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Thread: A Thames blog

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    Default A Thames blog

    Ok first blog…. here goes [remember I am a gardener not a literary genius]


    Not the most promising of starts to the day, coldish, very overcast with ominously dark clouds greeted us as we set about packing the car, just before setting off to meet up with SunburyAndy’s family for a trip planned for a stretch along the Thames

    This one [with some amendments]:

    http://www.canoefocus.demon.co.uk/accesscliveden.html

    Instead of launching from Boulters lock we travelled a little further downstream to the village of Bray, a 16 Century village in Berkshire

    The launching slipway was next to the Waterside Inn a Michelin 3 Star restaurant run by the Roux brothers:

    http://www.waterside-inn.co.uk/Index.aspx?Id=9

    [Will never in a month of Sundays be able to afford to eat here!]

    Not being able to park outside the restaurant [unless you are a customer or dive a Rolls Royce] we quickly set up the canoes and moved the cars to the village car park [yes, a village with it’s own [free] car park, what a good idea]


    We’re off, paddling upstream, initially crossing over to the right hand side of the river, avoiding Those speedy, thin, long rowing craft containing very fit looking folk powering along, as well as big private motor boats containing ‘would be’ sea captains [love their hats] who never get the nerve to take their vessels out of the security of the Thames [very sad]




    The 5mph speed limit was observed by the motorboats, which caused a most disappointing wake. So my son and I decided that rocking the canoe forward back and side to side at the same time made up a little for this…………….oh by the way both canoes kept to the speed limit too…………..


    We now find ourselves heading towards a large sign saying danger, ahh the weir is ahead, so time to take the left hand fork into the lock, a hydraulically controlled lock no less, with a lock keeper who cheerily ushered us in. before closing the massive lock gates behind us.

    We rise gently towards the sky, not being buffeted about at all, within a couple of minutes we can see over the top of the wall of the lock. The gates ahead open and we paddle through, keeping back some distance behind our fellow lock inhabitants who chug off in their splutting diesel powered craft.


    Time for a stretch of the legs and a quick bite to eat, we veer off towards the right and moor up on the alongside the weir.

    Five or six kayakers were practicing flipping over, along with rolls and all manor of unnatural movements, helmeted and nose clipped they appear stuffed into boats way too small, I think this breed of kayaker must have developed very short legs. I then told Mrs Sprout that I had booked into her onto course with these guys [didn’t go down too well]


    Now refreshed we carry on with the journey, the Thames changes, no huge riverside houses, the large motorboats are much less frequent [it is scary being on the water without seeing houses you know………oh bless them]
    The banks become wooded down to the waters edge; oak, beech, willow, alder and the odd horse chestnut prevail as we continue to travel upstream.


    Set on the high cliffs above the Thames we spot the National Trust property of Cliveden

    http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main...w-cliveden.htm

    The trees around the estate become more interesting [from a gardeners point of view] but are too far away to explore. Not too long after passing Cliveden, we reach our lunch destination alongside Cookham Lock on a great little campsite].

    Here SunburyAndy fired up his Kelly Kettle [boys and their toys, was heard muttered by both respective wives], really wish I had brought mine along as well……… you can never have enough hot water you know.


    A good picnic lunch was had by all, the chance to unfurl our legs again was most welcome, two adults, a nine and a ten year, old in my NC prospector 15rx is starting to get a little cramped, which is fine because it means I need to get a additional canoe – Yippee

    We decide not to pass through the lock, but to travel downstream via a small tributary [now this was small, 2 – 3 yards across at its VERY widest, with many shallow areas and the occasional deep [but narrow] channel of fast running water this was combined with it being very over grown in places.
    We were not even sure if the stream ran back into the Thames [I like the unknown] the further we pushed, scrapped and floated down, the less appealing the thought of having to turn around and drag the canoes back became. After ducking under a fallen tree, to which I got pinned between the seat and the tree the first time we attempted a pass [I think the NC floats higher in the water than SunburyAndy’s OT Allagash as they seem to get through ok], perhaps my contorting skills need developing?



    Ahead was a large willow with its braches sweeping down to the water, pushing through this we were back on the Thames…………..and terrific fun was had by all.

    We then headed back to the Waterside Inn slipway, heavy going in places as the wind was very gusty and we were all getting tired, but we got through and made it back safely after an eight mile trip.



    What a great family day out this has been and how lucky SA and myself are, to have families who love canoeing as much as we do………more trips are being planned, perhaps some more SoTP members will join us

    Sprout
    Last edited by MagiKelly; 4th-September-2006 at 09:05 PM. Reason: Fix Font

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sprout View Post
    Ok first blog…. here goes [remember I am a gardener not a literary genius]
    You've done yourself a disservice there Sprout - that was a fine write-up indeed, I really felt like I was along for the day with you.

