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Northey Island Open Boating Saturday 20 October 2018

The plan was to take open boats out onto the tidal Estuary from Beeleigh Link and paddle through Northey Island and back again off the water by 16:00, 17:00 at the latest. That was the plan! After an initial muddy start Kevin and I headed off on a lazy paddle along the tidal Estuary, with the Ebb tide doing most of the work. There were some big fish tracking our progress, every now and then they’d make a huge splash and you would see a very fast V shaped wake appear in front of you, along with plenty of bird life. Maldon came and went, with large mud flats forming either side of us and the ships all high and dry. Passing Brian, better known as Byrhtnoth Statue at the end of Maldon promenade put us into the main Estuary of the Blackwater.

Northey Island was now high and dry . so we decided to circumnavigate it. With the distinct lack of water Northey Island became huge, we eventually got into Southey Creek and tracked it almost to the causeway at the western end stopping on a mud bank for a cup of tea.The mud was deep and sticky but the water was clear, so we sat in our boats enjoying the solitude. We then rafted up and drifted across to Osea Island landing on the mud banks about 100 metres short of the solid beach. Mud banks everywhere. We had about half an hour before low tide (16:30) so made a slow easy paddle towards Maldon with nothing but the sound of the birds to keep us company. Absolutely beautiful, with the tall ships making haunting silhouettes against the blue sky. 

However, a distinct lack of water and the supposed tidal flow made hard going from Hilly Pool buoy. From here on in, this started to become an endurance test.

  

We were paddling in 2 inches of water, the mud too thick to get out and push so it was punting, pushing with paddles and grunting off the sticky soft mud. Every now and then a bit of relief came as we passed over slightly deeper water. Brian was a welcome sight, but the sun was starting to go down and the tide was still draining out! We had some water going through the Hythe passing Maldon, but soon had to get out and pull the boats through the mud, luckily there were some hard spots to stand on, but get it wrong and you went deep. So it was paddle,punt push all the way to Beeliegh. The estuary with no water and low light looked fantastic. Pulling the boats out at Beeliegh finished me off and I had to sit down, absolutely knackered. Brilliant paddle, great being out on the sea in an open boat, something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, but wish the tide had helped us get home. Thanks to Kevin, my paddling partner and to Maldon Golf Course grounds manager for coming back to let us out (The car park was closed). 19:00 off the water, it was dark, he wasn’t very happy, but we were very grateful to him.

Submitted by John H 211018

test post – under construction

Under construction not to be used

test post_1 could aHill coaches try and edit this page please by adding their name and date – webmaster

 

John 18/07/18

 

Hi John, Kevin 18/7/18

Cheryl 23/07/18

Barry 24/07/18

Anna 24/07/18

Andie 24/07/18

Jill 29/7/18

2 Star Open Boat Training R. Stour Sunday 25th March 2018

The River Stour was the venue for the open boat training, with everyone meeting at 10 ish at at the put in point, Nayland. With boats unloaded, recce of the area done, pre brief completed it was time to take to the water. A short trip up the river to a suitable area for one to one training and some serious practice.

Then the trip started in earnest through the tunnel going under the Horkesely Road A134 to our first obstacle a fallen tree blocking the whole river. The sensible ones portaged via the river bank and some decided to go tree climbing.

On wards and forwards to the box weir where again a portage was necessary.

Jill ran the weir, and the rest of us cheered her on. It was then a bit more practice in the faster flowing water at the bottom of the weir before heading up a small creek leading us to our get out point. The creek was good fun and for those who had punting poles the going was easy.

Really good day on the water, everyone learnt something, and we all went home with big happy smiles on our faces.

Submitted by John Vice Chairman 260318

2 Star Training day Sunday 4th March 2018

After all the snow and freezing temperatures it was good to get back to the serious business of Kayaking.

  

Kevin, Andy, Mike and myself met on a muddy bank in Tollesbury ready for a bit of 2* training. One ingredient seemed to be missing – water!!.  After a short wait we seal launched down the mud in graceful style and off up the Woodrolfe  Creek.

