Archive for Trips and Chat

Pictures from a Busy weekend of Paddling

Fridays evening paddle from Heybridge Basin through Northey island up to Maldon Hyth Quey and return to a short mud walk, oops!

Saturdays Evening/Night paddle from Old Felixstowe to Woodbridge and return. Great paddle with 8 paddlers in total.

And Maldon Triathlon safety boat cover early on Sunday Morning, with Clive, Mark and paddlers from other clubs.


Images from a very calm Anglesey June 2018

Fridays paddle and self rescue session on the Blackwater

Summer Wild Camp June 23rd-24th

Getting a thread started for this one……Who’s coming?

Join the Forum discussion on this post

A Windy Estuary Paddle

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 !!!!

James Woodford

Photos by: Barry


The Night Paddle. June 2016

Saturday 4th of June was the date of the night paddle, the problem was that John and I had just finished a full day of coaching screaming Brownies and leaders on open boat rafts. With an hours power knap, Andie arrives for a lift to Bradwell. Once ready, Andy E, Andie B, John H and I get on the water at 21:50 at Bradwell on the rising tide. I’ve never seen the Blackwater Estuary so glass like and flat. It was a spring tide and before we knew it we had passed Osea island and were approaching Heybridge basin (00:00). After packing Andie (half-a-trip) B off, we had a two hour cuppa and a snack at the Basin. 02:00 proper dark now, down to three paddlers, we were back on the water heading to Bradwell. At around 02:30 it started to get lighter with the power station as a great way point in the distance to spur us on. With it almost full day light now we got to the public slip way Bradwell at 03:45 frazzeled but smiling.

This was a great night paddle exercise, yes a bit mad too but you never know when for one reason or another you’ll have to paddle in the DARK!

2 Star Training September 2015

2* training starts 19th September at Hoe Mill lock 9:00

If you are planning to attend please email

Bring any boat and all your safety kit.

Please download and read before Saturday

Pictures for The Wales White Water Weekend

Photos from the Foundation Saftey Rescue Training Course

WWSRC Bala 5th and 6th October 2013

15 members of Bramston CC and 3 guests headed off to Bala in Wales to take part in a 2-day White-Water-Safety and Rescue course.

Why any White water would need safety advice or indeed to be rescued did puzzle me, however, it soon became clear that it was some of us that needed the safety advice and on many occasions, were in desperate need of rescuing.

WWSR Bala Oct'13 042

It’s fair to say the group contained a range of “mixed ability” paddlers, maybe better defined as “mixed concern” paddlers , as some of us had serious concerns about leaving the relative safety of terra firma and intentionally throwing oneself into fast moving water with all it’s associated drops, rocks, strainers and other hazards of extreme unpleasantness and potential pain, whilst some obviously had no concerns at all and couldn’t wait to get the inevitable adrenalin rush that comes with an excursion to the outside of ones comfort zone.

The group donned various levels of protection from the driest of dry suits to almost obscenely tight wet suits, the former being under the impression that staying dry apart from ones face was the best idea to survive the onslaught of cold water, whilst the later presumably had some kind of exhibitionistic fetish.


Day -1 saw us introduced to our 3 coaches in groups of 6, our particular group consisted of  Joy “the canoe woman”, Ian “The controller”, Mandy “Fluro Woman”, Nicky “The Frog”, Cheryl “The rope” and Gary “ The Labrador”, and we headed off to partake in all things “self-rescue” with our allocated coach, Richard “This is meant to be a dry suit !!!”…this unfortunately meant lots of forceful swimming, with more focus on fast and furious arm rotation rather than finesse of stroke delivery. Synchronised swimming this is not !! We were taught that the mental focus should always be positive…” I will make this eddy” is quite acceptable…but apparently thinking to oneself “If I don’t make this Eddy I’m definitely going to die” is not quite so good, unless of course you are looking at the last eddy above the falls of inevitable bone crunching Death, in which case you might have a case to argue that your attitude is actually just “realism”.

We discovered that lots of people demonstrated no consistency whatsoever when throwing throw-lines, mostly due to the fact that they owned a throw-line, but had in-fact rarely ever tried to use it, instead opting to keep it nice and clean and dry , tucked up with all the other “safety kit” that one gets, but hopes to never use.

After some practice we did actually increase our accuracy as a group, especially Mandy who started to bounce the bag off of the swimmers head.

WWSR Bala Oct'13 023

We set up a “strainer” and attempted to cross it “defensively”, this was apparently so that we could fully understand the need to hit a strainer in an attacking swimming style, but I think it was more to do with our coach having a risk-free laugh at our expense as we inevitably all went under it upside down.We used the Chest harness to hold static in the flow, just to feel how much pressure there is in that situation and just how much of an air pocket you actually get when held like that.

There is a body in there somewhere

There is a body in there somewhere. Looks like Cheryl!

We found out that Mandy is the best shot with the throw bag as far as accuracy goes, but no-one came near to my distance skills….as long as I remember to actually let go!

The whole team went for a meal that night, joined by the coaches and some bloke called Kevin who just happened to be in the area with his family. Stories of heroic actions were exchanged freely, whilst slightly less alcohol was consumed than the previous evening and the “die-hard” core of drinkers diminished somewhat to a small group of dehydrated masochists.

Day -2 saw our team practicing some eddy hoping in various boat convoys whilst trying out hand signals and leadership skills and then the ropes were out again for “pinning theory” which could be more accurately described as “HELP, I’ve lost my ruddy boat”.

We looked at the rather grave situation of foot entrapment, and the fact that the grave is indeed where you will probably end up, unless your team can react just slightly faster than superman can fly, in order to get a rope across and lift your head from the water……

We put the lines to other good uses like getting the team and a few boats/kit across the river in zip-line fashion…..quite enjoyable to float downstream knowing one is connected to a fixed line.

More swimming and throw-line rescues were practiced; I even managed to bag a couple of individuals from another group who just happened to be flowing past on their way to the chipper. We thought of letting Andy flow through, but Mandy caved in and executed another on-target throw to rescue him as well….an opportunity missed there.

All in all the weekend was enjoyed by everyone. We owe massive thanks to our instructor Richard for putting up with the sick , lame and quite frankly, completely unfit members of his team, but then there was Gary……in for another swim and I didn’t even see someone throw a ball this time.

What did I learn?

  • Don’t ever get a foot trapped
  • Strainers must be attacked.
  • Find an eddy BEFORE the drop, not after.
  • When swimming a helmet visor is “catchy”, but great when you are held static for providing a bigger breathing hole
  • If you find yourself swimming, hope that Mandy is on bank support.
  • Throw a ball in a river and Gary will jump in after it.
  • New dry suits are not always that dry.
  • Nicky can tell you the model numbers of all the Dyson hand dryers (she doesn’t get out much)
  • Don’t try to knee a rock, the rock will win every time
  • Never set up just for the photo…even if a bloke down the pub said it would look cool, don’t do it.
  • And above all?……. Rescue yourself!!! 

Submitted by Ian B.

“Billys Group” consisted of Jill, Phil, Liam, Chris, Karen and John

John H – Best bit about the weekend for me was walking as a team in a V shape across the fast flowing water. Surprising bit was swimming across the stopper in the weir. Technical bit was the pulley system and various knots (there were two!). Most fun was the live bait catching and most memorable – seeing Karens unique method of draining out her trousers with the aid of Jill!

Unconventional but practical way of draining ones pants!

Unconventional but practical way of draining ones pants!

Liam Healy – Thank you very much, it was a good course and good company. I felt that the course was very good and well run. Good fun and educational, learning lots of new skills that will be beneficial and I’m sure useful at some point.