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.
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
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
Dan, Jenny, Barnet, Mark and Phil had an exciting day out last Saturday on their continuing exploration of the river Mole, this time doing the Leatherhead to Cobham stretch. There are lots of pictures (some might say – too many!) which you can access from the link on the trip report page.
It was another busy weekend down at the club:-
Adam took a group upstream to Walton Bridge
The trip went well; we had 8 paddlers in total. There was a last minute change to the scheduled tour, so we paddled from the club to Walton Bridge. Although the weather was better than forecast, the flow had really picked up, after last weeks rain, and the portage at Sunbury Lock was flooded, so we had to portage down stream of the lock and walk. After a welcome stop at the cafe at Walton for bacon butties, we returned to the club (slightly faster on the way back).
Emily held a one star course over the Saturday and Sunday
4 people successfully passed and now have their 1* BCU qualification, all expressed interest in joining the club.
Dan led a small group on the River Mole.
Phil, Dan, jenny and Tony took the two canadian canoes for a trip on the Mole. See the pictures here
At 7.45 am last Saturday we prepared to launch at Godalming, greeted by Godalming Canoe Club and the Mayor as the club had planned a charity event and invited us to join them for lunch at the New Inn, Send, compliments of the Mayor !
We set off on the fast flowing River Wey then on reaching Cattershall Lock were alarmed to see the red boards on display, oh dear, our transport had already left, we just had to continue to Hampton. We flew along at an alarming rate of knots.
Stoke Lock was our first real challenge, the river was raging and therefore we couldn’t risk using the pontoon to get in as white water raged over it. We found a get in by having to paddle to find the edge, it was quite scary. Then on to Bowyers Lock, we had to stop well short of the lock because the Mill Stream was on a mission to suck anything and everything into its path. Getting in after the lock was another great challenge.
We whizzed on at an alarming rate then when we reached Triggs Lock, Julie the lock keeper pleaded with us not to continue, the water was flowing over the lock and the gates like the rapids at Niagara Falls ! So, unfortunately we had to abandon our trip, very disappointed but also quite relieved as to continue would have been VERY DANGEROUS.
There are more rivers entering the Wey and not until after Pyrford would it have improved. Had we enquired the night before we’d have been given the go ahead but the river came up 18 inches overnight. A very kind passer by took us to Elm Nursery close by where we indulged in a cream tea whilst we waited a few hours for our son to pick us up. We enjoyed the company of a variety of animals kept on the farm and bought several plants, so all in all it had been a very interesting day.
After a few technical problems Ivy’s account of the Penton Hook trip has arrived at the News Centre. Here it is:-
12th April 2014
A group of ten paddlers (Andrew & Norma in K2 Bernard & Ivy in Canadian , Andy, Clive, Val, Adam, Dan, Dave Q all in kayaks), led by Andy Garbett set off from Walton Bridge for the upstream trip to Penton Hook Lock. Still a fairly strong flow with headwind made the going slightly challenging. On reaching Shepperton Lock we all prepared to portage when the lock keeper appeared asking if we’d like to “go through” Bernard and Ivy said OH Yes Please! Whilst everyone else bravely portaged the tricky steps. but we all arrived together at the other side. (Thank you lock keeper)
Paddling on towards Chertsey lock was uneventful, the portage again went smoothly and a few paddlers took the opportunity to munch energy bars and have a drink. We paddled on reaching Penton hook in roughly two and a quarter hours. We then spied an ice cream van at the lockside, most of us took this opportunity to indulge in delicious ice cream cones, mmmmmmmm!
After half an hour, we set off downstream on the return trip to Walton Bridge, Clive vanished like a streak of lightening never to be seen again until Walton Bridge whilst the rest of us enjoyed a super fast easy paddle back taking only one and a quarter hours this time.
Jeff and Babs were waiting to greet us and we indulged in delicious bacon sandwiches before departing after yet another very enjoyable day together on the Thames.
8 mile kayaking trip on the Wey Navigation from the New Inn at Send to Stoke Lock and back.
Seven paddlers, Andy (trip leader), Jenny, Mark, Amanda, Dave, Chris and myself met at the club just before 9am and headed off to the New Inn at Send.
Once we were all ready we climbed down the steep bank into our kayaks and headed off up stream. The first lock we came across was Worsfold Gates which was open, this lock is only closed when the river is in flood. After about 3/4 mile we came to Triggs lock where a few of us practiced our back paddling after finding the bank to be very high … read Dans full report by clicking on the link on the trip report page.
Monday 31st March 2014
Monday morning most of us were at work but six lucky Hamptoneers donned their buoyancy aids, hopped in their kayaks and headed downstream to Teddington Lock. Beyond the lock the water is salty and you are now on the tidal part of the Thames leading into central London, Greenwich the Thames Barrier and eventually the North Sea. One Hamptoneer decided the Anglers Arms looked too appealing and so skipped the next leg of the journey down to Richmond with the tide and then a short paddle back upstream to Twickenham.
Sunday 30th March 2014
Six took to the water and five and a half returned on Charles’s 12 mile paddle down the Thames and back.
A benign spring day of slight breezes and gentle stream carried us to Teddington in 1hr 20 mins, past the unlikely charms of Thames Ditton island and gardens only recently underwater.
With the promise of tea and cake at the Royal Skiff clubhouse, we broke the return journey after 10 minutes but, sad to say, Charles’s attempts to tailgate through a locked door came to nowt. No tea, no cake, no body. Danny and I left with a ‘Hamptoneer’ – an improvised collision in the narrow exit….. to read Stephens full report, click on the link on the reports page
Suddenly every man and his boat were out on the the river today. Bright sunshine was tempered by a stiff easterly breeze whipping up substantial waves on some stretches of water.
Mark and Tony were out early in a Canadian, practicing for their two star assessment. Jenny and Dan (37 today!) were also out in a canoe and did a long trip down from The Bells of Ouzely in Old Windsor with myself in a kayak, 3 hours on/in the water including a quick swim for me, I can only think I must have nodded off paddling along in the sunshine after a bacon buttie at the Walton bridge cafe! We met up with Adam and Christine at Shepperton lock who had come upstream via the loop and we spotted Gabriella out in a Tor heading upstream.
Barnet and Andrew were heading downstream to Vauxhall where earlier in the afternoon a number of racing eights had foundered in the chop kicked up by the wind over tide conditions!
Remember, Charles is running a trip tomorrow (Sunday) downstream for tea and cake at the Royal and on Monday Andrew is going down to Richmond/Twickenham, contact them if you would like to join in.
…we got in by Chertsey Bridge. Jenny and I became entangled in a tree on the way to open water and oops, my boat collided with Jenny’s causing her to capsize … Read the full trip report by Sally by clicking on the link on the trip reports page.
The weather was exceptional for an early spring day. With bright blue sky, a warming sun and only a breath of air. The Wey had a small but noticeable flow, in contrast to the last few months where red hazard boards have been in force, at long last the Wey is fully open for the first time this year.
The conditions could not have been more perfect for the leisurely paddle to Godalming. All boats from the party were on the water promptly for the upstream paddle towards Guildford centre. Norma and Phil were sharing the big orange K2, Dan in a Hobby and Christine in her tried and trusted boat. My Cirrus was proving to be a tight fit for my feet, due to my clumsy training shoes. Making the steering difficult and resulting in me zigzagging from one river bank to the other…. read Stuarts full account by clicking on the link on the trip reports page.