Monday, 31 October 2011
Trevor instructed us all in launching off the bank – the river was a long drop from here. Jools, with Christine in his open canoe, and 10 small kayaks made their way up the River Trent meeting rowing 4’s and 8’s and single sculls as well as narrow boats and large cruisers on the way. Turning back at the weir just before the power station, manoeuvres were practised on the return– moving in and out of a narrow space, turning and edging. After a lunch break, we limboed under the wooden railings in our craft to the weir.
Richard set the example and took the weir confidently, followed by the rest of the pack – for some: Charlotte, Rosalyn and Ed –a first experience of shooting a weir – and for Jools, his first experience of shooting a weir in an open canoe.
Trevor then coached us all in ferry gliding across moving water, using bow rudder, remembering to lean downstream!!, low brace turns and breaking into eddies. After a lot of practice and a couple of capsizes (Ron and Martin performed these to make sure rescue techniques were practised as well), we finished the session with another shot at flying down the weir and instruction on using a throwline.
A thoroughly enjoyable day, a lot learned, with good weather too. Many thanks to Trevor for organizing the trip and coaching on the day..
Monday, 10 October 2011
Lynette, Mike, Richard and Judi spent Saturday at the Northampton WhiteWater Course.
Lynette led the way on the practice runs, negotiating the drops easily, with Mike also expertly steering his boat down the white water.
Richard and Judi as beginners, kayaked half a course before trying the full length of it.
Richard flew over the longer drop, capsized, but was soon up and finishing.
The purpose built circular course is a great experience of white water for all levels- there were kayakers from 9 years upwards.
As beginners, we felt safe, - the pumped water was clean and being a circular course meant there was no long haul back to the start. Also, you could easily watch others as they paddled the course.
An eventful and thoroughly enjoyable day, many thanks to Mike and Lynette for their coaching and encouragement.
A short snippet of video on the back straight:
More photos can be found at the club gallery site.
Friday, 7 October 2011
With over 10,000 miles already under her belt Sarah Outen has just completed the biggest challenge yet on her loop of the globe.
In the last six months Sarah Outen, 26, from Rutland Canoe Club, has kayaked and cycled from London to Russia; crossing the formidable Gobi desert, camping in bear-inhabited forests and coming closer than she’d liked to poisonous snakes, but these challenges are nothing compared to the one that she has just faced – a cold kayaking marathon from the remote Russian island of Sakhalin to Japan - 24 nautical miles in freezing cold seas, huge waves and strong currents. The crossing took 11.5 hours. To Sarah’s knowledge, the crossing had only been achieved once before in a kayak.
The crossing was over La Perouse Strait - dividing the Russian island of Sakhalin in the north from the Japanese island of Hokkaido, and connecting the Sea of Japan on the west with the Sea of Okhotsk on the east.
You can read the story on her blog and, as she is carrying a GPS tracking device you can follow her progress.
A big welcome from the people of Japan especially Mr Sato from Wakkanai Town Hall who surprised them with a banner and flowers.
Where to next?
Sarah is in the middle of undertaking a human-powered loop of the planet "London2London:Via the World". On 1 April 2011, she set off from Tower Bridge in her kayak along the Thames and over to France. Then 10,000 cycling miles across Europe and Asia to Russia from where she kayaked to Japan. She still has to cycle down this North island of Japan before making a 10 mile kayak crossing to the South Island - Honshu. Thence a 650 mile bike ride down to Tokyo. Sarah will overwinter in Japan, while waiting for the right weather window before rowing solo across the Pacific Ocean to Canada, cycling across America and then rowing solo across the Atlantic Ocean back to the UK. A quick cycle and kayak will take her back to Tower Bridge in London in the autumn of 2013. A journey of over 20,000 miles which will take her two and a half years. Nobody has ever rowed this combination of oceans in a single journey around the globe, solo or otherwise. Only 2 men have ever rowed the North Pacific solo. Sarah will be the first woman to row solo across the North Pacific.
GOOD LUCK SARAH. ENJOY A REST IN JAPAN OVER THE WINTER.
Monday, 12 September 2011
What do a bellyflop, a pole dance and a sideways lunge have in common?
