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Thread: Canoe Sailing on the Medway Estuary

  1. #1

    Default Canoe Sailing on the Medway Estuary

    Last Saturday I made my way to the Isle of Sheppy to join a group paddle that launches the http://www.discoveryourestuary.com/ downloadable guides and videos by Dave Wise. I arrived a bit late and as it was the first sail of the year needed to take some time sorting out my canoe, by the time I got onto the slip at Queenborough the paddlers had left.


    Heading up the Swale the tide was against me but with a beam reach even in light winds the Solway Dory Curlew was able to punch against the tide, once on the Medway the tide was with me but now I had to close haul down the Estuary, it was quite murky to start with but the sun was gradually burning off the low cloud. The was very little traffic on the Estuary apart from a few fishing boats and a one man hovercraft!There were a couple of huge flat bottomed barges moored up , which I kept a good distance from, those things give me the willes! Once past Chetney marshes I turned into the entrance of Stangate creek and practised my hoving-to skills with my jib while scanning the horizon with a small pair of bin's to hunt for the paddlers

    I eventually found the group tucked behind a disused pier on Burntwick Island



    After ten minutes or so the paddlers set off over the top of the now mostly flooded Island to investigate an abandoned barrack block,I set off back up Stangate Creek.The day was now really sunny and beautiful, the Estuary was full of wildlife, thousands of birds noisily calling and a solitary seal accompanied me for a while popping his head up now and then.


    I met up with the group as we took the high tide short cut of Sheppard's Creek cutting through Deadman's Island and back to the Swale and across to the slip at Queenborough.


    A map of the route:




    I also made a video of the trip:




    Many thanks to Dave for organising the trip and creating the great resource of the Medway estuary paddle guides.
    Unk
    Last edited by unk tantor; 12th-March-2012 at 09:08 PM.

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    Lol, those paddlers must have been a tad jealous as you cruised by effortlessly!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steamerpoint View Post
    Lol, those paddlers must have been a tad jealous as you cruised by effortlessly!
    If you've got a decent sea kayak, and have decent technique, and even modest fitness and stamina, cruising along is pretty effortless: certainly more relaxing than trying to get decent performance out of a sailing canoe in fickle winds!

    I've no sympathy for the folk who try touring in the overgrown washing up bowls that pass as inland kayaks these days... but in a more appropriate craft, paddling remains a way nicer option than sailing in most conditions: better when there's no wind, and better when the wind (or sea state) is getting a little too challenging for canoe sailing.

    Somewhere in the middle, maybe in force 3-6 , you get conditions in which a sailing canoe might be an entertaining alternative... and it's an alternative that works with children and pets aboard... but the real fun starts with the tideraces, and the rockhopping... and whilst I'm very much game for trying, I'm still not seeing that (at least in any big way) in sailing canoes.

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    Well Greg! It takes all sorts...

    Your idea of when things get "interesting" or "challenging" or "entertaining" differ from mine both now and even when I was younger and fitter. I was never interested in paddling a sea kayak into even a F5 for very long, let alone anything greater. Obviously I'm a wimp...

    And as for rock hopping - you haven't been with me much to see where I like going! If there's a gap with enough water I feel the urge to go thro it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by GregandGinaS View Post
    If you've got a decent sea kayak, and have decent technique, and even modest fitness and stamina, cruising along is pretty effortless: certainly more relaxing than trying to get decent performance out of a sailing canoe in fickle winds!

    I've no sympathy for the folk who try touring in the overgrown washing up bowls that pass as inland kayaks these days... but in a more appropriate craft, paddling remains a way nicer option than sailing in most conditions: better when there's no wind, and better when the wind (or sea state) is getting a little too challenging for canoe sailing.

    Somewhere in the middle, maybe in force 3-6 , you get conditions in which a sailing canoe might be an entertaining alternative... and it's an alternative that works with children and pets aboard... but the real fun starts with the tideraces, and the rockhopping... and whilst I'm very much game for trying, I'm still not seeing that (at least in any big way) in sailing canoes.
    Unlike you to take such a one dimensional view? What about diversity and the pleasures, challenges and fulfilments of small craft journeying, inland or coastal, which are not adrenaline related? I'm enjoying being part of a UK group which is developing canoe sailing and voyaging in multiple interesting directions. Sea kayaking has several decades start on canoe sailing in its second UK incarnation (where I suspect we may be starting to make an international impression). Over the next 10 years, I predict a very interesting future for canoe sailing with a greater mixing of paddling and sailing disciplines and some sea kayakers, open canoeists and also cruising dinghy sailors, taking up canoe sailing at a very high level.

