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Thread: Paddling upstream

  1. #1
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    Default Paddling upstream

    So far I've only paddled on lakes but I want to do some slow moving water rivers. Not wanting to worry about complications of 1-way trips, I was wondering how practical it is to paddle upstream? The rivers near me are:

    Avon (stratford down to Tewkesbury)
    Thames
    Severn (non-tidal)
    Wye
    Severn (tidal section)

    I figure the Wye is going to be flowing too strongly, and the tidal section of the Severn will depend on the tide, but how about the others? Is upstream paddling for half a day a practical plan?

    Thanks for any advice

    Amelia

  2. #2
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    Default tidal paddling

    If it's of any help, I paddle the Tay and the River Forth and they are both very tidal! The secret is to paddle upstream on the incoming tide and camp overnight or turn downstream with the tide when it turns, you can cover vast distances very very quicly paddling with the tide but of course it comes with more risks.

    Expand your mind there's plenty space for it...

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    I can't say whether or not it would work on your rivers. but I often pole upstream and then snub back down to the car. When there is a decent amount of water in the river it is hard work, and maybe not worth the effort much of the time (unless making a link for a journey). However, over the summer when the rivers are low it is the only way to travel.

    If you have to paddle a long distance rather than pole due to water depth, use a long kayak blade.
    If it wasn't for the rain in our lives there would be no rivers. X 2

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    On a spring day paddle, in our river, we often paddle upstream, and return downstream. Just makes sense. Summer and fall, our section of the river moves slowly enough for it not to make a difference,
    The perfect canoe -
    Like a leaf on the water

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    Our local creek is able to be paddled in both directions and sometimes I wade, line and portage the first few rapids before the return trip. We have some big tidal rivers in our area, some with class 3 to 5 rapids. I have done class 2 and 3 tidal rapids but the 4 and 5 stuff is a great way die and get sucked out to the gulf of Maine. The Severn looks like a blast but from what I have heard it is nasty and filthy.

    http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...read.php?t=946
    Last edited by Lloyd; 19th-June-2006 at 04:25 PM.
    Lloyd

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhyAyeMan
    A good number of the rivers around here can be paddled both ways and it is fun to wade, line and portage a few rapids and ripples before the return trip. We also have the big tidal rivers in this part of Canada some with class 3 to 5 tidal rapids. I have done the class 3 stuff but the 4 and 5 stuff is a great way to die, get sucked out to sea, and be found down in Maine somewhere. The Severn looks like a blast but from what I am told it is a bit nasty.

    http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...read.php?t=946
    LOL! Ok! Good Enough! Got it memorised already!
    The perfect canoe -
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhyAyeMan
    A good number of the rivers around here can be paddled both ways and it is fun to wade, line and portage a few rapids and ripples before the return trip. We also have the big tidal rivers in this part of Canada some with class 3 to 5 tidal rapids. I have done the class 3 stuff but the 4 and 5 stuff is a great way to die, get sucked out to sea, and be found down in Maine somewhere. The Severn looks like a blast but from what I am told it is a bit nasty.

    http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...read.php?t=946
    Class 3 to 5 on a tidal river sounds perfect........reliable conditions twice a day at known times.............takes all the hit and miss out of weather watching! I always said I was born in the wrong country.
    If it wasn't for the rain in our lives there would be no rivers. X 2

  8. #8
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    We paddle almost exclusively on the middle and lower Thames and always on round trips.

    The currant is almost unnoticeable however as a general rule we paddle upstream first and return downstream.

    The only time I have noticed a difference is when we have been loaded up with camping gear etc, it has not been a big issue you just tend to be a little slower going up and slightly faster coming home.

    You will also find that in general the lock keepers are helpful and most motorboats users are considerate and friendly.

  9. #9
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    I'm afraid you will really need to check these out for yourself but let me make a start:

    Avon (stratford down to Tewkesbury) - I couldn't make the Doggy paddle at the last minute but my mates told me there was a reasonable flow on it so an upstream paddle might be hard work.
    Thames - in summer levels most of this can easily be paddled upstream. When you get down to the tidal stratch below Teddington it will be a different matter. There are some excellent circular routes using backwaters.
    Severn (non-tidal) - The stretches I have done do have a bit of flow and this may make hard work. Eg from Ironbridge to Bewdley.
    Wye - Again there can be a bit of flow but I understand that once you get below Symonds Yat, it flattens a bit.
    Severn (tidal section) - no info I'm afraid but see comments above on tidal paddling.

    Hope this helps.

  10. #10
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    Default Paddling Upstream

    Hi,
    I got caught out on saturday paddling on a new stretch of river. I was returning against the rising tide and wind. Wasn't a problem where the river was open and slow, but then I had to negotiate 1K where the river narrowed and the incoming tidal current was fast (and the same direction as the wind)

    It took me 45 minutes (including a rest) and was only posssible by using a Kayak paddle (I always take one when on my own). It wasn't helped that the moored Yatchs constrained me to the main channel so I couldn't find any slower moving water.

