Basingstoke Canal – Feb 2019

Basingstoke Canal - Feb 2019

With the forecast of high winds from storm Erik and choppy waters on the Thames the trip to the Basingstoke Canal turned out the best place to be with calm waters and even some sun. 

The group split into 2 with one group doing a 6 mile round trip from the Canal Centre at Mytchett to Ash Lock. The second group added an extra four miles by continuing up to Deep Cut.

Congratulations Mike and Peter

Congratulations Mike & Peter

Congratulations to Mike Channon and Peter Loy who last weekend competed in the annual Frank Luzmore Memorial Marathon race from Elmbridge Canoe Club to Richmond Canoe Club. They paddled mixed doubles for Richmond Canoe Club in the 20km, 3 portage, race with Peter in the second fastest veteran team at 1:46:09 and Mike ‘s team coming in less than 3 minutes later at 1:48:54. A pace for the rest of us to aspire to when doing the loop….



 

Christmas Lights Paddle

Christmas Lights Paddle - Dec 2018

The evening of Wednesday December 12 turned out to be very chilly, however, this did not stop a large, too many to mention group of Hamptoneers gathering at the clubhouse. The reason? To decorate boats for the clubs annual Festive Lights Paddle.

The plan was to meet at 18-00, but Hamptoneers started to arrive as early as 17-30 to start their festive designs. Non paddling Hamptoneers turned up also and they were not disappointed by what turned out to be an excellent effort, a fantastic flotilla of festiveness. Christmas trees, Reindeer, glitter balls, stars, lights and a full blown Father Christmas.

A blaze of glory headed off downstream to the Ye Olde Swan in Thames Ditton, where we had a table booked for food. River boat house owners starred in bewilderment as we paddled past in a large number of Canoes, Easkys, K1s and K2s.

A big shout out to every Hamptoneer who got involved. Although an excellent effort was made by all, it would not be right if I did not mention, Derek and Frank’s effort, excellent. Mark for being so smart, Tamra for supplying the music and Maxine for putting up with my singing, but the bragging rights for best decorated boat this year has to go to Robert and Lourette, for turning their K2 into Reindeer drawn sleigh. Amazing.

Peter McBride

Dan’s Planned Trips for 2019

Dan's Planned Trips for 2019

Date for these trips have been added to the Club Calendar. These trips are all day trips. Full details will be sent out closer to the time.
 
 

23 March – seley to Pagham harbour return. (sea kayaking),

6 April – river mole (canoeing),

4 may – Beaulieu river (sea kayaking),

8 June – Shoreham to Seaford (sea kayaking),

22 June – river cam, Cambridge (k1’s),

7 July – river ouse (Sussex) (sea kayaking).

 
The sea kayaking trips will be weather (mainly wind speed) dependent and only open to paddlers with closed cockpit kayak experience and confidence with rescues of this type of kayak.
 
Here’s a list of coaching Dan is planning for 2019.
 

Open Canoe skills – 2, 9, 16 March. (limited to 6 places per session)

Closed cockpit kayak skills (plastic kayaks) – 10, 13 April,  8 May,  5 June. (limited to 4 places per session)

Wednesday sessions 6-8pm, Saturday sessions 10am-12pm.

 
Dan will send out further details to club in the new year.
 
For all these trips you must wear a buoyancy aid, sea kayaking trips a spraydeck must be worn as well.

Hennerton Backwater & St Patricks Stream

Hennerton Backwater & St Patricks Stream

 

On November 24 at 07-30 in the morning, ten Hamptoneers met at the clubhouse to load canoes and easkys onto cars, our destination? The Thames at Wargrave. It was damp, drizzling and slightly chilly when we arrived in the car park of the George & Dragon pub, our start and finished point.The car park was where myself, Jenny, John, Paul, Michelle, Gavin, Mike, Tamra, Elsa and our trip leader Dan were all meeting James, who arrived soon after us. On the water we all paddled off towards Marsh lock and keeping right we all limbo’ed under and through the very tight arch of a brick-built bridge. This led us nicely onto the Hennerton Backwater. Paddling on we just enjoyed the country side and discussed the size of some of the houses that lined our route and of course chomped on Jenny’s jenny Babies and Paul’s flapjacks.