The answer – different ways that some paddlers found to overcome the 8 portages and 16 miles of the Club’s trip on the Nene from Oundle to Fotheringhay. This is where Mary Queen of Scots was held and beheaded in 1587) We found the area much more tranquil today!
Richard, Lynette and Graham were our seal launch specialists! Helen, Judi, Mike and Trevor preferred the more ‘controlled’ style of portage.
Quite a tiring day, but a great paddle! With lovely scenery!
More photos can be found at the club gallery site.
Thursday, 7 July 2011
On the Friday evening Neil and Martin, Trevor and Christine, Richard and Judith and Graham and Ben met at the Boat Inn, Whitney-on-Wye and enjoyed a great meal in the pub. Overnight rain and a group of lads who arrived at 01:00 and drank and talked until 05:00 disturbed the first night. We met up with a Duke of Edinburgh Gold expedition group and their assessors from Ellesmere College who happened to be staying at the same campsites along the way.Day 1: Glasbury to Bycross Heavy rain had lifted the water levels so we were able to get on the river at Glasbury after shuttling the cars down to the next campsite at Bycross Farm. Many sand martins seen skimming the river and nesting in the river banks. The speed of the flow throughout the trip helped us cover the distance before mid-afternoon. We arrived at the campsite at Bycross Farm hoping to get a better night's sleep in the orchard. This time it was a far more civilised 40th birthday party singing songs around a campfire which lulled us to sleep!
Day 2: Bycross to Lucksall As the river was high and flowing both sides of the island, Monnington Falls, just below Bycross, was paddled with no problems. Early cloud cleared and the day was hot and humid. By the time we got to Hereford for lunch, a snooze and an ice-cream were necessary. We camped Sunday night at Lucksall luxury campsite and walked into Mordiford for a meal and an excellent pint at the Moon Inn.
Day 3: Lucksall to Ross-on-Wye Martin and Neil were having problems with leaks in the Coleman resulting in it being nicknamed 'the paddling pool'! Some tape on the keel reduced the problem for the rest of the trip. The higher water levels had encouraged a run of salmon up the river and from here we saw more and more fish jumping. The fishermen were generally hospitable as we tried to avoid their lines and seemed to be pulling out some good sized chub and barbel. We had to split up between two campsites near Ross-on-Wye as the White Lion did not have room for all of us. After some searching half of us stayed in the field behind the Bridge-at-Wilton. Having grown used to the peace of the river, Ross was relatively noisy with traffic on the A40 throughout the night.
Day 4: Ross-on-Wye to Monmouth The river became more dramatic as we paddled into the narrowing gorge. Talk of the rapids at Symonds Yat probably made them sound mountainous but with the river levels still 3 feet above recent levels the advice from a local guide was positive, just stay right and avoid a submerged rock on the left. After scoping out the aforementioned rock we all made it through with only the odd unintentional breakout into an eddy! Not bad for a bunch of sea kayakers! We got off the river just below the rowing club on river right in Monmouth and the drivers travelled back to Bycross by local bus and taxi to pick up the cars.
We camped that night at the Mono Bridge campsite and enjoyed dinner and a few beers at the Kings Head in Monmouth.
Everyone enjoyed the trip and thanks go to the organiser, Graham for a much sunnier and drier paddle than previously. More photos can be found on the club gallery site.
An edited video of everyone's clips of the rapids at Symonds Yat:
Tuesday, 5 July 2011
Friday, 27 May 2011
Some club members took part in the 19 mile annual Doggy Paddle from Leamington Spa to Stratford-upon-Avon last Sunday. This event, which attracted around 100 paddlers, raises money for guide dogs for the blind.
Soon after starting we portaged the first weir with the imposing backdrop of Warwick Castle towering above us.
This is a lovely river, sometimes narrow and quite fast, sometimes wide and serene, although on Sunday there was a stiff wind against us for most of the way.
There are then three further weirs which can be shot. Lunch was taken overlooking one of these. Shortly afterwards we passed another couple of club members who were enjoying the day in open canoes.
This really was a lovely paddle…
Monday, 2 May 2011
We have had two exciting trips away so far this year and further afield club members have been making a splash too.
Read more in the latest edition of the club newsletter.
