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Thread: Good afternoon all!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2019

    Red face Good afternoon all!

    I'm new to the kayaking scene. Recently bought a double SOT kayak for me and my girls to use.
    I have 3 children aged 7, 8 & 13... all who love the sea and anything water related.
    I bought a 2 man SOT kayak for us to use when we visit mersea Island in Essex which is a favourite haunt of ours. We had a little sea kayaking lesson while there last week (in the most horrendous conditions; wind blowing a hoolie and the tide against us) and we did ok given the conditions. My eldest and I have done lots of lessons in local a swimming pool (fun though a little boring) I thought it time to get our own.
    Myself and each child in turn ventured out for a very short paddle in the sea last week while at East mersea.
    I am a single mum and if I'm honest I am a little daunted about venturing out alone with my 14 year old (or the younger ones) having such little experience myself. My eldest and youngest are relatively strong paddlers.
    I guess I'm looking to you all experienced paddlers for a little support. (Please tell me we're not going to die! Lol)
    Ok, so I'd like to take them paddling the local(ish) rivers, I've been doing a little research here and many have suggested lots of nice easy paddles. I guess my main concerns is the practical things such as parking, where to get in/out, dealing with locks. As said I am very inexperienced and on my own with the girls so wouldn't want to get myself into diffulculty. Ideally I'd like a super easy in and out, easy paddle etc. Just to build the confidence of the little ones - "mum knows what's she's doing!" Kind of senario!
    Sorry waffling now! Any advice/ suggestions greatly recieved! Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Lochwinnoch, Scotland


    Welcome. Taking your kids out on trips always adds more pressure but as long as you build up slowly and stay inside your comfort zone you will be fine. Your comfort zone will get bigger as you get more experience and paddling with others helps, if you get the chance. You are pretty far from me but I am sure there will be meet-ups new you at some point.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008


    Hello and Welcome!

    You're right to be cautious and consider the dangers, but with a little simple planning you should be safe and having fun. Canals are good for this, and only a few are busy enough to put you off. I'd try and find flat bits without many locks for now.

    Have a look at Paddle Points for places to paddle, the Chelmer and Blackwater is presumably the obvious one. The Suffolk stour is good too, and from the bits I've paddled, if you started at Cattawade and went up to Flatford and back, it is all flat and easy with a good platform to put in right next to a car park. It might get a bit green and overgrown in summer though. Blog:

    The estuaries are lovely, but obviously you need to understand tides to paddle them safely, which adds an extra complication. They also get choppy quickly and suddenly if the wind gets up. The SOT is a better craft for these than most open canoes though, but it would be worth practicing rescues/getting back on etc, in a safe sheltered spot sometime.
    Paddler,blogger,camper,pyromaniac: Blog: Wilderness is a State of Mind

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2019


    Welcome fellow newbie!

    Enjoy your adventures!

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