After turning up Tollesbury Fleet we were soon meandering among a maze of creeks trying to find our way to end of Old Hall Creek. Kevin seemed confident he knew where he was at all times but I’m not convinced!!!  After many u turns we eventually made it to a hard slip on the flooding tide. Once the sausage rolls and coffee were dispensed with the water was covering all the marches which made navigating back a lot easier.

On returning to Tollesbury (concentrating on out technique all the way) we were able to paddle up the high street past the old sail lofts closer to the car park, which was a bit of a novel experience.

 

 

Good to be back on the water and thanks to Kevin for his coaching once again. All wrapped up with a pint by a wood fire.

Submitted by James Woodford 12032018

River Chelmer Feb 24 2018

A cold winters morning with bright sunshine and a bit of ice on the water to keep things really fresh.

Add to that a bit of a breeze and Barry was well away sailing northwest from Heybridge Basin

Originally there were going to be more of us on the water but as the weekend drew near people got cold feet/other plans, so Kevin, Barry, Paul and I had the river to ourselves.

Paul, a newcomer to the sport, had just bought himself a new canoe and this was his maiden voyage, and what a lovely day to be introduced to canoeing.

One of the locks just below Beeleigh was being refurbished so it gave us time for a bit of a leg stretch and then we continued onto Beeliegh Link. On the way the ice had all but melted and the wind made us put in a bit more effort, but otherwise a really pleasant way to start the weekend followed by a pint of beer in sunny Heybridge basin.

Submitted by John H 250218

AGM sea paddle Sunday 11th Feb 2018

A very windy day. F5 gusting F7 westerlies on an ebb tide. Our origninal plan was to paddle to Thirslet Spit toward Bradwell from Marconi Sailing Club, however it was decided better to punch the wind and what was remaining of the tide and head up to Maylandsea. There was a bit of surfing to be done and some seals to spot on route.

Submitted by John H Vice Chairman 130218

Shotley Gate to Orwell Bridge 8th October 2017

7 sea kayakers set off from Shotley Gate Suffolk. The weather was brilliant. Before we left we watched the SS Aristotle navigate her way up the river. (She had started her journey from Belfast and was carrying general cargo). We set off on a flood tide with a gentle breeze against us and soon became dwarfed by the huge container ships alongside in Felixstowe docks.

We took the right hand channel up to the Orwell bridge and noted several potential winter camp sites(to be checked out at a later date). For those of us paying attention we were joined by a seal at one point – and here’s the picture to prove it. Andy B tried a bit of Greenland paddling with a home made blade which he had conjured up from the water – put Barry and Donnie to shame.

After a spot of lunch we caught the ebb tide to Pin Mill, well worth another visit, in my opinion, and then back to Shotley Gate passing a boats graveyard on route.

We covered approximately 18 miles and it was enjoyed by all. Thanks very much to Mike D for organising the trip.

Bank Holiday Monday 17 April 2017

Three club members met up at Hoe Mill and paddled to Ricketts Lock before entering the jungle. Andy E and Jacquie shot the weir whilst I, gentle lowered my open boat down it. A big log jam at the top of the weir made portaging this a little difficult. Into the  jungle amongst fallen trees and big log jams we eventually emerged the other side into time for a cup of tea before heading back to Hoe Mill. What a way to see off the bank holiday.

     

3 star touring January 2017

After a couple of weekends training being put through our paces, two members of BCC and two members of Braintree Canoeing Club had their assessment at Papermill Lock. I’m pleased to say that all passed with flying colours. The intrepid bunch were Andy B (BCC) John H (BCC) Ian and Jordan (Braintree CC).

3 star trng Jan 2017 002 003

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Christmas Eve Paddle 2016

This was very well supported with 22 boats on the water. Impressive turnout from Bramston Canoe Club members and Maldon and Dengie Canoe club. A quick paddle down the mighty Chelmer from Papermill lock to Rushes Weir and back again. A brave few took to jumping and for the rest of us, we were happy to watch and play on the weir. What a way to start of the Christmas festivities.

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