With a weather forcast saying 80% chance of rain and the tempreture dropping. Its the end of October the day the clocks went back, it realy wasn’t looking like conditions were going to be on our side. After a lot of emails planing, the day was here.
All 11 paddlers met at the Royal Burnham Yacht Club car park, thanks to Adrian being a member we were able to use the car park, pontoon, toilet and bar (thank you Adrian). Once we were all ready with boats on the pontoon, we had a quich briefing and were on the water. The plan was to paddle up the River Crouch with the tide turn left into Lion Creek and get to the causeway for High water (HW) for the portage. A quick mars bar and on to Paglesham creek. We were spot on with the tide as the top of the creek is narrow, about as wide as a paddle. The 3.5km creek quickly widens and joins the River Roach. With the tide on the turn the paddling wasn’t an effort, we had plenty on time on our hands so Adrian said it might be an idear if we took a look up The middleway (the creek between Potton and Foulness islands) were there is a seal sanctuary. On turning into the creek we were now paddling up the ebb tide so had to put our heads down and work, 400mtrs in we encountered 5 seals playing and watching the falls in plastic tubs, us!
Another biscuit break and we were off with the tide down the Roach heading for the Crouch. The next planned stop was Brankfleet spit a shingle beach at the end of the R Roach for a leg stretch, a look at the RSPB wild coast project and cake. Some of us were getting cold so we made use of the group shelter and had cake and warm drinks “indoors”. The last 5km leg was always going to be the worst with the tide now running out. We chose to keep R left close to the Island and make use of any eddys, paddling past the Marsh Harrier Cross rail jetty you could realy see the flow. One of the seals had followed us back, up till now but he turned back at this point. After a bit of puffing we were back at the RBYC pontoon. As for the weather, about half an hour of drizzle and a light wind from the west, we even saw the sun, unbelievabley lucky. A great sunday paddle.
Thanks to all that were brave enough to come and once again thanks to Adrian for the drinks at RBYC and the local information.