    I'm not averse to a bit of paddling and would definitely like to do more kayaking (especially since you taught me to paddle properly) but I also positively enjoy trying to get best performance out of a sailing canoe in fickle winds!
    Last edited by GavinM; 12th-March-2012 at 11:16 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GregandGinaS View Post
    If you've got a decent sea kayak, and have decent technique, and even modest fitness and stamina, cruising along is pretty effortless: certainly more relaxing than trying to get decent performance out of a sailing canoe in fickle winds!

    I've no sympathy for the folk who try touring in the overgrown washing up bowls that pass as inland kayaks these days... but in a more appropriate craft, paddling remains a way nicer option than sailing in most conditions: better when there's no wind, and better when the wind (or sea state) is getting a little too challenging for canoe sailing.

    Somewhere in the middle, maybe in force 3-6 , you get conditions in which a sailing canoe might be an entertaining alternative... and it's an alternative that works with children and pets aboard... but the real fun starts with the tideraces, and the rockhopping... and whilst I'm very much game for trying, I'm still not seeing that (at least in any big way) in sailing canoes.
    Yes Greg, but not everyone can afford a Tiderace at nearly 3k a pop!

    I have been enjoying my paddling days out and in calm winds, I'll agree with you. It can be quite frustrating waiting for a breeze, but if there is a breeze and and you have the space to sail, you have the rig, leeboard etc. might as well use it I would say. Unk's Curlew is a nice sailing canoe and while I'm sure it paddles really well, I would probably want to sail it every chance I got. Like a go in a Tiderace also one day, but doubt I would get that lucky.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GregandGinaS View Post
    If you've got a decent sea kayak, and have decent technique, and even modest fitness and stamina, cruising along is pretty effortless: certainly more relaxing than trying to get decent performance out of a sailing canoe in fickle winds!
    "Sail when you can, paddle when you must."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peregrine View Post
    Unlike you to take such a one dimensional view? What about diversity and the pleasures, challenges and fulfilments of small craft journeying, inland or coastal, which are not adrenaline related?
    Sorry, Gavin: I was just a little irked by Chris' suggestion that "those paddlers must have been a tad jealous" as unk tantor "cruised by effortlessly": I prefer Steve's line, that sea kayaks, sailing canoes and the larger vessels of the Dinghy Cruising Association are ALL good options for open water / coastal adventuring.

    Keith's commenting without being as irate as I was last night, and of course, I remain happy to promote canoe sailing, but the sport's not going to win friends by ignoring how effortless sea kayaking can be in anything other than extreme conditions - especially now sea kayakers have started making very effective use of sails in conditions that might be found a little to lively for most canoe sailors!

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    Thanks for that balancing out, Greg - by your tone, I thought you must have found another high horse and leapt astride!

    I've done my fair share of seakayaking in my time and loved most of it. Anglesey, Northumberland and way up in the northwest of Scotland being some favourites. But I wouldn't characterise it as "effortless" - may be compared with these daft little WW kayaks that are almost the same width as length. A good seakayak is a joy to paddle and will go as fast as you care to push it (well it seems like that anyway) - I had a VCP Nordkapp HM for many years and it felt like a second home to me. Unfortunately my body will no longer accept sitting in that position for any length of time but I am delighted to find that sailing a canoe seems to allow me enough movement to go to pretty much the same places as a seakayak, and with the added technical challenge of sailing. I don't think it is my role to be an evangelist to all other water users - I just want to get on with my chosen activity, often sharing my delight with those who show an interest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GregandGinaS View Post
    Sorry, Gavin: I was just a little irked by Chris' suggestion that "those paddlers must have been a tad jealous" as unk tantor "cruised by effortlessly"
    I'm sorry you took offence at this Greg, but you had no right to take umbrage with me and I stand by my comment. I have personally heard comments by other paddlers in open Canadian canoes like "Hey that's cheating" or "Give us a tow" which indicates an element of envy and while there will be sea kayak paddlers out there that won't have the same thoughts, I was speaking generally.

