Monday, November 10, 2008

Scouts on the Walkham

Another autumn grade 2/3 paddle for scouts and club. The levels were improved, swim count remained the same, and the slot gave them some excitement. Gloomy weather though

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dog Low Loop - irresponsible paddling?

Mid October - it hadn't rained for two weeks, the rivers were going to be low. But I had promised to take some scouts and club paddlers down an easy stretch of water. Diaries had been set weeks (if not months) in advance.

It is debatable, in my view, that paddling the Loop section of the river Dart in low conditions has any significant impact on the environment. However, the current concensus seems to be - only paddle when the rivers are full.

For those of us that are unfortunate enough to lead busy lives hundreds of miles away from white water, the options for 'organised' trips such as this are usually cancel or paddle regardless - re-arranging for another weekend, particularly when this involves obtaining access permission, is often not an option

Well, we went ahead, paddled responsibly, and the youngsters enjoyed a great introduction to white water

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

13 Seconds to get off Charton Bay

The August Bank Holiday weekend started off fine enough - and Ladram Bay proved a good launch site. A smooth sea, impressive stacks, light winds and sun. We made Charton Bay by 2pm

We knew that this was the best camp on our way to West Bay, in hind sight we should have continued but we opted for a lazy afternoon on the beach. Growing storm clouds and rain extinguished our fire and found a design fault in my bivvy bag. The outcome - a sleepless and soaking night. While the storm had passed by first light, it left a 'boat breaking' dumping surf in its wake.

We sat on the beach all morning waiting for a 'break in the break'. Eventually (by mid day) the period between large dumping sets had stretched to a respectable 13 seconds. Was this enough to launch the 4 kayaks or should we wait it out for another wet night on the pebbles?
In reality the launch was a piece of cake and we rode a 2 meter swell on to Lyme Regis and the sanctuary of the Cob.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

South Coast July?

We rarely get any kind of surf on the South Coast in the summer - that is why there is a growing interest in sea kayaks. But July isn't offering much sea kayaking weather. Windblown and messy at Highcliffe but enjoyable all the same

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Less Than Three?

More and more of our canoe club members are taking up sea kayaking to while away the summer when the rivers are dry. A couple of weeks ago a few of us enjoyed an 'afternoon at the races' and the swells and waves came close to tipping us over. It seemed sensible for us to devote a few evenings to practice 'rescues'. How difficult can it be to get back into your kayak should the unthinkable happen?

We tried a variety of assisted and self rescues from the 'leg over' and 'ladder' to the re-entry roll with various degrees of success.

Perhaps the overriding lesson learnt was – getting back into a sea kayak alone is more difficult than it looks. Either lots of practice or don’t paddle alone or don’t fall in!

I enjoy paddling alone - but, while my roll has always proved solid, I will make a point of practicing other techniques (eggs and baskets)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Worbarrow Camp

Mid May and an uneasy forecast - but the easterly swell and wind pushed us along nicely - from Sandbanks to one of my favourite camp spots at Wobarrow.

Now, courtesy of Mark Rainsley, a guide to sea kayaking the whole of the South West coast is available

I wonder if we will see more kayakers enjoying the Jurassic Coast in the future?

Friday, May 02, 2008

5 days on the Soca

We were blessed - with good weather and high river levels, for a memorable and relaxing five days paddling on the Soca

When the water wasn't white

It was unbelievably blue

And always playful

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

We are watching you

Snapped this morning

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Images from India

12 of us have recently returned from a mini-adventure to paddle in the Indian Himalayas – targeting areas that see few paddlers or tourists. The trip was arranged by Mark Rainsley (big thanks)
A selection of images tells the story.
Rishikesh - Yoga centre for a warm up paddle on the Holy Ganges

Launching on the Pindar (a tributary of the Alaknanda)

A 3 Day paddle with loaded boats down the Alaknanda (from Chamoli to Rudraprayag)

A day on the Mandikini (Agastyamuni to Rudraprayag)
A day driving
A day paddling the Yamuna gorges
Two days on the Tons
Over the pass for two days on the mighty Sutlej
A final day chilling (recovering) in Shimla

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Not long now - Hoping for some quality rivers, some good weather and lots of fun.
Locking the office door in 10 days time :-)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Beaulieu Seal

Is it unusual to encounter (Common?) seals in the Solent?. We came across this one while paddling into the Beaulieu river. She wasn't overly bothered by the presence of 20 inquisitive kayakers!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A clear sky

Are those dark bits storm clouds?

There's no water locally and still no rain forecast - the white water season seems to have dried up, the third trip cancelled. It's back to the sea kayak this weekend I guess.

Still I have a few river trips to foreign parts to look forward to :-)

Monday, February 11, 2008