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.
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.
A brilliant weekend with some challenging conditions and an extreme popcorn chef. No pictures during the evening as they have been censored. Excellent team to paddle with thanks guys.
Some pictures of John and Barry’s paddle, walk, pole, punt and sail after the club coaches update meeting. Not usual to leave from Beeleigh (salty side) at low water but great fun. The river bed is all gravel so no problems with the Maldon mud, very shallow in parts were we had to walk and rope the boats. We got as far as the Fulbridge but could have gone a lot further. On the way back with the tide on the rise the wide behind us the sails went up and home we sailed. This is a great paddle when the tide is out and has to be revisited as a club open boat trip maybe out to Northey? Don’t forget your poles and sails!