Paddling at night
Now that the clocks have gone back the Wednesday night club paddles have finished for the winter and will start up again in the spring.
Hamptoneers of course still go out paddling after dark but in informal groups – not as regular official club trips, although there are some organised club night paddles – see below.
There is a club night paddle organised by Andrew Wallace on Sunday 11th December, see the calendar on the website for details or Andrew’s email. (Its a gentle downstream paddle from Shepperton to the club.
Paddling after dark can be a great experience on a calm night with the reflections of boat and street lights it can be very tranquil. But there are a few extra precautions to take:-
1. Put a white light fore and aft on your boat so that other boats can see you, (put them in a small clear bag if not waterproof) a head torch is also very useful as the light is much higher above the water so visible further afield and the wobbling of your head makes it easier to see. Also if you end up in the water the light will make you easier to spot if you get separated from your boat.
2. Wear reflective clothing and/or light coloured clothing, reflective strips on your paddle are also good to catch attention.
3. Keep an extra sharp lookout for rowing boats which can be travelling very fast and their light is very low down so not always easy to see.
4. Ideally, go out with a partner so you can keep an eye on each other in case either gets into difficulty.
5. Wear a PFD