Andrew, Val, Carol (hidden), Derek and Charles heading upstream

Twelve intrepid paddlers set out on Saturday morning ready for what was expected to be a chilly paddle on the Wey Navigation Canal.  The weather forecast had said it would be sunny but frost was predicted for the night before.

Nine of us set off from The Pelican at Addlestone led by Phil.  We caught up with Andrew, Norma and Carole who put in at New Haw lock.  The cold start didn’t happen and we had a gloriously sunny day.  Cagoules were removed by the time we reached the half-way mark at Pyrford lock.  Here we split for a while into those who wanted to sip an espresso and nibble a piece of cake in the sunshine at The Anchor and those who wanted a little more paddling up to Walsham Gates.

The river looked much calmer than it had been the last time I went up there but the roar of the weir was just as loud.  We paddled back to the Anchor and were able to get our coffees and cake before getting back on the water for a leisurely paddle back to the Pelican.

For those of you who still feel that 1st March is winter I can tell you that a pair of Egyptian geese had managed to hatch a clutch of eggs in mid-February and we were fortunate to see nine of the goslings out for a paddle as we went past.
small_baby ducklings
When we got back to the Pelican, Dan carried on to paddle his canoe back to Bell Hill down to Thames lock and onto the Thames (see Dan’s full account here).  He had a smooth journey but reported that the jetty below the portage at Sunbury lock is under water.  After a tasty meal we went our separate ways.  Most returned to Bell HIll by car and Christine and myself paddled down to Town Lock.  The flow below there still looks pretty fast for our kayaks.  We were rewarded by a flash of blue and chestnut red as a kingfisher crossed the canal.  All in all a great day out.  Thanks to Phil for organising it.

Derek Heath

Dave Kew and Clive leaving Coxes lock

Charles paddling hard upstream against the flow

Val in action on the water

Sally speeding along

Dan heading out of Coxes lock heading upstream

Derek kitted out for the cold weather

Clive with nice blue pogies