    A good lesson to have learned and a good workout. I'll be checking the shape of river and tide directions more carefully in future.The Paddle was still worth it for all that. One for the Blogg and places when I get time.
    Brevan,
    The truth (about Rights of Navigation) is out there
    Romsey, Hampshire
    Twitter: BrevanM
    Follow my blog at http://riveraccessrights.blogspot.com/

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by pierre girard
    LOL! Ok! Good Enough! Got it memorised already!
    Presumably it posted a few times and was thakfully deleted! Sometimes computers are more unpredictable than rapids.
    Lloyd

    Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug...


  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tenboats1
    Class 3 to 5 on a tidal river sounds perfect........reliable conditions twice a day at known times.............takes all the hit and miss out of weather watching! I always said I was born in the wrong country.
    If you want to come to this part of Canada, Angela and I will take you to the reversing falls and watch you play in the rapids, presumably in a kayak not a canoe. If you survive there are a few other spots of interest you would like too, and a few thousand miles of canoe country. If you don't survive can we split your gear?
    Seriously though, for the serious WW Kayaker this is in the top 10 destinations in the world.




    Reversing Falls New Brunswick
    http://new-brunswick.net/Saint_John/...reversing.html
    Photos
    http://www.jetboatrides.com/Gallery/Eng/index.html

    From playak.com

    Reversing Falls is located in the center of New Brunswick's largest city, Saint John. The hole and wave are formed as the tide begins to ebb from the Bay of Fundy, and due to tide heights in the 22-27 foot range it creates a significant downhill slope for the contents of the Saint John river to drain into. The playspot is on river left and is centered between the land and an island that has withstood the rivers erosion.
    Large, very deep eddies are located on each side and allow a paddler to attain to the front of the main hole (the river left eddy being the friendlier of the two and also the location of the put in). The spot has both a powerful deep hole and immediately behind it a fast, mostly green wave. The size of the hole/wave changes throughout the tides.
    Although the waters are deep and rock impacts are not a concern, a long swim is not recommended as the river left area flows back into the main river currents and eventually into the meat of the reversing falls. Here violent, large and unpredictable whirlpools and boils can do things to a small boat that are, for the most part, entirely unpleasant. Many deaths over the years have been attributed to this particular natural wonder. Very important: Make sure you paddle with some locals the first time you go!
    Time: Due to the salt water influence the river stays open year round. It's best to put on approximately 3 hours after high tide.
    Temperature: It's a combination of the Bay of Fundy and deep river currents. Dress warmer than you'd normally dress.
    Lloyd

    Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug...


  13. #13
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    Thanks all for the advice Think I will plan a 1-way trip with a return by bike to start off with and have a play with upstream while I'm there.

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    Default Brevan

    Quote Originally Posted by Brevan
    Hi,
    I got caught out on saturday paddling on a new stretch of river. I was returning against the rising tide and wind. Wasn't a problem where the river was open and slow, but then I had to negotiate 1K where the river narrowed and the incoming tidal current was fast (and the same direction as the wind) .
    which river, what stretch?

    Seadog

  15. #15
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    Not sure if this is any use, but we paddle with the tide on every trip on the Dart and [Devon] Avon.

    Happily, access is ok at either end (and in the middle of the Dart), so we can usually work the tides pretty well. Wind against tide will be hard work, but a quick look at a tide time-table will give you a good start (he says) ...

    The BBC website has the tides here.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhyAyeMan
    Presumably it posted a few times and was thakfully deleted! Sometimes computers are more unpredictable than rapids.
    Only six

  17. #17
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    Default Paddling upstream - caught by tide

    Quote Originally Posted by Seadog
    which river, what stretch?

    Seadog
    It was the Hamble estuary in Hampshire - where the M27, railway and A27 cross it. It's very nice, Marinas, Good pub, very popular with the yatching crowd.
    Upstream and downstream of these bridges it is wider and consequently easier to paddle.
    I will get round to a blog / places entry one day.
    Brevan
    Brevan,
    The truth (about Rights of Navigation) is out there
    Romsey, Hampshire
    Twitter: BrevanM
    Follow my blog at http://riveraccessrights.blogspot.com/

  18. #18

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    I've paddled upstream on the Avon just upstream of Pershore and its easy to do as the water is quite slow due to the weirs. Access is good around Pershore as well. Not sure what the other sections are like though.

    Rols.


  19. #19
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    Thanks Rols. I was thinking of launching near Pershore - full marks to the council (or whoever funded it) for putting canoe launches at the picnic spots - free parking and an easy launch, brilliant. Will give it a try in the next few weeks.

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