind. 

It was a challenging paddle as on several occasions we had to negotiate fallen trees in the river. Sam and Tom cleared the first problem within a 100 yards of our start. Fiona found going broadside was not a good idea and Robin found out a gap big enough for a kayak was inadequate for the kayaker. 

We all had to concentrate. We seemed to settle into a routine of Noel leading, with Adrian and Sam behind, as the clearance team and Kev on standby for rescues.  Marion & Alan offered advice and support when appropriate. Tom, Ali, Julia and Tony paddled steadily and successfully , with Tom and Ali competing for the number of footballs rescued from the river.

The towback at Dorking Weir was  3 to 4 meters – clearly not negotiable. We lunched there and portaged around it. The Stepping Stones were invisible, except for a photographer ( who turned out to be Marion’s father) using the access to record the passage of Purley Canoe Club.

Noel monitored us to the end, in Leatherhead.

Great Day, Noel.  Thanks to everyone. It was a true team effort to accomplish that 9 miles.  

Kevin addedd:-

“Had a great day on our Club’s annual paddle down the River Mole. The levels were very high and there were lots of trees to avoid which made it hard work. The Stepping Stones were under water so we were able to paddle over them! Dorking Weir was too big though and had an 8ft tow back which made it too dangerous to run!”

Photos by Kevin, Adrian & Robin

Article by Robin & Kevin

Sun in Wales in February 2019

There were 10 of us assembling during the Friday, for the Wales Weekend  :  22 – 24 February 2019. Sam, Lauren, Marion and Alan arriving early enough to paddle from Llanwrthwl to Newbridge (6 miles), which they enjoyed in the sunshine.

Sam K, Paul, Adrian, Julia, Robin and “D”, all turned up in time for supper in The Clarence.

We filled Colin’s B&B Plas Y Fynon. After hearty breakfast (personal service) we headed for Newbridge intending to paddle down to Builth Wells (9 miles). Small delay as Robin needed to replace a punctured tyre, so Robin & Adrian met the shuttle at the Builth Wells car park, and were ferried back to the start where the boats were ready for launching.

Lovely sunny morning. Rather low water meant continuous concentration to select your line. Water levels at Bwlth where 1.163 meters and falling and at Ddol Farm (near Rhayader) where 0.494 meters and falling.

We took turns in being leader – a humiliating responsibility since everyone hit rocks – though some more than others. The chief pirouettist will remain anonymous.

Kathy’s Corner was the highlight. Low water made the first set of rapids negotiable so long as you lined up correctly and kept straight. All the boats made it, one open being paddled tandem, steered by Adrian and thrilling the passenger.

The second drop was blocked by a tree to the right hand side. The water was flowing through the tree with every chance of a capsize trapping the paddler under the tree. Alan and Sam K decided to risk their Opens through it and steered confidently through. Marion then demonstrated how professional she was, steering round the tree but just caught the end under the water and had to brace firmly to stay up.

The remaining boats were “walked” (Lined) around the tree and relaunched in the pool. Thereafter, the rest of Kathy’s Corner proved no problem, ‘cept Adrian’s Carabiner got left behind.

Sunday we all repeated the Friday foray from Llanwrthwl  to Newbridge. A technical challenge as the water was even lower.  Water levels at Bwlth where 1.14 meters and falling and at Ddol Farm (near Rhayader) where 0.475 meters and falling

We lingered over lunch as it was too lovely not to. Everyone was keen to try polling the open boats in the rapids. “D” did well, but over-balanced and collided with 2 boats, soaking one of them – Julia’s, and thus her lunch (or was it Adrian’s) and her cag.

We pressed on, enjoying the paddle but conscious now of the time & the journey home.

Conclusion? A fantastic weekend. Weather, technical challenge, decent meals, friendly. Maybe just a couple of lessons :

  • Avoid the Clarence on a Saturday night in future, when Wales have beaten the Lions.
  • Don’t smoke in the bar when Marion is around

Article by Robin and Photos by Robin & Adrian