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Thread: Hampshire Avon Autumn Paddle

  1. #181
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    It surely must be up by now? Mind you, I'm happy to wait for April 1st if there's any danger of disturbing the gravel.
    Fran



  2. #182

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    Looking here....it seems to be quite low still.

    http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk...ls/120717.aspx

  3. #183

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    I'm up for a paddle on this stretch soon. Level depending.

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  4. #184
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    Quote Originally Posted by wayne View Post
    I'm up for a paddle on this stretch soon. Level depending.
    If you're not sure what the gauge readings on the EA's online river level reporting system equate to in terms of whether a river is paddleable or not, Peakfreak's river level guide might be of help for the Hampshire Avon and elsewhere.

    Another useful guide as to whether the water is too low and risks damaging fish spawn is to follow the example of fishermen. When I asked the EA about the dates for salmon spawning they replied that it "generally occurs in the winter months December to January, care should be taken around shallow gravel areas to preserve the habitats of the fish" (by the time the BCU/CE asked the EA the answer had reportedly changed to "the salmon spawning season on the R Avon (Hants) is the end of October to end of March").

    The answer I was given is obviously the correct one, as Sunday 5th February 2012 sees this year's annual Salmon fishing open day on the Somerley Estate (downstream from Fordingbridge, above Ringwood) taking place. An example of acceptable contact with the river bed post-spawning is shown here:

    For paddlers, crotch level immersion close to the bank can be taken as a sign that there should be plenty of water to float a boat.

    As a responsible 'guardian of the river' you will, of course, be cognisant of the fact that once fertilized, salmon eggs take about 180 days to hatch. Whilst eggs remain in the gravel they are particularly susceptible to impact shock (though slightly less so for their first hours - presumably to overcome the 'trauma' of being covered in the redd - and once they have 'eyed') with potential mortality in excess of 60%, and they can die up to 60 days after the application of the shock (or hatching may be delayed by up to two weeks - which increases the risk of late trampling). You will also be aware that just hatched eggs, called alevins, remain in the gravel feeding off their egg-sack, until they eventually emerge as fry capable of escaping waders.

    It might explain why when I last looked at the Fly Fishing Forum post advising of the above described wading event, it came up with these ads (really!):



    The bottom line is that, as a paddler, fisheries on the Hampshire Avon (supported by the local EA offices) will claim you are likely to harm salmon, but if you paddle at reasonable levels, all you will do is risk the opinion of hypocritical vested interests.

    [Happy to be corrected with evidence if I've got any of the technical details about fish wrong].
    Last edited by John Saunders; 5th-January-2012 at 09:33 PM.

  5. #185

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    Sorry John but the adds are not generated by the website but by your browsing history.

    The site looks at your most visted sites and targets you with the most appropriate ads.

    So be careful where you go!!!

    Terry

  6. #186
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    Quote Originally Posted by Izzetafox View Post
    Sorry John but the adds are not generated by the website but by your browsing history.

    The site looks at your most visted sites and targets you with the most appropriate ads.

    So be careful where you go!!!

    Terry
    Doh! My secret's out. Must get a life, must get a life...

  7. #187

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    Just be grateful your recent history was on Kayak/canoe sites and not something else.

  8. #188
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    Quote Originally Posted by Izzetafox View Post
    Just be grateful your recent history was on Kayak/canoe sites and not something else.

    True Fox, but I note it was 'inflatable' Kayaks john had been looking at !

  9. #189
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyperion View Post
    True Fox, but I note it was 'inflatable' Kayaks john had been looking at !
    OK, I can see where this thread will end up ...

    ...combining the adverts for something 'inflatable' and 'how to do it courses in Wales' a picture of an blow up sheep would have appeared before long , so, back on track...

    ...the Hants Avon is clearly getting back into shape, if possibly not quite being there yet for guaranteed through paddling. Two of the EA's river gauges for the Avon are at East Mills where paddling conditions should look like this:





    These particular lads had previously provided an exemplary example of how to behave in the face of unpleasant harrassment, and have recently reported that
    "We're not having that much hassle at the moment, and have paddled it about 5 or 6 times over Christmas. You have to do a bit of a trip to avoid going on Mr Eastmills private road but it's doable."

