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
New waters they asked for, so off we went to the Isle of Sheppey. During my research on maps, charts and good old Google earth for appropriate car parks and launch sites I came across the words “Grain Tower” on my OS map. A Youtube search later I decided that this will be part of our trip.
The large free car park at Barton’s Point became our chosen launch and landing beach. With the need to cross the Medway shipping channel I decided to go North, out to the wreck of the SS Richard Montgomery so we could have a clear line of sight for any on-coming shipping. Being a Sunday there wasn’t much traffic apart from the pilot boat no 4 passing us twice and a small freighter but being to the north of the channel they weren’t too much of a worry for us. Grain tower was now in our sights about a mile away, with the flood tide it took us no time at all. With a rising tide, getting out of the boats and onto the tower was a slight challenge the only option we had was to tye the boats off. The main tower is a Martello tower 1855 with additions from WW1 and WW2 as a defensive position on the Thames and Medway. Being that the youngest parts of the structure are over 70 years old its evident that the elements and vandalism have taken their toll, Enter at your own risk!
Getting back into the boats was even more of a challenge with the tide now 1mtr higher and flowing much faster through our get-in point. Good practice though, it can’t be easy for them all the time but we managed. After finding the lost paddle down the tide, we continued our journey into the Medway. Passing Deadmans island we landed on an old gun emplacement on Burntwick island for a late lunch at High water. The return journey was much quicker with a fast running ebb tide past Sheerness docks.
As we approached our get-out a Coastguard pick-up arrived. Coastguard: Q “did you guys call it in”? Us “what”? Coastguard “That big log” pointing at a 4mtr jetty post 100mtrs out. I wasn’t sure what they were going to do without a boat. Thinking let’s help them out “we might need there help one day” Mark and I went out and towed the huge heavy lump in (and the log) and helped them drag it up the beach, sorry no photos I was too busy. I did manage to get a picture of Mark’s failed roll and swim though, sorry Mark sticker on its way. Roughly 22km paddled with tidal assistance most of the way, “makes a change”.
Fantastic weather, great company, thanks for my breakfast and lunch-breakfast rolls Andy. Experiences gained. 4 out and 4 back safe and smiling. Thanks for your company guys. This trip will be revisited I’m sure.
Paddlers: Andy E, Mike D, Mark B and Me Barry I. 18/02/18
Submitted by Barry I Events Officer 18/02/018
Sunday 28th Jan. After promising the dogs a long walk on Sunday Barry suggested a nice relaxing Sunday paddle against the tide and winds of 15Kn gusting to 27kn (Force 4 to 6). After explaining to the mutts something had come up, the four of us met at Bradwell to fight the elements. Mike bought his new Sea kayak that he had purchased 4 months earlier to try out, which needed the dust blowing off. Myself, Andy, Barry and Mike started with a leisurely paddle to the end of the island so Mike could try a few maneuvers and get a feel or his new toy. After this, it was a tough ferry glide across to the Ross Revenge (Radio Caroline) with a falling tide and a strong headwind.
Unfortunately, there was no rest bite as just holding ground required a certain amount of effort. After this we paddled over to the Tollesbury old railway line on the north shore for some refreshments and to rest the burning muscles. The return leg was fun with a bit of surfing on the swell. Andy practiced a few rolls and then it was back to shore for a well-earned pint. Thanks for the suggestion Barry though the dogs are still giving me the cold shoulder !!!!
Photos by: Barry
River Vyrnwy 4th/5th November 2017
What a pleasure to see this trip so well supported by members of the club. We found ourselves in an impressive location with fantastic scenery along the river and lake. The bunkhouse was in the middle of now where down a sheep track. Very unnerving when you arrive in the dark wondering whether you have taken the right forest mud track with no possible way of turning back!
The pictures on the blog speak for themselves, with wave trains, bone shakers, log jams,techy bits, and some great waterfalls and waves to play on. This was a new venue for everyone which made it an even more exciting adventure into the unknown. The dam over the river Vyrnwy was very impressive matched by the weir further along with its 20 foot drop over rocks.
The usual problem as the weekend approached NO RAIN!! Lucky for us Welsh water decided to release some water from Lake Vyrnwy. Saturday we paddled Pont Llogel to Pontrobert and on Sunday Llanwddyn to Pont Llogel. The River Vyrnwy is great for an intro to Whitewater grade 2-3 with something for everyone, we will go back. Aftereights supplied by Chris, good game thanks mate.