    My issue is that if I say something you don't like, you are happy to cut into me, whereas if someone else says the same thing, you keep quiet. This is what I take offence at!

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    Er. At the risk of injecting myself where I'm not wanted, let's keep it friendly, chaps. Most comments can be shrugged off or ignored if one makes an effort. Sometimes it can be good for the blood pressure to type a response to something that irks one; but it is good then to pause, re-read, and decide not to send it.

    This is such a friendly forum in general and its a shame to spoil the tone.

    Unk, Thanks for the write up. Great blog. I second your thanks to Dave and his estuary paddles. A great resource.
    I hope to sail there with you and others at some point.
    All the best,
    Ian

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    Thanks for sharing your Medway trip. Great to see such an assortment of boats out together. Was there a sea kayak amongst them ? - whatever - they all did the trip.

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    Quote Originally Posted by windorpaddle View Post
    A good seakayak is a joy to paddle and will go as fast as you care to push it (well it seems like that anyway) - I had a VCP Nordkapp HM for many years and it felt like a second home to me.
    That's pretty much my experience... and I'd say something similar of the best designed open canoes (some of which also have great glide characteristics, and a few of which occasionally get described as open sea kayaks). I know we've also got a few other members of the OCSG who appreciate the joys of paddling.

    If I were actively sea kayaking these days, I'd be adding a sail: I've seen some stunning footage of what's possible, and I'd like to get into doing that. I'm certainly not averse to the "sail when you can" idea, just to it being the be all and end all: I also aim to recognise when a sail would only get in the way of a good paddle - whether in a canoe or kayak. Looking at the video, I see no reason for the paddlers to envy the canoe sailor - they might just as reasonably have been pitying the poor canoe sailor for being encumbered with a sail in conditions that were near-perfect for a gentle paddle!

    Of course, having those options open to you requires both a sailing skillset (something some who buy sails are seemingly averse to developing) and a paddling skillset (which some who buy paddles are seemingly averse to developing). I'm OK with folk only developing one of the two (each to his or her own)... but to my mind, we need to remain respectful of what sailing can be AND what paddling can be - so not suggesting one lot should be envying the other!

    Quote Originally Posted by windorpaddle View Post
    I am delighted to find that sailing a canoe seems to allow me enough movement to go to pretty much the same places as a seakayak, and with the added technical challenge of sailing.
    No argument from me there: I doubt I'm alone in finding your example quite inspirational. My own reasons for switching from sea kayaking to canoe sailing have more to do with a dog and daughter... but I bought the Jensen 18 and Bermudan rig with the primary objective of getting with that pair to haunts I'd previously only thought of exploring by sea kayak.

    Getting back to the blog: the Medway looks quite extensive... but it's a 3 hour drive each way from here. Might swing that way one time on our way to the ferry though

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    Quote Originally Posted by idc View Post
    Er. At the risk of injecting myself where I'm not wanted, let's keep it friendly, chaps. Most comments can be shrugged off or ignored if one makes an effort. Sometimes it can be good for the blood pressure to type a response to something that irks one; but it is good then to pause, re-read, and decide not to send it.

    This is such a friendly forum in general and its a shame to spoil the tone.

    All the best,
    Ian
    I agree Ian, this should be a freindly place to chat and have fun. It seems difficult to say fun things without people getting upset. Maybe I just touched a nerve with the subject?

    Perhaps this has something to say about the way canoe sailors are perceived by paddlers. Canoeing is a pure sport that spans thousands of years, whereas canoe sailing is relatively young. Sailing canoes are heavier, more complicated, require a different set of skills, have some advantages over the standard canoe, yet also have disadvantages in other areas. Modern enclosed sailing canoes sit closer to dinghies than open canoes and while they sail really well, how well do they paddle?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steamerpoint View Post
    Modern enclosed sailing canoes sit closer to dinghies than open canoes and while they sail really well, how well do they paddle?
    Depends what you're comparing them to, what conditions you're paddling them in and what your aspirations are. Compromises are needed somewhere, and we've all got different expectations in terms of responsiveness and performance when paddling.

