‘Don’t forget your crash helmets’ was the last email from Dan Bownds a couple of days before what I thought was going to be a gentle paddle through the Surrey Hills. The start point was a small residential road in Brockham which looked a bit crowded after five cars and canoes moved in. Ever conscious of the BCU code of conduct we started a ‘polite and friendly’ conversation with a local resident who asked us to keep a look out for some gardening equipment that had been stolen including a new chainsaw…. read Dan Taylors full trip account here
As a relatively new club member, this trip was to be my furthest paddle yet. 10 miles from the Barley Mow to Greywell. A group of 14 paddlers, a double canoe and a K2, the rest in K1’s. The weather was cloudy but the season presented us with plenty of baby chicks following proud Mum’s who sounded the odd warning to us to back off!!
Peter, of course, was in fine form, informing us of the year each bridge we passed under was built. I guess reading the plaques made him feel intelligent? Tamra braved a viper with no mishaps. Michelle, apparently wearing 4 layers of clothing, would surely have sunk had she fallen in!! As we approached Greywell, (where a gate in the canal prevents further access) it became quite an obstacle course of reeds and water plants. Looking into the water was quite fascinating, like paddling through an overgrown lush green garden.
After turning around, we stopped for a snack break at Odiham castle. All but one wimp braved the 2ft step-up to get onto the bank. The group took pity on the wimp…. passing down cakes…. Thanks guys!! Yum!! One lucky dog got a real treat….stolen flapjacks, curtesy of Paul. The poor dog-owner was mortified!!
Amanda, faced with the big step down to get back into her K1, had a tiny moment of panic but she braved it out admirably. Next came the really low bridge. We had all made it through on the outward journey, literally having to lie on top of our boats… but Alan clearly had too many cakes… and took a small blow to the head causing an impromptu dunking! Alan, thank you… for once it was someone other than me!
On returning to the Barley Mow, cars were loaded up and 14 hungry paddlers sat down to some great pub grub and a good old natter.
Thanks, Phil, for leading and coordinating a great day out
This was my first trip – aside from Improvers sessions – so I arrived at the club on time at 8.30 ready to pack and depart with a mix of beginners enthusiasm and trepidation. The two other members of the trip , Dan and Paul were already packing 3 big bright ‘Easky’ kayaks on top of Dan’s fiesta.
Dan’s already done one write up on the first trip to the Jubilee – so I’ll just paraphrase it’s ‘a hydraulic relief channel for the Thames in Berkshire’ approx 7 miles long. Our trip involved paddling most of the Jubilee River – and joining the Thames through to the Bells of Ouzeley” Pub – around 9.5 miles.
We started at a the ‘Marsh Lane’ car park – with a relatively easy entry onto the river via a flat shingle patch at 10:15 am. It was a barmy sunny day – with sufficient cooling winds around the bends to avoid overheating……… read Alan’s full trip report here
Andrew (trip leader), Norma, Elizabeth, Trisha, Paul, Michelle, Amanda plus Mark, Peter and Phil.
Last Sunday 11th December was cold and crisp and as the sun was setting a group of Hamptoneers put their boats on roof racks and drove up to Shepperton. A few others decided to paddle upstream to meet up at the launch point.
First problem, getting the tape to stick the lights to the boats to do its job, i.e. stick! With the cooling air a thin film of moisture settled on the boats which required either drying the boat where the light needed to be taped or wrapping the tape right around the boat. Lights in place we headed out onto the water by the lock.
The rowers, cruisers and all other boaters had long ago headed inside to warm up and dry out. Not for The Hamptoneers! We relished the silent, still, inky black waters……… read Phil’s full account here
Thames: Cookham to Bells of Ouzeley 5 December 2016, 14 miles, five hours with breaks and tricky portage
7 Hamptoneers : Andrew, Val, Paul, Tamra, Mark, Sarah, Stephen
The sixth leg of the Thames from source to Westminster and a day for polar bears, with ice lying lightly on the jetty at Cookham Sailing Club. Why do we do it? A beautiful morning, paddling into the sun and past the woods below Cliveden (11 o’clock by the tolling of the bell) with the water pretty much to ourselves and the ducks. No flow.
After Cliveden, Boulter’s Lock by Maidenhead is a chance to take off layers. There was once an electric lift here to save small boats using the lock, long since replaced by a long-drop portage into the weir – no place for a wobble in near-freezing water…. read Stephens full trip report here.
Henley to Cookham November 5
There were nine Hamptoneers standing at the bottom of Mill Lane in Henley at around 10-30 Saturday morning November 5. Myself, Sarah, Maxine, Amanda, Charles, Paul, Tamra, Stephen and our trip leader Andrew. It had taken us about 50 minutes to travel from Bell Hill and it was cold and blowy. After an in depth discussion on what we were all wearing to keep warm, we picked up our kayaks and wrapped in hats, gloves, body warmers, cags and spray decks we walk the short walk to our get in point.
Read Peter McBride’s full trip account here
See main Thames Trip report page here
Pictures coming soon……
With a very civilised start to the trip, that allowed for a sleep in, paddlers started arriving at the club in time to meet the very organised schedule provided by Andrew who led the trip.
Clear, not too cold weather greeted us as we got on the water within 5 minutes of the scheduled time. Peter M maintained his reputation as a light packer with a small dry bag that was only half full. Must get some tips from him.
Tamra, in the front of the K2 with Andrew, set a cracking pace as she enjoyed being at the front of the Group. Even though she wasn’t leading the trip Sarah couldn’t stop counting the boats, and she demonstrated great stability when turning around to check paddlers behind her, without turning her boat. Must get some tips from her…. read Maxines full account on the main Thames trips page.
Showers had been forecast!
8 club members were up for the challenge of this year’s Godalming to Bell Hill marathon paddle: Andrew, Christine, Dan, Derek, Paul, Peter, Phil, and me (Maxine)
Phil (who only seems able to do trips that are multiples of marathons whether on water or land) not only organised us but brought a big container of the flapjacks that, from previous trip reports, appear to be mandatory for such a long paddle. At the first stop at Guildford they were happily consumed while discussing the generally unsustainable pace that had been set so far. This was the first of many occasions when Christine overtook the rest of us as we stood on the bank….. Read Maxine’s full account here
With only 5 days notice, 5 people signed-up for a trip down the River Mole from Brockham to Fetcham, which Dan organised.
While Paul and myself (Maxine) waited in the rain at the starting point for Dan, Len and Mark, who were dropping a car at the finishing point before joining them, I did wonder if everyone else had a better long term weather forecast than her and had made the better choice of sleeping in on a bank holiday. Happily, the rain stopped before we got on the river, it was a really good trip, and it was just about hot by the end of the trip….. read Maxine’s trip report here.
A group of 6 Hamptoneers paddled the 14+ miles from the Bells Of Ouzeley pub in Old Windsor down the Thames back to the club. It was a cool day but the rain showers stopped once we were on the water so we all enjoyed a quick journey on the fast flowing waters, bar one swimmer and an exciting get-in at Chertsey lock.
Check back soon for the full trip report….
The picture above is of Andy Garbett at Sunbury weir who was not with the trip group but part of the main Saturday paddlers from the club who we saw briefly at the Walton bridge cafe. Note the very high water level spilling over the portage. You can always check the water level at Sunbury lock by hovering over the News menu and selecting ‘River levels at Sunbury lock’, it was 2.9 metres when the photo was taken. The typical range is 2.3m to 3.2m.