Turning around at Marsh lock we headed back up the Thames and back pass the George and Dragon.  Shiplake lock was our only portage, where we stopped for five minutes. Then with James seal launching back onto the water we all headed off to Sonning lock. Keeping an eye out for George Clooney’s house we paddle up to the bridge just before the lock and then headed towards St Patricks Stream after giving up on being invited into George’s pad, which we actually failed to see anyway.

The water picked up a bit when we entered the Stream and we were twisting and turning, passing round and under fallen trees. A couple of fishermen got the grumps and a couple seemed fine with the fact that we spoilt their peace and quiet. Towards the end of the stream modern houses stood on stilts and it was damp, drizzly and slightly chilly when we got back to the car park.

With all boats back on cars and Hamptoneers in the George and Dragon, it was time for lunch before heading back to Hampton. Ten’ish miles paddling three different waters with one portage and a good get in.

Thanks to Dan for sorting the trip and everyone else that turned out for a good mornings paddle.

Peter Mc

Lunch at Hector’s on the Wey – Sep 2018

Thursday 27 September 2018.

We had a plan; this was how the plan actually turned out:

Leave the clubhouse at 09:30   We managed that, more or less on time.  At this point we were nine:  Derek, Maxine, Jenny, Maria, Jill, Val and Clive,Tamra and me.

On the water near the Rowbarge and Wey Kayak Club in Guildford around 10:15.  And here were Bernard and Ivy and their canoe, well organised and smiling – we’d not seen them for quite a while.  Nice sunny warm day with a little breeze, and very little flow on the Wey.  Luckily I remembered that, despite everybody seeming to be familiar with this sort of trip, one Improver had joined us, and should be warned to keep clear of the sly sluices.

Paddle upstream about five miles and three portages.  Nice trip, group staying together, helping each other at the portages.

Land by Catteshall Bridge around 12:00 – 12:30, munch lunch at Hector’s.  Here some of us were horribly hectored by Mr Hector, as we had committed the heinous crime of landing by the cafe , not across the canal from the cafe we wanted to get to.  Luckily Clive had arrived early, travelling overland, to warn of our imminent arrival, and gradually we were permitted to leave our boats in a quiet corner, enter the cafe and present our requests for food.  Gradually the atmosphere thawed and we had a pleasant lunch and chat in the garden.  Mr Hector thawed also and gossiped happily to his long-standing customers.

Back on the water around 13:00 – 13:30.  Again, we managed this more or less on time.

Paddle back to the cars, arrive around 15:00 – 15:30.  A nice paddle back, with the amazing novelty of a paddler falling into the water  beyond their kayak.  I’ve seen loads of people fall in between the boat and the land, and I’ve done it myself often enough.  But falling in so the kayak is between the swimmer and the land was absolutely new to me (note to everyone: caution on slippery banks and to also let go of the boat before it takes you with it into the water!)

Andrew Wallace

Winter and Night Paddling

British Summer Time ends on 28 October and already the sun is setting just after 7pm. Wednesday evening club paddles are finishing at dusk will soon cease to begin again next spring.

But don’t despair – Hamptoneers still go out paddling after dark in informal groups and there are some member-led night paddles.

Paddling after dark can be a great experience on a calm night with the reflections of boat and street lights it can be very tranquil. But there are a few precautions needed:

1. Put a white light fore and aft on your boat so that other boats can see you, (put them in a small clear bag if not waterproof). A head torch is also very useful as the light is higher above the water and if you fall in you’re easier to spot.

2. Wear reflective clothing and/or light coloured clothing, reflective strips on your paddle are also good to catch attention.

3. Keep an extra sharp lookout for rowing boats which can be travelling very fast and their light is very low down so not always easy to see.

