Effective leaders adjust their plans as opportunities arise. Latin scholars refer to this technique as ‘Carpe Diem’. Other regards it as erratic opportunism. But it works: here’s an example from the weekday trip on Monday 30 June.
Ivy, Norma, Jenny, Bernard, Dave and I arrived at Catteshall lock on the Wey to discover:
- The get-out was entirely blocked by moored boats from the boatyard and the cut itself was blocked by boats from the boatyard (though they were moved out of our wey). Indeed, our larger boats could only land and launch on the boatyard side of the navigation.
- We were a bit behind schedule for coffee at Bel and the Dragon in Godalming.
- Hector’s Bistro was open, fully recovered from three feet of flood water in the winter.
The Hamptoneers happily settled into Hector’s and can report that the bacon sarnies there are still excellent (they’re based on lots of streaky smoked bacon, which is an unusual and delicious recipe); the scones are good, too.
Andrew’s paddle up the Hamble attracted 8 paddlers in thrall to a stiffening breeze and the weird cross currents of an incoming tide.
Up towards the motorway bridge with a promising storm to the west and the menacing thud thud of outward-bound Sunseekers between the trots, past the Jolly Sailor and all of us paddling for England to escape the swell and make the bridge and then – a lovely broad river, blue sky and marshes…… read Stephen’s full account from the link on the trip reports page.
Full report of Phil and Dan’s final leg of their trip on the river Mole from Cobham all the way back to Bell Hill – read it here
Congratulations to Christine Bockett, Dave Kew and Daniel Bownds on successfully kayaking the 26.2 miles from Godalming down the Wey and Thames to Bell Hill. The last few miles on the Thames were very choppy and windy but we all managed to stay dry (just)! (I also paddled the distance – Phil T) Good job guys!
Full trip report here.
7th June 2014
Eleven paddlers set off downstream from Bell Hill: Val, Adam, Dave, Gerard, Andy, Chris, Sarah, Stephen, Derek Heath, and Norma powering me along in a Rorqual. Another paddler was expected but it turned out that he was going to have a different kind of eventful day.
The forecast included rainstorms and thunder, and not long after Thames Ditton it started to rain, soaking us before we had reached the Royal Canoe Club. We paused at Teddington Lock for a quick briefing about our next step…. read Andrew’s full report by clicking on the link on the trip reports page
Initially our journey was planned to be undertaken in 4 days, but this seemed too easy!! So sticking with tradition we went for another 3 day challenge!! The team consisted of the following Hamptoneers; Jenny, Emily, Aidan, Mark, Tony, Barnet, Derek Henderson, Derek Heath, Sarah, Stephen and myself.
We met up at Ye Old Ferrie Inn at Symonds Yat, where we all had a nice dinner and puddings, before heading to the bunkhouse for a good nights sleep, so we hoped! With triple decked bunk beds and minimal head room, the snoring and the smoke alarm (or methane detector!) going off twice in the night, we were a bit dozy in the morning… read Dan’s full account and see the photos by clicking on the link on the trip reports page
Club Trip, 31 May 2014, Colt Hill to Mytchett
Saturday 31st May’s club trip was slated as a slightly longer than usual paddle on the Basingstoke canal, from Colt Hill near Odiham, sixteen miles to the visitor centre at Mytchett. Organised and led by Phil, those joining the party on this historic waterway were Christine, Amanda, Adam, Daniel and your scribe, Dave. Sixteen miles is well beyond my comfort zone, but as the weather forecast predicted a bright sunny day and more importantly, no wind to speak of, the trip seemed to offer a pleasant, if exhausting day out. With this in mind, personal preparation for the trip to prevent a poor performance consisted mainly of ‘carb’ loading with a Spag-Bog the evening before, followed by porridge in the morning and going equipped with chocolate Wagon-Wheels and litres of Lucozade on the day… read Dave’s full account by clicking on the link on the trip report page.
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.