The latest Westward has now been published. Click on the link from the members page to read it.
Stephen is planning a trip to the river Arun for Sunday 19th April to join the annual boat rally to demonstrate the right of navigation on the river. It’s a 7-8 mile round trip with a nice tide to help. See his emails for more details about the trip and here also for more information.
This is the Wey and Arun canal trust website
The new Improver’s sessions schedule is now available here. More sessions will be added soon. The Wednesday sessions will be in the early evening.
DW Training update: Well done Daniel Bownds in completing his first Waterside D (34.5 miles, 23 portages) in a respectable 8 hours 40 mins. Good conditions but tough going as Dan had a head cold and his C2 partner was using his new paddle the wrong way round. Fortunately a top C2 team pointed this out at 15 miles!
Only 13 days to the start of DW!
(Pictures – Jenny)
Last Saturday morning Charles and Andy led a group of 6 Hamptoneers (Amanda, Phil, Stuart, Christine, Charles & Andy) upstream to the backwaters of the Wey river. The weather was cold and blustery whipping up sizeable waves on the stretch up to Walton Bridge. We headed straight up the cut and just past the ferry landing before Shepperton lock we took the left turn up a narrow creek towards a weir on the Wey navigation.
There was a brisk current to battle with and the water swirled around each bend we navigated. At the weir we took another left turn up a very narrow creek with overhanging trees which twisted and turned for about another half a mile to a pool beneath another weir where a few kayakers in play boats were riding the waves. We turned around carefully as there was a strong stream and retraced our steps back out onto the Thames. We were now heading into wind but the flow helped push us homewards. We made a quick stop to examine progress on the new Walton Aquarium and to have a quick cup of coffee. We were back at Bell Hill for 1:30pm from where most people headed to Chino’s for lunch to meet up with Ivy, Bernard, Jeff and Babs.
The purple line shows our route from the Thames, past Hamhaugh island up the creek.
DW Training Update:
Well done Tony and Adam in completing Thameside ‘2’ on Sunday.
19 miles in 3 h 38 mins which included a long stop to repair a faulty rudder!!
Well done Adam and Tony in completing Waterside ‘C’ from Pewsey to Newbury, 23 miles and 35 portages in 5 hours and 8 mins. Great effort.
Last Saturday, 28th February a group of nine Hamptoneers took to the water to paddle from Bell Hill to Westminster. There were five K1’s crewed by Mark, John Freeman, on a visit from the chilly climes of Scotland, Phil, Peter and myself. We had two K2’s crewed by Andrew and Norma and Tony and Adam.
An early start for some meant that four cars were waiting for the group up at Vauxhall at the end of the paddle. We all assembled at Bell Hill soon after 8am and were ready to go onto the water at 9:15am. Andrew gave us a quick briefing beforehand on the special rules which apply to rowers and paddlers on the Thames between Putney and Richmond. These allow boats going against the tide to cut corners and move over to the ‘wrong’ side of the river. This means boats going with the tide must paddle down the centre of the river on this stretch of the Thames to avoid the oncoming stream of rowing eights, of which more later!
Read Derek’s full trip account here (with pictures by Derek and Peter)
Seven Hamptoneers braved the cold weather early last Saturday morning and set off for Swanwick near Southampton for the start of our journey on the river Hamble. There was Mark & Stuart in Tercels, Derek in a Cirrus, Jenny in a Hobby, Norma & Andrew in a Rorquel and myself in a Rockpool sea kayak (kindly borrowed from Andrew).
First we paddled through the harbour at Swanwick, upstream with the flood (incoming) tide through a channel marked with buoys for the motor boats which didn’t seem to follow the way the river flowed and the tide wanted to go, creating a few cross streams and whirlpools! Luckily there wasn’t any wash to deal with. After passing under a few bridges we were into the countryside where there were some dippers wadding in the reed beds catching fish…
Read Daniels full trip report from the trip reports page (pictures now added)
|Saturday 21 February 2015, 1:30pm to 4pm||Molesey Reach (Sunbury Lock to Benns Island)||Molesey Veteran Head race: the river just downstream of Platt’s Eyot, Hampton will be closed to all traffic other than authorised vessels. Find more detail on Molesey Veteran Head race.|
|Saturday 21 March 2015, 10:30am to 12:30pm||Hampton Court Bridge to Steven’s Ait||Kingston Head of the River race: boats can’t navigate between these points, except in the Surrey channel alongside Thames Ditton Island. Find more detail on Kingston Head of the River race.|
See here for more details
You’ve heard of the Ice Road Truckers, well, now meet the Ice Canal Kayakers!
Two tough, brave paddlers, Stuart and Dan took on the elements and paddled through snow, ice, wind and rain Saturday before last! We started our journey at Ealing canoe club (ECC), where I attempted to paddle towards London through a large section of ice but got stuck with the front of the boat riding up onto the ice.
With further progress impossible we decided to head back towards Southall. We paddled through loads of patches of ice, I kept getting stuck, so Stuart lead the way in his Tercel. When we reached The Black Horse pub where we had turned around on the previous trip we turned around and started heading back towards Ealing, hoping the ice would have cleared.
On the way back we met some K1’s from ECC and a barge which had cleared most of the ice away. Once we got back to ECC most of the ice had gone, so we started towards London, We paddled for several miles, over the North circular aqueduct and at last came to Little Venice, Paddling on down the Paddington Arm of the canal we had a quick break before we got too cold and started on the journey back towards Ealing, On the way back we had a strong head wind but still managed to over-take several barges and saw some K2’s from ECC doing their DW training. The good thing about this section of the Grand Union canal is that there are no locks! Our journey took 4 1/2 hrs and we covered 17.4 miles – phew!
The Jubilee River is a hydraulic relief channel for the Thames in Berkshire. It is 11.6 km (7.2 mi) long and is on average 45 metres (148 feet) wide. It was constructed in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s to take overflow from the River Thames and so alleviate flooding to areas in and around the towns of Maidenhead, Windsor, and Eton in the counties of Berkshire and Buckinghamshire. It achieves this by taking water from the left (eastern) bank of the Thames upstream of Boulter’s Lock near Maidenhead and returning it downstream of Eton… read Dan’s full trip report here
Barnet, Dan, Tony, Adam, Andrew and Peter had a sunny day out on the river down to Vauxhall on Saturday. More pictures and full report by Peter Loy.. here