SUP on the Mole
|The SUPer Club’s mission: to take paddle boards
where no man has taken a paddle board before.
The River Mole, home of “Psycho Swan”.
We met at a recreation ground in Esher KT10 8NA where the Mole runs close.
We paddled off up stream from the bridge on a peaceful open stretch with Garsons Farm on our left and open meadows to our right.
After about 15 minutes paddling the river started to close in a tad which tested the steering skills of Julian.
As the Mole narrowed into a pleasant byway the trees started to overhang with more attitude and then
the first true obstacle came into sight in the form of a tree dissecting the river and only leaving a slight gap with it submerged by only 3”. From now on the Mole took
on a whole new personality as it became more overgrown twisting and turning
giving no clue as to what may be around the next corner. I felt that we should be wearing our “pith helmets”.
Then the river was blocked completely with a fallen tree. Was this the end of our trip..? No Surrender, we forged our way through the aquatic undergrowth
one by one and then the river opened up once more as we reached Whiteley
Village and the Burhill Golf club. You could say that the River Mole “meanders” An adjective for “winding river”, named after the “Meander River” in Ancient Greece which has a winding pattern. However, if the explorers looked a little closer to home we may well have described these twisting paths with the adjective “Mole”. Just a thought..! Back to the paddle,
we decided to have a break for refreshments, we all had a water bottle apart from Gordon, who as always came prepared in style and this time pulled out a can of lager and a bag of doughnuts, what can I say..! Now is was time to head back and forge our way back through the obstacles, only this time the light was beginning to fade a tad. We got back to the section where the river was blocked completely and
it all looked so different from the up stream side so we just took a “punt”, no pun intended, and we pushed our way through only to find it was most definitely not the way we got through before..! (all thanks to me I have to say) after having to lay flat on my board and wriggling under an 18” tree trunk I got through (I should point out that at this point we couldn’t touch the bottom of the river with our paddles), followed by Paul and then Gordon made
his run and suddenly we saw Gordon struggling, losing his balance and we all held our breath and Gordon grabbed hold of a branch which saved him until like in slow motion the branch slowly but surely came away in his hand and Gordon was lowered
into the river as if on a “Witches Chair”. :lol:
After much scrambling, Gordon was back on his board and we all continued back down river,
around the twists and turns as the river once again opened up into a more
defined shape and there in front of us was our nemesis “Psycho Swan” and his family of wife and signets. At this point I was in front so I headed to the opposite side of the river but Psycho was having none of it
(this was no time to take photos) but this was Pyscho from our last encounter) I increased my paddle rate and heart rate, I was closing in and keeping to the right and Psycho was coming at me from the left bank at a rate of knots, we closed in on each other and at the last moment Psycho let me through and the rest of the group closely followed.
We made it back to our starting point. The only thing that was missing was a pub at the end.