  10. #190
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    As you say John, an exemplary example , with lads like these,I feel we must win. Are those 'Surf Shoes'?,

    I am surprised they can sit steady in the flow,with out a paddle in the water,without being moved by the

    currant.

    From what I can make of the film of the bloke fishing on the Salmon open day,he would be hard pressed to

    catch any thing at a fish farm, as well as killing all the eggs and fry with his size 12 waders,he should be shown

    that film every day,for the rest of his life!



  11. #191

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    The EA dates for salmon spawning ends soon time to consider a suitable time to get on the water.

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  12. #192
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    Yes indeed. And hopefully the water levels are higher now.
    Fran



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    Sunday the 4th of March.

    The route will be the same, Start in Salisbury, then paddle the 17 miles down river to Fordingbridge,

    with a lunch brake half way down. A local paddler is checking the general water levels on the section of

    river we will paddle, so, more news to follow.

  14. #194
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    Thumbs up Hampshire Avon SPRING paddle

    Looks good to me - I will be there.
    Fran



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    Yes, looks good to me to, the latest report on the water is that 'there's plenty flowing down the river', so

    the depth is fine, lets hope for a sunny day!

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    I drive from Ringwood to Salisbury quite regulary, and looks to me like the river has been quite high on the lower section (Ringwood to fordingbridge) for the last 2 weeks. Can't see much of the river from the A338 above Fordingbridge though.

    Is the paddle starting from the College in Salisbury?

    Also, given that the access issues I've encountered (mainly from anglers) have been between christchurch and Ringwood, why not paddle all the way to Christchurch / Mudeford?

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    Proposed route of Avon paddle.

    I think it is important to get into the river for 9;00, not later than 9;30, if we are to complete the paddle in daytime, allowing for a lunch break, .

    Put in: River Nadder at Harnham Recreation Ground, A3094Harnham Road, Salisbury (SU 137 292)

    After approx. 500m join the Avon at SU 141 290
    Harnham to Bodenham: approx. 7km http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=5087574
    Bodenham get out/put in at SU 170 259
    Bodenham to Charford: approx. 9.5kmhttp://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=5087544
    Charford get out/put in SU 177 186
    Charford to Fordingbridge: approx 10.5km http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=5087582
    Fordingbridge get out SU 148 137

    Excellent guide with mapped photos at http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=50.78900352108116~-1.7572090029716492&lvl=12&sty=s&cid=8151134ABDC3CA 99!116


    Derf, its good to get confirmation on the state of the river, should be a nice run down.

    I considered a trip all the way down to the coast, over two days with a camp around Fordingbridge, and I may well do this at a later date.

    At present, I am happy to do this first section on the 4th March, and follow up with the Fordingbridge to Christchurch paddle a few weeks

    after, it would be great to reach the sea !





  18. #198

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    Should be a great paddle. Its a beautiful part of the world.

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  19. #199

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    not sure i will be able to make 9am though.

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  20. #200

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    Sounds good to me. :-)

  21. #201
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    Damn, I'm away in Scotland that week. Hope you have a good paddle!
    Covering as many malmiles as possible before being distracted by the pub!

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  22. #202
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    Quote Originally Posted by wayne View Post
    The EA dates for salmon spawning ends soon time to consider a suitable time to get on the water.
    We do need to remember that just because the EA allow fisherfolk to go trampling all over the river bed as soon as spawning is done (see note in my earlier post on spawn development and the extended period of caution required) , it doesn't mean we should sink to their level (no puns intended). Whilst it does look like the Hants. Avon river levels are recovering slowly, it's correct to state that we need to "consider a suitable time to get on the water", which means that there needs to be enough water to float a boat without contact with the bed for the entire route. Let's be clear that a bloke who was wading the bed ten minutes before seeing a canoeist would have no hesitatation in producing a camera to 'demonstrate' that a canoe came within a gnats crotchet of 'ripping up a redd'.

