Thursday 27 September 2018.
We had a plan; this was how the plan actually turned out:
Leave the clubhouse at 09:30 We managed that, more or less on time. At this point we were nine: Derek, Maxine, Jenny, Maria, Jill, Val and Clive,Tamra and me.
On the water near the Rowbarge and Wey Kayak Club in Guildford around 10:15. And here were Bernard and Ivy and their canoe, well organised and smiling – we’d not seen them for quite a while. Nice sunny warm day with a little breeze, and very little flow on the Wey. Luckily I remembered that, despite everybody seeming to be familiar with this sort of trip, one Improver had joined us, and should be warned to keep clear of the sly sluices.
Paddle upstream about five miles and three portages. Nice trip, group staying together, helping each other at the portages.
Land by Catteshall Bridge around 12:00 – 12:30, munch lunch at Hector’s. Here some of us were horribly hectored by Mr Hector, as we had committed the heinous crime of landing by the cafe , not across the canal from the cafe we wanted to get to. Luckily Clive had arrived early, travelling overland, to warn of our imminent arrival, and gradually we were permitted to leave our boats in a quiet corner, enter the cafe and present our requests for food. Gradually the atmosphere thawed and we had a pleasant lunch and chat in the garden. Mr Hector thawed also and gossiped happily to his long-standing customers.
Back on the water around 13:00 – 13:30. Again, we managed this more or less on time.
Paddle back to the cars, arrive around 15:00 – 15:30. A nice paddle back, with the amazing novelty of a paddler falling into the water beyond their kayak. I’ve seen loads of people fall in between the boat and the land, and I’ve done it myself often enough. But falling in so the kayak is between the swimmer and the land was absolutely new to me (note to everyone: caution on slippery banks and to also let go of the boat before it takes you with it into the water!)