Category Archives: Trips

The Loch Ness Monster

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After deciding late last year to give the Great Glen Canoe Trail a go and getting some invaluable information from Emily and tips and advice from Barnet and Dan, Richard and I found ourselves standing at the far end of the Muirtown Basin in Inverness. We stood there looking out over the Clachnaharry Works Lock and Railway Bridge towards the North Sea. The sun was out, it was a clear day but the wind was blowing strong. Both of us were thinking that the next time we see this sight we would be making our final portage after completing our 65 mile canoe trip…. read Pete’s full account here.

The Magna Carta run

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Six Hamptoneers paddled to Runnymede the site in 1215 of the meeting between the Barons and King John and the sealing of the Magna Carta.  Amanda, Andrew, Norma, Phil (our trip leader) and I paddled from Chertsey Bridge, a round trip of 11.5 miles.

Peter Loy, who is really clocking up the miles, paddled from the club and met us at Chertsey. The get-in at Chertsey is tricky with either a steep vertical bank with two scaffolding poles obstructing your way, or a grassy bank with inconveniently placed rock in the water – take your pick!

The rain held off, but we had a stiff headwind on the outward journey, which assisted us on the return leg. We virtually had the river to ourselves, with a couple of rowers and not a single motor boat on the outward leg.

It is a beautiful part of the river and Phil took us down an interesting backwater as we approached Runnymede round an island called imaginatively ‘The Island’. We had a well deserved coffee break at the café before turning back.

As we approached Penton Hook another canoe club paddled out of the lock, so we took their lead and paddled through the lock ourselves.  Peter left us at Chertsey to paddle back to the club, whilst the rest of us had a pleasant lunch at the Kingfisher.

Thanks to Phil for a well organised and enjoyable trip.

Mark Lewis

Weybridge backwaters

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.

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The purple line shows our route from the Thames, past Hamhaugh island up the creek. WeyBackStreams

 

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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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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