Saturday afternoon in September, and up and down the river young couples were saying ‘I do’ to their betrotheds, on lush lawns, in marquees or partying along on paddle steamers, everyone seemed to be getting married. Seven Hamptoneers did their best to add a little extra interest in the background of the wedding photographs, floating along the river behind the happy couples saying their vows! Read the full report on the trip reports page
The planned club trip for the last day of August promised to be a pleasant summer’s day out on one of the mid reaches of the Thames above Old Windsor, and it didn’t disappoint.
Looking out across the water at Bell Hill before we started out we had blue skies and sunshine with only the mandatory light breeze rippling the water.
Seven of us collected boats from the clubhouse and set off to the ‘Bells of Ouzely’ pub and eatery on the bank of the Thames about a mile below Old Windsor lock. Barnet and Daniel, sharing a Canadian and making the overall number up to nine, had set off a little earlier and
were paddling away from the pub as we drove up to unload… read Dave Kew’s complete account by clicking the link on the trip reports page
After a period of changeable weather we were lucky to have a clear run through with some lovely sunny spells. Sarah and Stephen organised the trip and were able to find enough roof rack spaces for all those going. Traffic trouble around Hampton and Walton Bridge were the only irritations of the day.
Arriving at Chertsey Bridge we got ourselves ready to depart and Dan being the scientist that he is was keen to investigate the conditions that had caused Jenny a wet start to her paddle a while back. Without any other assistance he was able to replicate the situation exactly and take a dip in the cool waters of the Thames. We then proceeded to paddle smoothly and largely uneventfully over to Shepperton lock where Dan proved that he could still enter his kayak and stay afloat at the designated portage point that seems to have been designated by some lanky fellow who has no trouble reaching down over three feet to get into his boat. Stephen, Mark and myself used the steps and the rest of the party took the sensible step of crossing over to the steps on the opposite bank.
Just below the lock we met up with Christine and later on as we went for out bacon butties met up with more paddlers from the club. Teas and food consumed we nudged the swans and geese out of the way and continued on past the Weir where we were heckled by drunken revellers who had canoed up from a nearby hamlet.
We arrived back at Bell Hill in good time and after cleaning up the kayaks made out way back to Chertsey to pick up cars.
Thanks to Sarah and Stephen for arranging the trip.
Richard had found the perfect parking spot. The Common in Southall. We had the park on one side of us and the Brentford arm of the Grand Union Canal on the other. We put the canoe in the water and paddled off towards the Bulls Bridge junction. We thought today, Friday the 8th was a good enough day to paddle the Paddington arm of the Grand Union up to Horsenden canoe centre in Perivale (about 6 miles each way, no locks to portage!). At Bulls Bridge the canal splits, the Paddington arm heads north and the Brentford Arm continues to form the main branch of the Grand Union canal all the way to Birmingham… read Peters complete report here.
This is an 18-mile paddle of nine locks and only one portage. Seven locks have canoe passes and one, Hampstead, can be by-passed. The launch and recovery sites are easily accessible, and the trail finishes at Allington with free, hot showers and a café.
Sarah, Mark, Dan and I choose to make the trip with an overnight stop at Hampstead Lock where we camped at Marlin Canoe Club, a secluded patch of grass and shading trees with a view of Yalding Bridge. There is no running water on site, but the river authority has some near-by, and there’s the Anchor – a dismal escapee from the early 70s: terrible food and fouled beer. But who cares? We were hungry and it has a great view of the river…. read Stephens full account from the link on the trip reports page
Aidan and Emily arrived at the Dalton Highway bridge yesterday at 2.50 pm (Alaska Time) to complete the Yukon 1000 race. Congratulations to them both on an awesome feat of endurance and perseverance. The ‘Dalton Bridge runners’ and the ‘Be Water My Friend’ teams also finished together later in the evening meaning that all teams are now finished with just one retirement at Dawson by the young crew of the ‘Paddling Madelines’ tandem canoe.
It is a balmy summers afternoon in Alaska with some sunshine and a temperature of 20degC. Emily and Aidan will soon be able to see the Dalton Highway bridge which marks the finish of the 1000 mile race, some 10km in the distance, After 10 days of racing they must be looking forward to a hot bath and a beer! The ‘Dalton Bridge Runners’ team are now some 50km behind together with the ‘Be Water My Friend’ team (SUP!) Congratulations to them both on completing an inspiring and epic adventure. Next race is 2016…..
Dalton Highway bridge over the Yukon
Emily and Aidan have now completed 7 days of the Yukon 1000 race and have crossed the border from the Yukon in Canada into Alaska, having passed through the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve and camped last night just beyond the ‘town’ of Circle. They started in Whitehorse on 21st July and finish at the Alaska Pipeline / Dalton Highway Road bridge in the next 2-3 days.
(According to the Facebook page the Kiwi team in a double kayak have just finished followed by the Finish team in a tandem canoe)
Whitehorse to the Alaska Pipeline/Dalton Highway
7 to 12 days of 18 hours solid paddling
This semi-annual race is the longest canoe and kayak race in the world, by far.
The Yukon River 1000 is a LONG endurance paddling event. There weren’t races in 2012 and 2013 race, but there is one in 2014.
Follow race updates on our facebook page: “Yukon 1000 Canoe Race“
The weather forecast is for light southerly winds and possibly some showers. That is much better than the wind and rain we have been having. Wind on the first day is always a concern because of that Lake Laberge that can be so difficult (threatening? dangerous? Yes, all of those)
Emily will be running some more 1* courses in August and September on
Sun 24th August 2014 (1 day) 10:00-19:00
Sat 13th September 2014 (1 day) 10:00-19:00
see the courses page for full details.