Thursday, 29 September 2016

Corfyn on the upper tidal Blyth

Paddled from Blythburgh Bridge, launching by the A12, up to Blyford Bridge and back down. Upstream with the last of the flood tide against a brisk westerly breeze then back down with the ebb and a tail wind. Fantastic paddle, hot and sunny.

Launch point with the last of the flood tide still pouring up under the rather busy A12:

The first section was open with a decent fringe of reeds which kept some of the wind off and the last of the flood tide helped:

Working upstream the river became narrower, much more sheltered and somewhat obstructed. The flood had finished by now and the ebb just begun so it was safe to squeeze under. Lying down in the boat to do so!

Just emerging on the upstream side, looking back at the squeeze. This was HW on a 5.12m tide at Walberswick. Another 40cm and it would have needed a wait or a portage:

At HW the flow of the (very dry!) Blyth drops in to a foot or so of water rather than on to flat concrete:

The river above is quite different from the tidal section:

Looking downstream from under Blyford Bridge. Time to head back:

At times this upper section got quite narrow:

But there were lots of cattle for company:

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Daniel and the kayak

Daniel's first try in a kayak. With the keel moulded in to these sit-ons it's a matter of get in and go!

Now a doting relative has said he does not have to wait for Christmas for his own kayak!

Friday, 2 September 2016

Memories of Cowley Steps

This is Cowley Steps on the river Exe just north of Exeter. We visited last week as part of a holiday in North Devon. This is where I finished the Exe Descent marathon race, somewhat prematurely, by breaking my paddles. Back in the late 1970's. The river was in high flood at the time and there was no way to avoid being rotated where the slope meets the wall and curls over... This is very low summer level. The race was after an overnight downpour.

I didn't leave the boat at that point but tried to push up off of the bottom to stay in to the race. That's probably when I snapped my paddle. I dropped over the next drop more or less sideways and got stuck in the stopper. A helpful frogman (provided by the race organisers!) lifted my bow out and pushed it downstream towards the last drop. That's the stopper I got stopped in, showing rather white.

At this point I realised one paddle blade was missing, by trying to use it for support. This proved to be time to swim over the last drop, under the bridge and drag the boat to the bank. No way to replace the paddle, so that was it.

I've heard, on T'internet, that Cowley Steps was designed by an engineer with a pathological hatred of all kayak paddlers.

Amen, brother. Amen!