    The Solway Dory Shearwaters can be powered along OK when the wind drops (that's with single blade or double blade), and if you've got a sensible plan, you should still get to your destination... but to me, the paddling experience is not one I'd actively seek out - I'd be more likely to explore a shoreline on foot than to take one out rockhopping, I'd only try surfing one for a laugh, and I'd find the handling a challenge if I had to drop the rig to rescue someone in the sort of conditions where that might be necessary!

    At the other end of the spectrum, Solway Dory's Egret offers a completely different experience (and that would be the same with or without a deck). To me, that's a sailing canoe to put a smile on your face when you paddle... and I'd happily take one out to play whether exploring a rocky shoreline, making a crossing, descending a lively river or whatever - and I'd see it as an excellent craft for paddling to the rescue of a stricken member of the group.

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    Very nice blogg Unk, I enjoyed watching the video link you posted on FB but It's nice to read a written account as well. Thanks for taking the time to write it.

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    Well done Jurassic for getting the thread back on track. But other cans of worms have been opened and who am I to stay away...

    I agree with most of what both Greg and Steamerpoint say.
    But.... @ Greg - although an Egret might be a good boat to paddle to get to a rescue, once there it would be much less suitable as a platform for helping the casualty compared to a larger canoe.
    And @ Steamerpoint re the history of canoeing - my view is that canoeing as a recreational pursuit developed as both a paddling and sailing activity over much the same timescale ie since about 1860s. Prior to that various indigenous peoples in many parts of the world have used the wind as well as paddles for thousands of years. Re the paddling characteristics of decked sailing canoes - they can be paddled very effectively as an alternative means of propulsion, but maybe Greg is right to say most people wouldn't really go out for just a paddle in one. I'd like to think that our canoe can do both reasonably well; being at the larger end of the spectrum it's not a solo paddling canoe but certainly Ann and I can and do paddle it very happily, including on rivers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by windorpaddle View Post
    I'd like to think that our canoe can do both reasonably well; being at the larger end of the spectrum it's not a solo paddling canoe but certainly Ann and I can and do paddle it very happily, including on rivers.
    I'd second that: for me, canoes like yours... and our Jensen... paddle very nicely with two reasonably skilled, optimally positioned operators (perched in the conventional manner, near the stems). That said, I'm not convinced that such satisfactory arrangements are possible with the paddlers away from the stems as commonly happens on the decked canoes used for sailing.

    The stern paddler moving forward and shuffling closer to the rail to paddle might work for forward paddling, but that connectivity to each chine is compromised: if the stern paddler's job is balancing the hull for manoeuvring and in difficult conditions (because the bow paddler's knees, if positioned well forward, are too close together) then shuffling too far to one side ain't good - and it really goes against the grain, for me, for the bow paddler to be shuffled to one side (or back from the normal paddling position) as both moves compromise effective cross/off-side placements / strokes.

    Such solutions (bringing the paddlers closer together) work in C2 slalom boat / White Water Racer / specialist WW playboat, so a decked tandem sailing canoe with a single, central cockpit could perhaps be made to work well for paddling... but we'd perhaps be into a 16' 6" x 30" canoe - which might be (possible understatement coming) rather challenging to sail!

    With the decked craft, Dave Poskitt's line is that we need to compromise somewhere, and the compromises in the paddling positions are of limited consequence and facilitate the development of a lightweight, seaworthy, sailing canoe designed for a "sailed when we can, and paddled when we must" approach. The paddler in me isn't entirely convinced by Dave's arguments... but until someone comes up with a compromise design of decked canoe that works better, I'm prepared to go with his experience on what's genuinely practicable as a compromise in decked boats.