    The shot of Sunbury Andy roughing it up there in the wilderness is amusing.

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    Yeah, good blog, nice pictures. I like the weir particularly. I'm assuming it is Boulters. I'm used to the narrow Medway weirs. That must be really impressive with some more water on it!
    Matto

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


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    Sounds like a great trip and looks like the weather gods were on side too.
    John

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    Great write up Sprout.

    We were very lucky with the weather, although the forecast was for a good afternoon there were a few spots on the way there and I did pack our wet weather gear - I am beginning to think I am actually a glass half empty person

    Here is shot of Cliveden - I amused by the idea that if you were to invited to a party in the 60s then you didn't have to worry too much about what to wear......well according to Christine Keeler and John Profumo anyway.

    Also, take note of a rather shiny and scratchless Prospector - although I did do my best to change that later in the day.


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    Quote Originally Posted by SunburyAndy View Post
    Also, take note of a rather shiny and scratch-less Prospector - although I did do my best to change that later in the day.
    Not scratch-less now:



    Out with the 303

    But what should I do with this?:



    Probably caused when I was stuck under that tree

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    I was only joking that's me off the Christmas card list then!

    Hopefully Lloyds will around shortly he will no doubt have some advice.

    Best of luck!

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    The shot of Sunbury Andy roughing it up there in the wilderness is amusing
    Its a fair cop - I have been caught out, there is a kiosk at the lock selling hot and cold drinks

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    All part of the fun

    Would like some advice on the gash , it is not too deep 1-2mm and about 5cm in length

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    With a similar thing, I brought some repair filler stuff off Dave at Endless River. dead easy to use and hard as nails. I is a 2 part mix that you squish together.

    Rich

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    Thought you said you wern't a litery type? good write up and some good pics. You are blessed having a family that like canoeing, I struggle getting mine involved though bribes tend to work
    Leone_blanco

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sprout View Post
    All part of the fun

    Would like some advice on the gash , it is not too deep 1-2mm and about 5cm in length
    I'd agree with richardnhunt up there ^.

    For that size, just get a decent 2-part and fill it.

    I use a 'ding stick' for this kinda thing, WWC will have something suitable, as should any surf shop worth it's name.

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    Thanks for the advice chaps ............will get some '2-part' filler

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    Sprout, I think I passed you at Cookham.

    Not yet having a canoe, I hired a smelly diesel launch to take the family on a river trip from Maidenhead most of the way to Marlow and back. We spied two canoes tied up next to the lock at Cookham at around 1:30 on Sunday and I wished we had our own instead of the noisy smelly motor boat!

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    Quote Originally Posted by luke View Post
    We spied two canoes tied up next to the lock at Cookham at around 1:30 on Sunday and I wished we had our own instead of the noisy smelly motor boat!
    Yes, that was us, the canoes were by the lock gate, we were all at the tip of the island.

    What a shame we missed you - can you describe the boat? There weren't many who passed through the lock while we were there.

    I can't wait to receive my SOTP boat stickers.

    Andy

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    This was our boat.

    Last edited by luke; 6th-September-2006 at 04:00 PM. Reason: fixed picture

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    Quote Originally Posted by luke View Post
    This was our boat.


    Hi Luke

    Oh this was you.............

    Yes a perfect example where a SotP sticker on our canoes would have possibly made you moor up to find us.

    When you get your canoe [and I really recommend the Nova Craft Prospector] we'll arrange a get together.

    Cheers

    Sprout

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sprout View Post
    Thanks for the advice chaps ............will get some '2-part' filler
    The guys above are correct, you can get this stuff from old town...

    for $10 US plus shipping and VAT but whatever the local canoe shops are selling will do. Old Town just resells a lot of products that are commercially available elsewhere repackaged with an old town logo stuck on. If you talk with Nova Craft they would just send you to the B&Q.
    Lloyd

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


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    Looks like a great trip. I especially liked the part about the little tributary. Nothing like a little exploring.

    Going to have to go to the web and find out what Cliveden is, though (must be something important!)

    PG

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    To repair the gash, you could just use Araldite epoxy glue. This will fill into the foam core well and you can snd it off to a smooth finish. Alternatively you can get the two part epoxy putty from most DIY stores. I think LockTite do one but I think they are more expensive than other makes. It comes a sausage, you cut off a length, kneed it together and use it like putty. It gets quite hot whilst you kneed it (exothermic reaction) and will go hard in 5 minutes. Then sand smooth if necessary.

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