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Thread: Tide free on the Thames to Traitor's Gate and the Tower of London

  1. #1
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    Default Tide free on the Thames to Traitor's Gate and the Tower of London

    Every once in a while, the Thames Barrage is tested. This blocks tidal influences on the Thames through central London, keeping the water at a level which leaves beaches along each shore - great for landing, but also for absorbing the bow waves of the bigger ships!

    This year's Shadwell Basin Paddlefest (in what was Wapping, by Canary Wharf - Docklands to those of us who don't live there) coincided with the Barrage being closed, so we took the opportunity to take open boats up to "Traitors' Gate" by the Tower of London / Tower Bridge - a short but excellent jaunt in waters where a sea kayak is generally the more sensible option.






















































    The trip was all over by 1pm... but for me, it was the highlight of another excellent weekend for which Mike Wardle and his team (and the volunteers from Tower Hamlets Canoe Club, including Dan, Sarah, Natalie and Michal) deserve lots of credit - though they also deserve huge credit for their ongoing, impressive and year-round commitment to bringing recreational boating to the river.

    Good work, everyone

  2. #2
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    Of course, before and after our outing on the Thames we also managed a programme of canoeing on the Basin. My solo boats got a full outing... as did my sailing canoe - seen below with Canary Wharf as a background


















    Ps. Click here to read our blog of last year's event

  3. #3

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    A most excellent weekend again, and I'll second Greg's vote of thanks to everyone at Shadwell Basin OAC who made it happen. It's a great location and you couldn't wish to meet a better bunch of people.

    Thanks also to Greg for bringing his fleet for everyone to play with and for taking some superb photos.

  4. #4
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    Now some photos c/o Alex Thomas...










  5. #5
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  6. #6
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    Are you around at any time this coming weekend? If so, join in with a packed programme at the ACA Europe Symposium - complete with awesome (inexpensive) venue, great programme and some wonderful presenters!

    Friday evening's highlight will be Natalie Maderova and Michal Madera​ of Home-Sea-Home and Dan Abel​ and Sarah Wallis​ (fresh from their Yukon Challenge exploits) linking coaching and mentoring to big trips - all to be illustrated by great tales from their remarkable exploits!

    Saturday we've got workshops with Jan Van Hees​, myself and Kelvin Horner​ building up to a great opportunity to be guided on the Tidal Thames through Central London - and Natalie, Michal, Dan and Sarah will be looking at the challenges and opportunities of coaching in that environment.

    Please bring a light: we should be getting off the water at dusk... but the PLA will expect us to be lit up well before then!

    Sunday we've got workshops on the basin with Jan and then a choice between some canoe sailing and further outing on the tidal Thames - this time sight-seeing towards the Thames Barrage and looking at things like tidal planning and navigation issues.

    Food will be bought in on Friday evening and we have a BBQ lined up for the Saturday evening. Accommodation is just 10 a night (camp beds in the Adventure Centre). We've ample parking... and we're happy for busy people to just attend one of the days.

    We've spaces available, so if you're interested, drop me a line!

    Links to Facebook - Traditional website

    Invitation with further details - Programme

  7. #7
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    Looks good , Greg.

    I was tempted, but couldn't face crossing London when the alternative was a lovely rural paddle near home. I now wish I'd made the effort...
    Covering as many malmiles as possible before being distracted by the pub!

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  8. #8
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    May 2009
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    Really enjoyed this years meet up. Paddling under the middle section of Tower Bridge was fun - they didn't open the bridge for us though

  9. #9
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    Aug 2011
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    SE London
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    Great photos Greg, I've dropped you a line re the Saturday.

  10. #10

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    Great photos Greg, and many thanks for your first-class coaching of a first-timer in an open canoe. I have some photos here:
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...9248245&type=3

  11. #11
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    Apr 2009
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    London
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    The briefing




    The beach at the false low tide caused by the barrier closure




    Getting on was simple with no tide




    And we were off




    There was just enough water to paddle in the 'backwater' away from the fairway





    The bridge came into sight




    Waiting to regroup





    Reaching the beach at Trators Gate





    Back on the water we were ready to pass under the bridge





    About ready to cross back to our beach




    Everyone ready?




    Crossing the river back to the Prospect and the beach


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