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    All good stuff there, Greg. Interestingly I've done the Liffey Descent a number of times, both solo in the Mad River Explorer I had, but also tandem in that and in an Old Town Discovery 158 I had before that. Having first used the conventional paddling positions and suffered the bow burying deep in the waves at each weir shoot, I then took to using the both closer to the middle of the canoe tactic and it worked well. Ok you couldn't use such a full range of strokes and techniques as at the ends but I don't like cross deck strokes much anyway - bad for my back. Communication was much easier as well. If the paddlers know what they are doing it shouldn't be as much of an issue as you might think. That is perhaps the key issue right there - some of our canoe-sailors are still developing their paddling skills (notice the diplomatic wording I've used!!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by unk tantor View Post
    Last Saturday I made my way to the Isle of Sheppy to join a group paddle that launches the http://www.discoveryourestuary.com/ downloadable guides and videos by Dave Wise. Unk
    Hey Unk, were you wearing your new Typhoon Extreme drysuit and if so, how was it, how did you get on? Did you have an under-fleece, were you warm enough or did you feel that you had to open it occasionally to let some warm air out?

    I am going out as soon as the wind gets up to a F4+ now that my knee is feeling better to test the storm sail and not sure how many layers I am going to need under my drysuit. Never really done sailing in winter with a drysuit, only in mild conditions and had only one layer under the drysuit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steamerpoint View Post
    I am going out as soon as the wind gets up to a F4+ now that my knee is feeling better to test the storm sail and not sure how many layers I am going to need under my drysuit. Never really done sailing in winter with a drysuit, only in mild conditions and had only one layer under the drysuit.
    The age old debate of whether to dress for immersion or not. You can either wear sufficient insulation to keep you warm for longer if you have to swim (and be too hot if you don't fall in) or wear less on the basis that you can get out of the water and back in your canoe before the cold water starts to affect you and reduce your dexterity to a dangerous level. If you sail on a cold day it makes the decision easier as the extra insulation is handy for keeping you warm while sailing as well (and the differential between air temperature and water temperature is less pronounced). As usual the sensible choice is a compromise and I usually wear only as much as I think I'll need to allow a quick re-entry into my canoe (as I'm confident I can get back in quickly). Don't underestimate how cold the water can be and how quickly it can affect you if you're not well insulated. I went for a rescue training session/swim last year around this time of year wearing just normal clothes under my drysuit and was shocked how quickly I became uncomfortably cold, it was really unpleasant. Not a problem when you can just end your rescue practice prematurely and get out of the water and warm up but bloody dangerous if you're in a real life rescue.

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    Personally I'm happy to see and be in the company with, anyone who is out on the water using non motorised propulsion.

    Isabella There were a few sea kayaks in the group, the one I noticed was a roto mould version of the Nigel Dennis Romany, I used to paddle the glass version of that a lot when I was a member of the Tower Hamlets Canoe Club, it was one of the club boats.I think this is it , in 2006:


    Ian. Fancy a paddle on the Medway on the 24th?

    Jurrasic.Glad you liked the blog, inspired by your own blog page I'm minded to create one of my own this year, My wife brought me a ZX5 mini cam yesterday so I can shoot better quality films, the Medway one wasn't helped either by there being a big finger print on the lens which I didn't spot until reunited with my glasses after the sail.

    Steamerpoint. The xtreme drysuit was really good, felt very comfortable,the rear zip arrangement and braces made putting it on easy, in fact easier then doing up the Peak UK Adventurer suit, closing the zip was no problem. Underneath I had a thin pair of socks, a thermal ski longjohns from Decathlon, on top I had a nookie "softcore" longsleeve top and a cheap thermal top,again from decathlon. Normaly wearing my wetsuit farmer johns I would of had the canoe scrapping close to the edge of the water to avoid having to get wet, with the drysuit I waded out till the canoe floated completely and then got in, saving the bottom of the boat but dragging a lot more water in with me, my feet felt a bit cold , so thicker socks might be in order and sitting on the bottom of the hull my bottom was a bit cold, might have to get a neoprene mat in future!But the suit was great much nicer then a clammy cold wetsuit!

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    Hmm.... Feet, that reminds me. My neoprene sailing shoes might be a bit cold at this time of year, plus they don't really keep my feet dry either when I walk out into the water. Might have to rethink the footwear side, but you have given me a few ideas thanks. Glad you are happy with the suit Unk. I thought you might have found it harder to get in and out with the rear entry zip. The front entry zip system works really well as long as you remember to put both arms behind your back when pulling your arms out of the sleeves to get out! Not possible otherwise. My only concern is that the front zip goes right down to the top of my thigh and digs in a little when in the sitting position. It might soften up slightly, but hopefully with some good winds, I'll me hanging out, not actually sitting.