Monday, 4 April 2011
Billed as a paddle to experience sea birds your intrepid paddlers were not disappointed! Although a few days earlier it had looked as if the wind might prevent the trip from going ahead, Sunday dawned dry and sunny with a gentle WSW breeze.
The plan was to leave South Landing with the last of the ebb, round Flamborough Head and then paddle on towards Bempton Cliffs one of the few mainland gannet colonies. Lunch was to be taken at North Landing by which time the flooding tide should have provided enough water to visit most of the caves and arches which riddle the area underneath the lighthouse.
As we paddled around the headland we became aware of thousands upon thousands of guillemots and razorbills nesting precariously on the cliffs. As we paddled past we were sometimes exposed to a blizzard of birds flying down from the cliffs across the sea all around us and often at head height! The sky was sometimes almost obscured by the number of birds flying around – fantastic!
An endearing feature of guillemots is their choice of options when disturbed floating on the water – they might just suddenly dive, or take off only to land/crash a few hundred yards away, or more usually use their wings to carry out a very clumsy, but fast, ‘butterfly stroke’ half flying, half swimming on their bellies!
Richard saw his first puffin shortly afterwards and soon we had seen several with one particular individual keen to show him (her?) self off to us by standing up on the water and stretching and folding its wings before resuming its gentle paddle.
As we paddled nearer to Bempton we saw our first gannets – huge gliders with beautiful white plumage catching the sun contrasting with their dark black wing tips. At the colony itself there were thousands of nesting gannets, it was fascinating watching one of these large birds coming back to its nest improbably stuck to the cliff and occasionally missing its footing and having to go round again!
Thanks to the paddlers – Chris, Judi, Lynette, Mike, Richard and Trevor.
Friday, 25 March 2011
A rather large gathering of kayakers and canoeing enthusiasts took to the Dove River, after a short briefing on a lovely Spring Day. The Rutland contingent of craft comprising of a Red Rocket (Lynette), a Blue Bullet (Mike), three Yellow Perils (Richard, Judy and Trevor) the bright Green Kermit kayak (Pete), Ray and Yvonne followed up with the tree hugging Wenohah Canadian, we all waited with trepidation and anticipation for the forthcoming adventure.
We set off with nervous energy, exchanging banter, for a 12 mile objective, Six miles of Grade 1 (Maybe 2) water, was just enough to provide stimulation to head for the V’s to avoid shallows and steering a course to avoid all the trees.
Avoiding all the trees !!
The scenery as we approached the first weir was post industrial buildings, gun emplacements and remnants of old railways and a beautiful ruined castle (We believe Tutbury) on a prominent hill in the distance. The majority of the group launched themselves off the precipice of the weir (For many it was a first) down the 4ft abyss into the foaming river, Ray and Yvonne opted to portage and Mike supervised us!!!!
Judy shooting weir just ahead of Pete !!
We all sat on the bank shared with many others, to enjoy a light hearted lunch break in brilliant sunshine. The trip continued into more rural surroundings, by this time we were perfecting our white water skills, ferry gliding, tree avoidance and pebble hopping, prepared and ready for the second weir. It was very exhilarating with large standing waves at the base and a good drop to the water below, this time we all enjoyed the experience.
We had completed about 9 miles and Trevor (Obviously tiring) attempted to hitch a ride on the Canadian, Pete performed a shallow capsize drill and amazed us all by the length of time he could hold his breath before surfacing, Lynette by now having fired on full turbo in her red rocket was finding the pace too warm and began shedding her clothes on the bank unabashed by onlookers.
The last weir was encountered with no incident and we all gathered together for the final leg. It was amazing how few people we saw on the whole trip considering the number at the start…we put it down to our speed, efficiency, tight discipline, superior paddling skills and the much improved “Bow Rudder”. Thanks to Mike for organising a great day, do join us next year.!!!!!
Raymond and Yvonne
Monday, 24 January 2011
The summer turned into autumn and now we are mid-way through winter. Once again the snow and cold has returned with a vengence to Rutland but true to our reputation, none of this has stopped the members of Rutland Canoe Club having fun.
Check out tales of Mull, fireworks, ice and medals in the latest newsletter. And the Limpopo ALLIGATOR!!!