Author Archives: Phil

26.2 mile kayak from Godalming to Bell Hill

Congratulations to Christine Bockett, Dave Kew and Daniel Bownds on successfully kayaking the 26.2 miles from Godalming down the Wey and Thames to Bell Hill. The last few miles on the Thames were very choppy and windy but we all managed to stay dry (just)! (I also paddled the distance – Phil T) Good job guys!

Full trip report here.



Two Star Paddlers

Congratulations to Richard Fisher, Peter McBride and Phil Tauwhare on gaining their 2* paddling certification last Saturday.





Pope’s and Pint Paddle

7th June 2014

Eleven paddlers set off downstream from Bell Hill: Val, Adam, Dave, Gerard, Andy, Chris, Sarah, Stephen, Derek Heath, and Norma powering me along in a Rorqual. Another paddler was expected but it turned out that he was going to have a different kind of eventful day.

The forecast included rainstorms and thunder, and not long after Thames Ditton it started to rain, soaking us before we had reached the Royal Canoe Club. We paused at Teddington Lock for a quick briefing about our next step…. read Andrew’s full report by clicking on the link on the trip reports page


River Wye 100 Mile Challenge

Initially our journey was planned to be undertaken in 4 days, but this seemed too easy!! So sticking with tradition we went for another 3 day challenge!! The team consisted of the following Hamptoneers; Jenny, Emily, Aidan, Mark, Tony, Barnet, Derek Henderson, Derek Heath, Sarah, Stephen and myself.

We met up at Ye Old Ferrie Inn at Symonds Yat, where we all had a nice dinner and puddings, before heading to the bunkhouse for a good nights sleep, so we hoped! With triple decked bunk beds and minimal head room, the snoring and the smoke alarm (or methane detector!) going off twice in the night, we were a bit dozy in the morning… read Dan’s full account and see the photos by clicking on the link on the trip reports page

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Rhododendrons and Angry Swans

Club Trip, 31 May 2014, Colt Hill to Mytchett

Saturday 31st May’s club trip was slated as a slightly longer than usual paddle on the Basingstoke canal, from Colt Hill near Odiham, sixteen miles to the visitor centre at Mytchett. Organised and led by Phil, those joining the party on this historic waterway were Christine, Amanda, Adam, Daniel and your scribe, Dave. Sixteen miles is well beyond my comfort zone, but as the weather forecast predicted a bright sunny day and more importantly, no wind to speak of, the trip seemed to offer a pleasant, if exhausting day out. With this in mind, personal preparation for the trip to prevent a poor performance consisted mainly of ‘carb’ loading with a Spag-Bog the evening before, followed by porridge in the morning and going equipped with chocolate Wagon-Wheels and litres of Lucozade on the day… read Dave’s full account by clicking on the link on the trip report page.


Shepperton to Teddington – NO stream warning -updated


Yellow stream warning boards are on display at many lock sites in the middle and lower regions of the Thames. Stream conditions remain steady and are expected to decline over the week, although the river remains sensitive to further rainfall.

Occasional isolated showers are expected throughout the weekend.

Environment Agency

Windy Wednesday

Adam manged to stay dry even though he took a slightly more wobbly boat out – a Tor.

Jenny and Tony got some practice and instruction in Andrews sea kayaks in preparation for their 3* sea kayaking course.

Phil, Lee and Dave headed swiftly downstream into wind, past Hampton Court, Ye Olde Swan at Thames Ditton island to Ravens Ait where a quick 180 degree turn was made. The wind apparently seemed to die as it was now on our backs but the current meant solid, steady paddling was required to get back to the club just as the church clock chimed 8 o’clock.


Lee goes under Hampton Court bridge with the setting sun in the distance



Castles, country houses and paddling doggies – look back to May 2014

Six intrepid Hamptoneers (Ivy, Bernard, Dan, Jenny, Barnet and Phil) set off at sunrise on Sunday morning for the drive up the M40 to Leamington Spa and the start of the 18 mile ‘Doggy Paddle’ to Stratford-upon-Avon. A loose plan to ‘stick together as the HCC team soon came apart at the first portage as the throttle on one canoe got stuck on ‘full-ahead’! It was hot and sunny as we paddled beneath the mighty walls of Warwick castle with its huge trebuchet ready to repel all attackers. Heading south west we slipped past the picturesque gardens of Charlecote manor through the lush green Warwickshire countryside. All six of us made it to the gardens opposite the theatre in Stratford for our pictures with the guide dogs and to collect our certificates . Stratford was very busy as it was a rare sunny, hot day and every man, woman, child and dog were either sunning themselves on the grass or just ‘messing about in boats’. See Jenny’s account and photos here.


Sneaking into London

Thursday morning 8th May, it was pouring down. Dark and heavy clouds dropping rain, and lots of it. Not only that, it was blowing, not quite a gale but strong enough. So there was really only one thing to do. I grabbed my phone and called Richard. Within an hour and a half we had picked up a double canoe from the club and we were lowering it onto the water on the Paddington arm of the Grand Union Canal … read Pete’s full account here.

See Little Venice trip info here



Algae update

Algae update – good news. All restrictions lifted! We have now had a second water sample tested by the Environment Agency and this has come back clear of blue green algae so it’s back to business as normal for all on the canal.

However we cannot guarantee that it won’t return so please keep your eyes open and if anyone notices any paint like scums on the water please let us know. We will of course continue to monitor the water over the coming weeks.

Basingstoke Canal Visitor Centre

Basingstoke canal – Blue Green Algae Levels Reducing

Blue Green Algae Levels Reducing

We have been monitoring the blue green algae over the last few days and have noted that it has reduced considerably in density within the water. Unpowered boats are now allowed to use the full canal again. there is however still blue green algae present from Aldershot through to Odiham and everyone should take basic precautions.

General Precautions

Wash hands if you come into contact with canal water.

Canoes and kayaks – do not carry out rolling practice or any activities that will purposely put you under/in the water. If you capsize accidentally try not to swallow water. Shower and wash clothing as soon as possible. The algae can irritate skin particularly if it is trapped between skin and clothing. If you find any green surface scums or swirls of algae keep away from these. Do not use boats that are prone to capsizing until after the algae has gone.

Contact the Canal Centre for further information 01252 370073

The Bells of Ouzely to Bell Hill

Despite the weather forecast for heavy rain and strong winds six brave paddlers, Andrew, Norma, Tony, Andy, Charles and myself set of on our journey down the river Thames from Old Windsor to Bell Hill…. read Dan’s full account by clicking on the link on the trip report page




DW competitors past and present (Andrew & Barnet, Emily & Aidan, Will & Sam) congregated at the club last Wednesday to exchange tales of the gruelling 125 mile canoe race from Devizes to Westminster.

A goodly number of club members joined them for the BBQ and were obviously sufficiently inspired (or was it the beer) to announce their intentions to race in the 2015 race which starts on 3rd April. I will leave it to those people to formally announce that they are entering the race! To follow the burgers and steaks Babs had cooked a delicious rhubarb crumble or there was also cheese cake for desert.

Its a terrible cliche but I will use it anyway, ‘A good time was had by all’!