Friday, July 27, 2007

glos floods july 2007

Friday, April 27, 2007

late april on the eckington avon

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

February on the Avon

Saturday, January 20, 2007

floods at Breedon

New Wenonah on the Avon in January

A flooded & windy Avon beckoned & after carefully loading the car we drove to Breedon, but was too windy & drove round to opposite the Fleet Inn at Twyning. The road was flooded so I guess we had to have a paddle............

Friday, June 30, 2006

Monmouth In June

A short paddle from Symmonds Yat to Monmouth. The water was good, the weirs had ok waves, but nowt huge. It took 2 & half hours including faffing time to get to Monmouth to meet Claire with the lunch. I wanted to practise some turns in the Rendevous, but as always she was very tricky. I tipped once just above Biblins trying to catch an eddy. To ferry you need to keep very tight angle to the current, as if the bow catches it spins very quickly & is difficult to recouver. I did manage some ok turns. The boat also spins when drifting, immediately across the current & is ok drifting sideways, but always like to point downstream. In open water with a bit of power & canted over is a fast boat. My Grumman, I played in the weir above Hay & paddled her stern first & was very smooth to paddle solo & was fun, but is a BIG & Heavy boat for the rest of the time.

Wye in June

The annual cousin canoe trip. This year out target river was from Glasbury to Whitney - about 10 miles. The paddlers were Claire & I, All the Armitages & Park Stanfords, also Cassia & Milly Harwood. We camped at the HollyBush, which is OK, they have built pre pitched tents in the old woodland site. In the woods they have cleared the undergrowth but there is a Peacock 'hutch', which put me off choosing that pitch. However there was enough space for 5 tents on the field - near the loos & showers & shorter walk to the Pub. The whole ambience was very chilled good band playing & everyone in the garden relaxing.
Saturday morning we were collected by Celtic canoes - very efficient company & good boats. We set off from the Scout Hut, by Glasbury Bridge & the water levels were good enough not to ground on the next bend. The river has changed over the last couple of year as an Oxbow has been cut out, still great & we had a few good rapids down to the warren. We stopped for lunch & the kids swam. The next stage passing the Hay bridge & all the boats stopping there is always shallow, but we again slipped through in one piece. There is another great stopping spot just a mile or so downstream from the Hay bridge. Less crowded & wider river.
Then we had disasters - well little ones - Claire & Olly & Rosanna tipped & then 20 minutes later James & Georgina & Milly tipped. Both were rescued quickly - but was a laugh & kept us on our toes. They were both on flat sections - so no answers. We had a good run to the Boat Inn & hauled out there. After a great barbie the Armitages called it quits. The rest of us had a long sleep & then into Hay the next day.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

May In Snowdonia

Intermediate canoe course at PYB. Ian, Alison, Jackie, Steve & my roommate (again) Adam were with me to learn a bit more boat handling. Since the last course I had bought a Solo Boat & wanted to learn how to handle that & do some Tandem skills. Rosie Powell & Leo & Keith were our instructors. The sun was out, the water a bit low but enough rivers in north wales to play on.
Day 1 was paddling skills - hard technical work - I am hopeless on stroke names but managed to paddle around in circles all day. In the evening session we did rescue drills & most of us got wet - some kept on falling in. Was a beautiful snowdonia day & so not shivering by the end.

Days 2 -4 on the Dee above Llangollen. Eddy lines is a paddlers haven with changing rooms & Shop & water. We did a wee trip up the top of the canal, parking in a layby & jumping over the fence into the canal. Then through the tunnel (70m) passing Army paddlers going the other way - it was not just the identical hair or kit, but the strokes but by the book. Tidy but no flair!
We had a bite of lunch at the head of the canal before dropping into the Dee. It is a great river with big rapids & then a whore of the Serpents Tail which was showing a very narrow get out. It is a grade 2-3 for kayaks but 3 -4 for canoes. See for full details. At the Chain Bridge Hotel there is a great rapid just beneath the balcony that runs close to the cliff. My Canoe earnt its nickname - Dragster - here as it cut through the waves without a thought. Turning nicely too into the eddy all was going well. Then we all went to the aforementioned Serpents Tail.

We had a quick look & decided that the boys knew that sense was the better part of valour. So we carried our boats down the rocks...well not all of us.

Leo Hoare ran it, to show Alison how to do it.
They both hit exactly the same spot - one got wet the other was OK. Then I foolishly asked Leo if he wanted to run my boat down as was a whitewater rigged boat - he did just & said she is a twitchy boat. But no bangs! The next couple of days were spent learning ow to pole & Line & portage in beautiful weather. We knew the river pretty well by then & ran the weirs by Eddy lines pretty cleanly. It was busy with loads of courses from all sorts of OB centres as the water was low everywhere. Keith swopped with Leo after a couple of days & we had a change from 'when I was on the way to Norway...'stories.

The last day was a great change - Menai straits & in Tandem boats. Ian & I paired up & got back in the swing of things pretty quickly - I am still not as technically good as him & need to be more aware of power & angle. We sailed & ran tidal eddy lines & generally grinned our way through the bridges of Menai.

Thames in April

From Cricklade to Lechlade, the top navigable section of the Thames. It is clear of weeds & reeds in April, also the water is hopefully high enough for you to clear some of the fallen trees. You can get down to the river either across the big park on the east of the town. Or br driving another couple of hundred yards into town & taking a small lane going left, you wiggle down to an old ford. There is a concrete launching ramp & space for a few cars. The river is narrow here - 15 foot perhaps but it had good flow & so once off was great. Loads of baby geese & swans & ducklings. It is abut 11 miles to Lechlade, but it wiggles like anything so do not expect to get anywhere fast. Also few landmarks so keep the OS map handy to keep the spirits up. There are no pubs enroute so take a picnic & float & enjoy a different paddle.

March in Snowdonia

I went on a 2 day Whitewater course at Plas Y Brenin. Very snowy & cold, but they have all the gear so was ok. First day was from PYB & I paddled with Ian Cox & Loel Collins was our intructor. The other boat in our small group was two lads from Kidderminster who had paddled with Ian & Loel in canada last summer. We had great fun at Jim's Bridge, learning how to weave a route through the eddies. Only one capsize - in the first 10 minutes! On the second day the snow had fallen & Loe Hoare, one of the instructors was snowed in & so we went down the Conway from Betws Y coed. Dragging the boats across a snowy field before paddling off with the wind & rain. It was pretty special despite a Hugh rock attack that should have sunk us!