    Cheers Chris. As you say the water temperature and the air temperature will be fairly similar at this time of year. I could go for my under-fleece plus some other layers like a sweat shirt and then on top of the drysuit wear my cag, which I can take off easily if I get too hot. Once while sailing a Laser of the coast of Cyprus in late May, I was boiling and undid the zip of my drysuit 10-minutes before I capsized!!! Not only did I get cold instantly, it was very hard to get back onto the boat with a few gallons of water in my suit!!! I'll never do that again! I've stuck to wetsuits ever since, but they are a massive cold shock when you hit the water!!

    Unk, looks like you need other canoe sailors to join you on the Medway, else your in a bit of a minority!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steamerpoint View Post
    Hmm.... Feet, that reminds me. My neoprene sailing shoes might be a bit cold at this time of year, plus they don't really keep my feet dry either when I walk out into the water.
    Doesn't your drysuit have socks? That's the obvious answer!

    A couple of weeks ago, I had a weekend swimming on the Tees (White Water Safety and Rescue update). On the Saturday I got cold feet.. but on the Sunday I was fine: the difference was layers on my legs (merino baselayer, neoprene wetsuit and polartec 200 fleece, all aiding circulation to my feet) as well as waterproof socks inside my drysuit (to increase insulation and to provide additional protection against water that got through the zip / seams / seals).

    As a paddler who ALWAYS ends up with water in the canoe... I ALWAYS end up with wet footwear (even when I launch from a jetty). I've yet to come across anything that helps significantly on the outside of a dri-sock... but as and when someone's inclined to get my a birthday present... my list is likely to be topped by the Palm Gradient Shoe - though if you've wide feet, the Teva Cherry Bomb water shoe might be worth a look.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steamerpoint View Post
    Hmm.... Feet, that reminds me. My neoprene sailing shoes might be a bit cold at this time of year, plus they don't really keep my feet dry either when I walk out into the water.
    I could go for my under-fleece plus some other layers like a sweat shirt and then on top of the drysuit wear my cag, which I can take off easily if I get too hot.
    Won't your drysuit keep your feet dry? One of the great pleasures of sailing in a drysuit is having dry, warm feet. Regarding what to wear with the drysuit, as an example when I was sailing on Coniston two weeks ago I wore a merino wool base layer with a second thin long sleeved synthetic thermal top over and my Craghoppers outdoors trousers. Over the top of all this I wore a one piece fleece undersuit that s designed for use under a drysuit. On my feet (the bit that along with hands is most prone to getting cold) I wore a pair of thin Coolmax cycling socks with a pair of thick Thorlo thermal socks over the top under my drysuit feet and Lomo neoprene boots over those. I was just warm enough using this combination (although the weather was pretty cold) and I reckon it would have given me a comfortable ten minutes in the water (after which I think I would have been getting pretty cold). I don't think wearing a cag over the top will be very worthwhile (the drysuit fabric should protect you from spray and windchill). Remember extra thin layers will trap insulating air and hinder mobility less than one or two thick layers will so dig out those thermal long johns!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jurassic View Post
    Won't your drysuit keep your feet dry?
    Nope!! See below:



    The military dry suits I have always worn had ankle seals and this is all I have ever used.

    The red Storm suit I bought but found it to be a bit snug and never used had dry socks, but felt that they were flimsy and likely to get damaged easily, so when I went for a new suit, decided to go for something I was used to. The socks were also quite baggy on me so a benefit of having ankle seals was that I can wear whatever shoes I like.

    50% of all the dry suits on offer have ankle seals so figured that this technology hasn't been superceded for a reason. It does mean that I get wet feet again by the sounds of things!

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    Quote Originally Posted by GregandGinaS View Post
    Doesn't your drysuit have socks? That's the obvious answer!