    I'll try to get some recent pics of water levels up soon.

  23. #203

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    John. i agree that we must be seen to promote best practice at all times and that includes paddling on the Avon. we must demonstrate that we can enjoy a beautiful stretch of river without harming the riverine environment. if we are in doubt that the water levels are not sufficient to float safely over any posiible spawning sites then we will delay our paddle.

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  24. #204
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    Had a look at the proposed put-in a couple of weeks or so ago. It was probably just about OK, but any further upstream on the Nadder (by Harnham Mill) would have been a scrape.

    Immediately downstream of the confluence with the Avon there is plenty of water from the New Harnham A338 Road Bridge along side as per these pics from this morning:





    The sluices that take the river left towards the A36 are flowing, which has improved the situation along the last stretch that runs alongside Churchill Park:



    A quick look at a couple of spots further dowstream are not so encouraging. The river level at Bodenham (just downstream from Longford Castle) doesn't look to have changed at all since late January. Whilst there is enough water in the main channel river left, it's still pretty low:



    Still further downstream, at Trafalgar Weir (at least I think that's what it's called) there are similarly low water levels:



    With this latter location the flow here is artificially restricted, and adjacent side carriers have plenty of water, but the issue is more one of necessary portages and lack of public access. Personally, I think the river will need more water before it's really viable to run without any risk of (the charge of) environmental harm.
    Last edited by John Saunders; 18th-February-2012 at 04:55 PM. Reason: typo

  25. #205

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    Thanks for the info John.

    Current information is always useful. I think your assessment is correct that the water levels are OK from an environmental perspective.

    I would prefer to see a little more depth though. Lets keep our fingers crossed for some more rain then we can make a decision nearer the time.

    Bushcraft Survival and First Aid Training.

  26. #206

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    John Saunders' vids fun with inflatables
    Last edited by TGB; 18th-February-2012 at 09:19 PM.
    May the gentleness of morning, greet your silent passage through endless waters...

    May all your winds be gentle. And for ww - May it rain the night before.

  27. #207
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    Quote Originally Posted by TGB View Post
    John Saunders' vids fun with inflatable
    Thank you for that TGB ; may all your winds be griping . Whilst I have been to Vilnius once, can I assure you and all other readers that I had absolutely no involvement with this event, "Liudas Pestininkas" is not my 'Lithuanian name', and I don't think I have many litas left over!: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/news...Lithuania.html.

    Back to the subject of the thread, I realise that there's a typo in my last post where it should have said "along side Churchill Park, as per these pics from this morning". Given that the park belongs to the local council, and the LAA fishery is all along the southern right bank (looked like a busy competition today; nothing on the LAA website about it, again), does anyone know if the riparian rights on the left bank, belong to the city of Salisbury and its citizens? Do Salisbury Sea Cadets (who have their boats moored next to their HQ, below Harnham New Bridge river left) have to keep to 'their' half of the river?
    Last edited by John Saunders; 18th-February-2012 at 09:15 PM. Reason: major access rights error

  28. #208
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    Having had a look at Johns photos, I do not think there is enough depth of water for a paddle at present,which is a shame.

    There fore I think it is for the best that the paddle is postponed till a later date.

    This has been a dry Winter,following a dry Autumn, it will probably pee down in the Summer !

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    Wise decision.
    Doug Dew
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  30. #210

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Saunders View Post
    does anyone know if the riparian rights on the left bank, belong to the city of Salisbury and its citizens? Do Salisbury Sea Cadets (who have their boats moored next to their HQ, below Harnham New Bridge river left) have to keep to 'their' half of the river?
    I thought we had agreed it was a public navigation so the rights of riparian owners are neither here nor there.

  31. #211
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    Is there more water in the Itchen?
    Doug Dew
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  32. #212

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Cooper View Post
    I thought we had agreed it was a public navigation so the rights of riparian owners are neither here nor there.
    Once on the river there is clearly a right to navigate but you still have to get on and off and council land would help with this.
    Keith

  33. #213

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    Sorry Keith, it was the second part of the quote which prompted me to comment, not the first. And you are right of course.

