Pathfinding on the Wey

Sunday 19 October 2014

On a beautiful day with a strong southerly breeze and a good flow, we launched kayaks to explore the Wey, heading south along the navigation through Walsham Gates and Newark Lock. Half a mile after Newark Lock and 35 minutes into the paddle we turned west, leaving the navigation (the Broadmead Cut, here) for the backwaters of the old river.

What did we know? That if we paddled for a couple of miles or so we’d get to an old factory straddling the river, where we could portage across a field and launch again, dodging a weir and in the blink of an eye, make the navigation once more to make a fine round trip.

What we didn’t know was that the river, rural, remote and fast-flowing, had other plans. After 45 minutes of great paddling and threading the boats through fallen branches we came up against a small wood that had upped itself and now lay like a sleeping dog across our path. With no chance of landing or portage we turned our noses to the flow and with a strengthening wind shot back the way we’d come… read Stephens full report from the link on the trip reports page.

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Autumn trip list

A new trip list is available here. It is a bit sparse at the moment but we are hoping more trip leaders will sign up to take club trips over the next few months.

 

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Annual regatta

The annual regatta was held on Saturday 27th September from the bank opposite the clubhouse at Hurst Park. We were blessed with August weather in September, warm sun and a very gentle breeze.  Fourteen members arrived armed with spare clothes and lots of enthusiasm.  Boats were paddled across to the Molesey bank and then the races began, you can see more photos here and a complete write up will appear in the Autumn Westward which will be published early next week.

Emily

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Bulls Bridge to Cowley Lock

Life is like a bowl of chocolates you never know what ‘you’re gonna get‘.

The same could be said for The Grand Union Canal. Tuesday morning Peter and myself collected the canoe from Bell Hill and headed back to Southall Common to paddle the next stretch of canal. Travelling through the rush hour traffic made all the more easy knowing we were off to a far better place than our fellow drivers… read Richard’s full report here.

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Annual Club Fun Regatta

The annual club Regatta will be on Saturday 27th September 9:30-12:00 with a BBQ afterwards

It will be a morning of fun races and team events, speed may not help you succeed, it may be down to agility or just having a good head for logic!

Please let Emily know if you think you will be coming to get an idea of numbers or just turn up at the club house on Saturday morning.

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Windsor to Boulters Lock

Saturday afternoon in September, and up and down the river young couples were saying ‘I do’ to their betrotheds, on lush lawns, in marquees or partying along on paddle steamers, everyone seemed to be getting married. Seven Hamptoneers did their best to add a little extra interest in the background of the wedding photographs, floating along the river behind the happy couples saying their vows! Read the full report on the trip reports page

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Bells of Ouzeley to Cuckoo Weir

The planned club trip for the last day of August promised to be a pleasant summer’s day out on one of the mid reaches of the Thames above Old Windsor, and it didn’t disappoint.

Looking out across the water at Bell Hill before we started out we had blue skies and sunshine with only the mandatory light breeze rippling the water.

Seven of us collected boats from the clubhouse and set off to the ‘Bells of Ouzely’ pub and eatery on the bank of the Thames about a mile below Old Windsor lock. Barnet and Daniel, sharing a Canadian and making the overall number up to nine, had set off a little earlier and
were paddling away from the pub as we drove up to unload… read Dave Kew’s complete account by clicking the link on the trip reports page

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Chertsey Bridge to Bell Hill

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After a period of changeable weather we were lucky to have a clear run through with some lovely sunny spells.  Sarah and Stephen organised the trip and were able to find enough roof rack spaces for all those going.  Traffic trouble around Hampton and Walton Bridge were the only irritations of the day.

Arriving at Chertsey Bridge we got ourselves ready to depart and Dan being the scientist that he is was keen to investigate the conditions that had caused Jenny a wet start to her paddle a while back.  Without any other assistance he was able to replicate the situation exactly and take a dip in the cool waters of the Thames.  We then proceeded to paddle smoothly and largely uneventfully over to Shepperton lock where Dan proved that he could still enter his kayak and stay afloat at the designated portage point that seems to have been designated by some lanky fellow who has no trouble reaching down over three feet to get into his boat.  P1000385-w1000-h800Stephen, Mark and myself used the steps and the rest of the party took the sensible step of crossing over to the steps on the opposite bank.

Just below the lock we met up with Christine and later on as we went for out bacon butties met up with more paddlers from the club.  P1000390-w1000-h800Teas and food consumed we nudged the swans and geese out of the way and continued on past the Weir where we were heckled by drunken revellers who had canoed up from a nearby hamlet.

We arrived back at Bell Hill in good time and after cleaning up the kayaks made out way back to Chertsey to pick up cars.

Thanks to Sarah and Stephen for arranging the trip.

Derek Heath

Wildlife and tranquility in the Western Suburbs

Richard had found the perfect parking spot. The Common in Southall. We had the park on one side of us and the Brentford arm of the Grand Union Canal on the other. We put the canoe in  the water and paddled off towards the Bulls Bridge junction. We thought today, Friday the 8th was a good enough day to paddle the Paddington arm of the Grand Union up to Horsenden canoe centre in Perivale (about 6 miles each way, no locks to portage!). At Bulls Bridge the canal splits, the Paddington arm heads north and the Brentford Arm continues to form the main branch of the Grand Union canal all the way to Birmingham… read Peters complete report here.

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