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.
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.
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.
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.
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
(Pictures by Derek Heath and Stephen Morris)