  34. #214
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Cooper View Post
    Sorry Keith, it was the second part of the quote which prompted me to comment, not the first. And you are right of course.
    Sorry Adrian, first part should have been rhetorical ("?" = my error) as Churchill Park is clearly a public space (it's shame the council don't appear to lease the fishing rights to disadvantaged local families who might then be able to enjoy some quality time with their kids by the river; what's the bet a local councilor is resisting the interests of the plebs against vested interests on the other bank?), and the second part was supposed to be a bit tongue-in-cheek, but you didn't have the benefit of my view, and smiling at the of the dozens of LAA anglers lining the southern bank (including those opposite the moored boats). Anyone would think they'd had another 'long-planned' match arranged for the day (although you'd struggle to find it on their website's match list).

  35. #215
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    Quote Originally Posted by dougdew99 View Post
    Is there more water in the Itchen?
    Doug, probably the same problem with the Itchen as the Hants. Avon (moderators: is it worth starting a new thread since this is an access contentious river?) in that there are some parts with water, and some with a lack. EA gauges are reporting low levels around Winchester (where it's generally shallow anyway until just south of the city), Highbridge Weir (on the River) is towards the lower third of normal, Allbrook Weir on the Navigation is relatively high (which means that the section down from the Brambridge division should be OK), and Bishopstoke is debatable at .45cm (this depends on where the gauge is), but, depending on the route selected, beyond that is likely to be good. I should be able to take a look tomorrow, but in the meantime, here's a couple of pics of the river between Eastleigh and Bishopstoke (taken near to this time last year) just to put you off:




    Last edited by John Saunders; 20th-February-2012 at 09:05 PM. Reason: more typos spotted

  36. #216
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    A stretch of the Hants. (and Wilts.) Avon that hasn't been much considered runs between Amesbury and Salisbury. It looks like this:








    just a thought.

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    Hmm, good thought John. That is a lovely section, I used to cycle round there regularly when I lived in Salisbury in the early 90s. Of course, in terms of highlighting access, our argument would be targeted slightly differently as this is above the section covered by the Act of Navigation and we would be making a point about ALL non-tidal rivers, not just ones with historic Navigation Acts.

    We could call in at Lake House and see Sting too.
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  38. #218
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    they used to do great food at 'The Bridge at Woodford' as well...

  39. #219
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fran View Post
    It surely must be up by now? Mind you, I'm happy to wait for April 1st if there's any danger of disturbing the gravel.
    Looks like your patience might be rewarded...

    The BCU has stated that "Identifying a safe level to avoid coming into contact with gravel spawning beds should take into account the draught of a canoe/kayak is typically up to 10cm. This suggests that allowing at least a 15-20cm depth of water should be adequate to pass over gravel beds with the minimum risk of grounding. Care should be exercised using a paddle in reduced depth conditions to avoid contact with a gravel river bed, and it is recommended to revert to a paddle if poling an open canoe."

    EA gauges are showing that the Hampshire Avon is now looking to be open for business. Worth keeping an eye on the latest situation, but as of this evening the Nadder is above its typical range, East Mills Flume and Weir are both showing good levels, and Ringwood Riverside Terrace is also has plenty of water.

  40. #220
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    Cool - how about Sunday?
    Fran



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    And it is the angling closed season so you are displaying due consideration for other water user. They cannot plan a match at short notice this time!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Izzetafox View Post
    And it is the angling closed season so you are displaying due consideration for other water user. They cannot plan a match at short notice this time!
    It's still the salmon fishing season.

    Fran, have another appointment this Sunday, but will try to get some real time pics of Avon levels tomorrow for anyone thinking of a paddle this weekend.

  43. #223
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    Torrential rain due this Sunday in the Salisbury area, the same as the rest of the West,a good day to sit indoors,

    by a nice fire, I would be interested to see how much the river has risen up the marker posts that John Saunders

    took the photo's of earlier in the year, to compare,and contrast.