4. Ideally, go out with a partner so you can keep an eye on each other in case either gets into difficulty.

5. Wear a PFD

In the colder weather
1. If you’re unsure of your abilities paddle with a more experienced member.
2. Wear layers of quick drying clothes, a waterproof top and a warm hat.
3. Carry a change of clothes with you in a dry bag.
4. Consider buying rubber paddling boots and gloves (members have a 15% discount at Whitewater Canoes in Shepperton Marina).
5. Wear a PDF and before setting off check the weather forecast and the river conditions.

Hamptoneers Train with the ‘Blue Light’ Services

HAMPTONEERS TRAIN WITH THE ‘BLUE  LIGHT’ RESCUE SERVICES 

(and so make paddling a bit safer for all local paddlers)

Dan shows how to rescue a canoe

One Monday evening in June, eight excellent Hamptoneers paddled into Shepperton Marina, right round to the back where White Water The Canoe Centre has its base.  There they met two lifeboats from Surrey Fire & Rescue, who are based in Walton.

Two days later, the same excellent paddlers drove into a modern property development just downstream of Teddington Lock, where Teddington RNLI station is based.

On both evenings, the agenda was the same:  to provide the rescuers with experience and hints on how to rescue paddlers, kayaks and canoes; and to provide the paddlers with a greater understanding of how rescuers are likely to approach rescuing a paddler or their boat.  Our written plan is HERE   We’d done much the same with the RNLI back in November.

Surrey Fire & Rescue came with two different boats and a total of seven crew.  The RNLI had two identical boats, 13 crew and 3 helms, with a wide range of experience.  And along with the RNLI came two volunteers from the Duke of Edinburgh’s award scheme, trying to capture in writing what was being taught, so that the RNLI would have a permanent record of the training.

To start each evening, after introductions, Derek explained the features of our boats.  We had deliberately brought a wide range of club boats:  a canoe, a Cirrus K1, the Rorqual K2, a Scorpio sea kayak and the Ethos whitewater kayak.  He showed them the flotation, deck lines, toggles – handily available on some boats and not others.  And the first lesson in How To Empty a K1 was delivered.

Peter Loy then convincingly proved we’re not totally helpless:  he demonstrated rolling a sea kayak; a deep water rescue, sea kayak to sea kayak; and being rescued using the ‘Hand of God’ rescue.

On to the water:  Maxine, Dan, Andy and Jenny kept one boatload of rescuers busy with boats to empty.  And they were busy themselves, bringing out each boat, flooding it, providing hints on how to approach the problem, then taking the boat, wet but empty, back to the bank.

Meanwhile the other boatload of rescuers was occupied with recuing paddlers, who were feigning being ill or injured while sat in their boats.  Peter in a white water boat turned out to be easy to rescue:  they just grabbed the front handle and pulled him straight on to the lifeboat!  Paul was rescued from a sea kayak with a keyhole cockpit, as well as intentionally falling into the water and needing to be pulled out.

Last of all, the evening’s tough guy:  Michele, sitting in her sea kayak with its tiny ‘ocean’ cockpit, capsized and waited patiently upside down while the rescuers brought her back to the surface so she could resume breathing.  Then they extricated her onto the lifeboat.

The rescuers were very pleased with the evenings.  Surrey Fire & Rescue said “The watch were all very complimentary about the event itself and the members of the club. Please thank them all on our behalf for giving up their time and expertise so readily.”

RNLI said “Thanks so much yet again to you and your marvellous club-mates for a brilliant session last night.  Everyone enjoyed it and found it very informative and useful, especially our newer crew, many of whom were there.”  The RNLI issued a press release

Meanwhile I am writing an article for The Paddler ezine, hoping that other canoe clubs might read it and develop a habit of training with their local rescue services.  That would help make paddling a little bit safer.  And I am being asked “When shall we do it again?”

Rescue services Joint Training Plans – session plan (word document)

Andrew Wallace – June 2018

Hamptoneers taking part : Derek Heath, Michele Springall, Peter Loy, Paul Scott, Maxine Nelson, Dan Bownds, Jenny John Chuan and Andy Garbett