    A couple of weeks ago, I had a weekend swimming on the Tees (White Water Safety and Rescue update). On the Saturday I got cold feet.. but on the Sunday I was fine: the difference was layers on my legs (merino baselayer, neoprene wetsuit and polartec 200 fleece, all aiding circulation to my feet) as well as waterproof socks inside my drysuit (to increase insulation and to provide additional protection against water that got through the zip / seams / seals).

    As a paddler who ALWAYS ends up with water in the canoe... I ALWAYS end up with wet footwear (even when I launch from a jetty). I've yet to come across anything that helps significantly on the outside of a dri-sock... but as and when someone's inclined to get my a birthday present... my list is likely to be topped by the Palm Gradient Shoe - though if you've wide feet, the Teva Cherry Bomb water shoe might be worth a look.
    Thanks for posting these and reading through the review of the Teva Cherry shoes, they still allow water to get inside to some degree, but probably to a lesser extent.

    I use these Swarm wetsuit boots: http://www.outdoorgb.com/p/Swarm-5mm-Wetsuit-Boot/ as they give good grip.

    I have been known to use my crocks to get into the canoe and then pull the Swarm boots on once inside, but the water is going to be very cold at this time of year, so perhaps I would be better off with some Muckboots!

  28. #28
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    Had a chat with a drysuit company in Telford who have recommended simply buying some latex dry socks that are snug against my calf that allows my drysuit ankle seals to form a nice seal. That should keep my feet nice and dry and allow me to wear whatever shoes or footwear I wish over the top.

    I have just bought a couple of pairs of these dry socks in two sizes to get the right size: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3307009209...fvi%3D1&_rdc=1

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregandGinaS View Post
    ....I prefer Steve's line, that sea kayaks, sailing canoes and the larger vessels of the Dinghy Cruising Association are ALL good options for open water / coastal adventuring..............the sport's not going to win friends by ignoring how effortless sea kayaking can be in anything other than extreme conditions - especially now sea kayakers have started making very effective use of sails in conditions that might be found a little to lively for most canoe sailors!
    Greg, absolutely agree with you on this. All these small craft, are potentially great options for small craft voyaging and for me, the experience of travelling inland or by sea in small open boats is the main thing, with the choice of type of boat being in many ways secondary. That said I'm committed to exploring the sailing canoe option because my previous experience has been of sailing, not paddling and because I'm intrigued by the as yet underdeveloped potential of sailing canoes as capable 'car toppable' light weight boats which are better than cruising dinghies for rowing or paddling. Also, my sea kayak self recovery capabilities are just about non existent whereas I feel pretty confident about my ability to right and get back into a capsized sailing canoe in rough conditions, particular with outriggers.

    I'd like to see more instances of kayaks, sailing canoes and sailing dinghies participating in joint events. It was good to see unk tantor sailing in company with kayakers. Dinghy Cruising Association (DCA) members I've been sailing with seem very relaxed about others (including non DCA members trying out cruising with the DCA) turning up in small yachts, kayaks, rowing boats, sailing canoes, proas and on one DCA rally, a windsurfer.

    So, what do you think about my Round the Island (IOW) challenge idea? Approximately similar rules to the Everglades Challenge, open to sailing dinghies, sea kayaks, sailing canoes, small multi-hulls (provided suitably equipped and sailed by suitably experienced crew), run along the lines of an expedition sailing challenge over a weekend? Nearest UK equivalent to this idea is the Sheppey Round the Island race which I haven't yet managed to enter. But that's a one day event and round the Isle of Wight is about 10 miles further with challenging tides and a much more exposed section south of the Island.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peregrine View Post
    I'd like to see more instances of kayaks, sailing canoes and sailing dinghies participating in joint events.
    That sounds like a reasonable proposition, as does a joint OCSG / DCA / Sea Kayaker group rally where folk aim to get around the island.. though we should perhaps get on with getting around the island ourselves first! I'd be up for that some time (now that I've added more airbags to the Jensen: now just needing a self-bailer).