    But it sounds like its 'safe' to assume that we can get 10cm of water to float on,so paddle and on !

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fran View Post
    It surely must be up by now? Mind you, I'm happy to wait for April 1st if there's any danger of disturbing the gravel.
    It's past 1st April and the neigbouring river to the west (The Stour) has burst its banks (It was on local TV today) so no chance of disturbing the gravel there. You may hit your head on the bridges (if you can get under them).

    Check the EA guages for the Avon

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  45. #225

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brevan View Post
    The neigbouring river to the west (The Stour) has burst its banks (It was on local TV today) so no chance of disturbing the gravel there. You may hit your head on the bridges (if you can get under them).
    Today's BBC report

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    Was that a BBC reporter disturbing gravel beds at low water he he......

  47. #227
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    So - - anyone up for Sunday?
    Fran



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    Quote Originally Posted by Fran View Post
    So - - anyone up for Sunday?
    Looks like the Hampshire Avon (or at least the part around East Mills) is providing some good water (see down from Jake Deakin's post at Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:36 am here). Once again, action on the water speaks louder than internet intentions. Top lads!

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    Indeed, good to hear of youngsters behaving very responsibly when challenged by a raving landgrabber/owner.
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    Shame I couldn't get anyone from SOTP interested to go yesterday.
    Fran



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    I find that with the Thames on red boards, I am now not needed to lifeguard swimmers at the Windsor Triathlon this Sunday. Presumably there is plenty of water in the Avon?

    I wouldn't go alone as I don't know the waterway, but is anyone else up for a Hampshire paddle?
    Fran



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    Quote Originally Posted by Fran View Post
    I find that with the Thames on red boards, I am now not needed to lifeguard swimmers at the Windsor Triathlon this Sunday. Presumably there is plenty of water in the Avon?

    I wouldn't go alone as I don't know the waterway, but is anyone else up for a Hampshire paddle?

    What a good idea ! I would love to do the trip on Sunday,any one else interested ?

    Fran I will PM you to sort out logistics.

  53. #233
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    Just checked the weather forecast for Sunday and it looks very good. Sunny and Dry !

  54. #234
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    Fran



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    It was a lovely day out (despite the rudeness of a handful of men) - blog here http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...ay-on-the-Avon
    Fran



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    Looks like a great paddle... I am sure you will inspire others to experience the delights of the Avon, despite the rudeness you experienced. Sounds like you handled it really well. The Sea Cadet idiot did harm to a great institution by representing it so badly.
    Doug Dew
    "The best is yet to come" My Father


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    Well done you two! I hope you enjoyed the trip despite the abuse. Enough to demonstrate that we have a right of navigation but small enough that any opposition from the extremists in the angling community and their fellow travellers is seen as a bullying over-reaction. In time they will get acclimatised to us.

    In the 1950s British Waterways were actively filling in locks to prevent navigation on abandoned canals and river navigations. British Waterways resisted but those determined to maintain (or restore navigation) just kept going and in time British Waterways recognised the inevitable and changed their policy.
    Keith

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    Asked a daft question, then saw the answer straight away, so deleted post to save my blushes!
    Last edited by Rockhopper; 19th-June-2012 at 09:08 PM. Reason: B****y greenfly!
    Juvanile delinkwit (retired), vaguely faffing around with a pair of pliers.

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    Keith, thank you for your support,as we paddled, we felt it was a river that many open canoeist would enjoy if we

    just took it on ! and bore the unlawful ranting of those who would try to stop us for no good reason from paddling these

    very old waterways, as a river it is made for canoeing, please have a go.

    Doug, I am glad you got the point that this is a lovely river, with a few people who do not want canoeists, for the most

    of the section we paddled,we met nobody. Having said that, I would like to have a larger social paddle ! To show that

    we have the right to travel that waterway. In fact, what I really want to organise is a paddle camp paddle from

    Salisbury to Christchurch, we have time.

  60. #240

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    Sounds like a plan, I could bring my fly rod and catch some trout from my ever so intrusive boat, now that would upset the yocals..

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