The Hamble

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Andrew’s paddle up the Hamble attracted 8 paddlers in thrall to a stiffening breeze and the weird cross currents of an incoming tide.

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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.

I saw a plover and overhead a pair of oyster-catchers were whistling madly. With a following wind and the last hour or so of tide we flew along and with time to explore, took the creek up to the village of Botley.

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Leaving the wide, open river behind we paddled between overhanging willow trees to where a weir marked the end of navigation at a pool just wide enough to turn in.

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Back to the Hamble proper and half a mile or so further upriver to eat at the Horse and Jockey at Curbridge and wait for the tide to turn.

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Back with the tide but no escaping a freshening breeze. Still, we were ashore by 2.30, salted and happy and still waiting for the storm (it arrived 45 minutes later).

A great trip. 8.7 miles

Stephen Morris

(Pictures by Derek Heath and Stephen Morris)

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