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Thread: Nor Marsh

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Nr Rochester in Kent

    Default Nor Marsh

    Well, it seems there is a God afterall, and I think he has a canoe!

    I am having the most time at work right now. Our weekend trip to the upper Thames has been scuppered as a result, and I've just had the worst drive home this year I think. Suffice to say I was not in my best frame of mind when I got home today. I have decided at times like this there is only one solution. Go canoeing!

    It was a bit late but just time to get down to the Medway Estuary close to where I live and have an hours paddle or so. At least the weather was nice. I've been wanting to get on this water for ages, but somehow the tides, the weather, the opportunity have all combined to scupper my efforts. But today when I got there, the tide was in (helpful as a low tide launch is impossible) and the wind had taken a short holiday. The water was like a millpond. Couldn't have been better for my first trip out on it.

    Launched into Sharp's Green Bay (GR806684) and paddled past the delightfully named Horrid Hill, and out into Bartlett Creek. From there I could see the entrance into the Nor Marsh. This is an isolated RSPB reserve in the middle of the river. It floods at high tide, creating a bewildering maze of channels. At low tide it is dry, and it is all too easy to lose your way and get stuck there. I spoke to a guy who did just that and had to drag his boat out once across the mud flat to reach the open water. Messy!

    Views from Sharp's Green Bay

    Paddled across feeling slightly nervous. At high tide the river is very wide. To the east is seriously open water, as The Medway meets The Thames and The Swale channel before opening onto the sea. But the water was a dead calm with barely a ripple.

    As I enterred Nor Marsh I crossed a small micro rapid where the water draining from the marsh fell into the river proper. This was the only real indication I had that the tide was starting to fall. Inside was filled with seabirds and water fowl, who didn't seem unduly bothered by my presence. The water here, sheltered, was like glass. Indian stroked my way through a few of the channels, before calling a halt. The light and the tide was falling, and a weather front seemed to be creeping in. Time to go back.

    In the Nor Marsh

    On the way back as the light was failing, I watched the sun go down over Rochester from the river and the marsh.

    Sunset on Nor Marsh

    Sunset on The Medway

    Beautiful. Even here in the midst of urban Medway, with power stations and freighters, and all manner of mankind, there is still a little wilderness in the midst of the river, and a good deal of beauty. And all you need to find it is a canoe, and just a little time.

    I went home feeling much, much happier.
    Last edited by Matto; 17th-August-2006 at 10:25 PM.

    Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles of the sea.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Lochwinnoch, Scotland
    Journal Entries


    Looks like perfect paddling. It is funny how even in a relatively urban setting, being out on the water is such a release from it all. The water really does seem to separate you from it all.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006


    beautiful pictures...i could hear the marsh birds singing and feel the tensions of the day slip away...i love the way the sky and the water problem is that when the water is glassy i get sea sick! i manage by not looking at it at all! Thank you for the pictures so i can see what its like without the nausea creeping up.

  4. #4
    monkey_pork's Avatar
    monkey_pork is offline a wind age, a wolf age - before the world goes headlong Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Dec 2005


    Very nice pictures, that extent of marsh looks very inviting - I've always liked the look of this type of water, there is a magic there somehow, I think it's the intimacy between the banks of reeds, and possibly my entirely imagined life of Wilfred Thesiger too.

    More can be found here.
    Last edited by monkey_pork; 18th-August-2006 at 03:40 PM. Reason: ... for a better link to the Wilfred Thesiger Web Gallery

  5. #5



    Takes me back to my Wildfowling days, canoeing on the Tay estuary

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