Author Archives: Phil

Hampton to Westminster, rain, wind and waves – look back to 2015

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)

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Paddling the pleasant waters of the ‘Shire’ – look back to 2015

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)

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Saturday pm – Molesey reach closure

When Where What’s happening
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

Ice Canal Kayakers

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.GU_ice2

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.

GU_iceOn 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!

Daniel Bownds

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Running the weirs on the Jubilee River

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

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New Haw to the New Inn (looking back to Dec 2014)

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Just three Hamptoneers (Christine, Stuart, Phil) enjoyed a paddle on the mostly tranquil waters of the Wey Navigation from New Haw to The New Inn at Send on Saturday (13.12.2014). Dan got a ride but paddled off in the other direction towards Bell Hill!

We paddled south in bright sunshine, past the turnoff to the Basingstoke canal and the grafitti covered pillars holding up the M25 and the roaring traffic high above us. At this point you tend to put your head down and paddle hard to get away from the noise and back to the peace and quiet and greenery of the canal proper. The route winds back and forth until rounding a corner the Anchor pub and Pyrford lock appear. We continued past the moored narrow boats to Walsham gates which were open. Beyond the gates the current picked up so we kept to the right bank away from the weir and headed against the flow to Newark lock.

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Above the lock we could see the remains of the old Newark abbey in the meadows beyond. Once beyond Papercourt lock we were off the old river and back onto the Navigation proper so no flow to worry about. The New Inn soon hove into sight in the sunshine and we stopped for a welcome cup of coffee and chocolate bar.

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Refreshed, we headed back downstream and with the current now in our favour and the sun warming our backs we had a very swift paddle back to the Anchor pub for a quick lunch sitting in the sunshine.

As we approach the winter solstice the early afternoon sun was already dropping down below the tree line, leaving much of the canal in deep shade. It was 13 miles in all back to New Haw where we arrived at 2.30pm and soon had the boats back on roof-racks for the quick return trip to Bell Hill. Thanks to all for a very pleasant day out.

Phil

 

Xmas Lunch 2014

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About 20 Hamptoneers made their way by bike, car, bus, canoe and kayak to the Magpie in Sunbury to start their Xmas celebrations with a very convivial club lunch in the upstairs room overlooking the river. Thanks to Emily for organising. More photos coming soon or see Kathryn’s pictures on here flikr page (see her email for details)

Chertsey to Runnymede

Another look back to a trip from November last year.

Allow me to set the scene: Bernard and Ivy were the first to arrive, having been up since dawn, doing an excellent job of discouraging any fishermen who might be tempted to purloin one of the few remaining parking places. There was dependable Dave Kew, with his camera at the ready; Chris as keen as ever to get as many miles under her belt before darkness descended; the ever-efficient Jenny in the orange Hobby; and Amanda, temporarily liberated from her all-male household, relishing the prospect of breaking in a brand new Tercel….. read Charles’ full account of the trip and local history here

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