    Whether an annual round-the-island rally could be developed into a "Round the Island (IOW) challenge" would need some research: I'd like to know why the old Sea Kayakers IOW time trial folded and how other events ran before pursuing the notion.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregandGinaS View Post
    That sounds like a reasonable proposition, as does a joint OCSG / DCA / Sea Kayaker group rally where folk aim to get around the island.. though we should perhaps get on with getting around the island ourselves first! I'd be up for that some time (now that I've added more airbags to the Jensen: now just needing a self-bailer).

    Whether an annual round-the-island rally could be developed into a "Round the Island (IOW) challenge" would need some research: I'd like to know why the old Sea Kayakers IOW time trial folded and how other events ran before pursuing the notion.
    I hope to be able to make another attempt at getting round the IOW weekend after next, subject to the forecast.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peregrine View Post
    G


    So, what do you think about my Round the Island (IOW) challenge idea? Approximately similar rules to the Everglades Challenge, open to sailing dinghies, sea kayaks, sailing canoes, small multi-hulls (provided suitably equipped and sailed by suitably experienced crew), run along the lines of an expedition sailing challenge over a weekend? Nearest UK equivalent to this idea is the Sheppey Round the Island race which I haven't yet managed to enter. But that's a one day event and round the Isle of Wight is about 10 miles further with challenging tides and a much more exposed section south of the Island.
    A great idea,Peregrine . Paddle,row or sail challenges OR gunkholing cruises in company seems to be the the way to go .

    The Isle of Sheppey race is here http://www.iossc.org.uk/islandrace/index.php -about 12 hours max-if you read the past results section.This is ,of course a sailing only race.

    ( Silverbirch and I are looking at a round Sheppey paddle for Medway Marauders later in the year ,a 2 nights camping trip- a leisurely paddling cruise rather than a Challenge -which any row paddle or sail craft would be welcome. Campsites and tides are being looked at for a date. ) -This is leisurely as Nigel Hatton did a Whitstable /round Sheppey and back in 5 hours a few years ago in a sea kayak .

    IOW sounds great-a bit scary with all the shipping-I take it one would start from Lepe,Hamble or Keyhaven (saves on the ferry fare ) -Would this be a one day race challenge or a camping cruise
    in company ?

  33. #33

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    I'm definitely up for the Isle of Sheppy race this year! Any other Canoe sailors interested?

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregandGinaS View Post
    That sounds like a reasonable proposition, as does a joint OCSG / DCA / Sea Kayaker group rally where folk aim to get around the island.. though we should perhaps get on with getting around the island ourselves first! I'd be up for that some time (now that I've added more airbags to the Jensen: now just needing a self-bailer).

    Whether an annual round-the-island rally could be developed into a "Round the Island (IOW) challenge" would need some research: I'd like to know why the old Sea Kayakers IOW time trial folded and how other events ran before pursuing the notion.
    I completed an Isle of Wight circumnavigation just over a week ago. I've posted an account in the Blogg section. It's called 'Paddling Through a Starlit Night and off to the Races'.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by unk tantor View Post
    I'm definitely up for the Isle of Sheppy race this year! Any other Canoe sailors interested?
    I could probably join you one weekend, especially if it was on a Sunday.

  36. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steamerpoint View Post
    I could probably join you one weekend, especially if it was on a Sunday.

    Great stuff, one trip I've got in mind is to the Pub! this one: http://www.theshipwrightsarmspub.co.uk/
    one of the remotest pubs in the South east I reckon. Launch at queenborough on the Isle of Sheppy and head down the Swale to it.

  37. #37

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    Double post.

  38. #38
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    A chart to this area on RHS of link
    http://www.visitmyharbour.com/harbou...way/faversham/


    Free parking at Harty Ferry,and access to various interesting places and pubs,no matter what the state of tide and wind !

    http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2210766

  39. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by andre View Post
    A chart to this area on RHS of link
    http://www.visitmyharbour.com/harbou...way/faversham/


    Free parking at Harty Ferry,and access to various interesting places and pubs,no matter what the state of tide and wind !

    http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2210766
    Hello Andre,

    I was on the canoe tour out to Burnwick Island, I watched you come into the small bay, if i'd known Richard and I would've said hello!

    I love the idea of a Sheppy trip with camping, definately up for that as would be a couple of friends, I shall scan the forum awaiting further details!
    Love many, trust few, learn to paddle your own canoe

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