Dan’s Mini Canoe Adventure – Pelican Pub to Bell Hill

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1st March 2014

My mini adventure started after leaving my fellow paddlers at the Pelican pub at Ham Moor, after we had paddled from there to the Anchor pub at Pyrford lock.

I slowly paddled down-stream towards Weybridge Town lock, where the river meets the navigation. Once I had climbed through the undergrowth and over the barbed wire fence I continued with my journey, just spotting a kingfisher darting off infront of me.

The next and last lock on the Wey navigation was Thames lock, were I was unable to use the rowing club pontoon because it was flooded, so I carried my boat over a bridge to a low but very muddy bank where I entered the river Thames.

The flow on the river was a lot faster than the navigation, keeping to the middle of the river I raced downstream, trying to avoid half sunken boats, tree branches and other hidden obstructions washed down by the flood waters.

As I was moving at a good pace I went round Desborough island instead of using the cut. It was very quiet on the river, I only saw two other boats and they were going up stream, they both waved and said “hello”.

After passing under the new bridge at Walton, I moved over to the right hand bank to avoid the three weirs at Sunbury. The first two were washed out and as I approached the main weir the thunderous roar of the water reminded me of my visit to the Niagara falls!

On the approach to the portage at Sunbury I noticed there was a massive tree log blocking half of the portage but I managed to get out by the rollers. It was interesting getting back in the other side as the wooden pontoon was deep under water, after wadding in the water I managed to get into the canoe, and joined the weir stream and then the rest of the river.

Continuing down stream speeding past Aquarius SC I headed over to the left hand bank past Platts Eyot, so I didn’t shoot straight past the club!

Note this mini adventure is not recommended to the inexperienced paddler whilst the river is still in flood and red boards are on display.

Daniel Bownds

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The Wey was like a mirror as I paddled down towards Weybridge Town lock

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Approaching the bridge which gives Weybridge its name!

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The final lock on the Wey, Thames lock ahead with old warehouses converted to smart flats

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Perfect reflections on the still waters of Sunbury lock cut

small_sunbury lockStill water approaching Sunbury lock, with massive log stuck on the rollers

small_sunbury lock portageReady to launch for the last leg back to the club. The jetty here is still a foot underwater

small_steam paddlerPassing a passenger boat tied up for the winter

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