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SUP on the Arun

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Yes Motor Cruise. We SUPers were invited to join the powered boat cruise up the Arun. The boats would start
from Pagham at about 11:00 and the SUPers would start at 10:00 from Littlehampton and the finish would
be the Black Rabbit Pub just upstream from the Town of Arundel. This had all the makings of a great adventure.
Apparently, this wasn’t a race, yeah right, life is a race..!

Friday 7th August, our first real taste of a tidal river.
Originally there would be 5 of us but due to work commitments this dwindled
down to just Kevin and myself on the day. So Kevin and I were representing
the SUP fraternity in this Cruise challenge..! this was a heavy responsibility.

We set off from Littlehampton
at the Arun Yacht Club about a hour after low tide and slowly paddled up the
River Arun against a moderate head wind. We passed under the rolling foot
bridge and then the A259 road bridge.

It was quite spooky as we pushed on up river around the many twists and turns
not seeing anyone until we reached Ford Marina about 4 miles from our start
point. We pushed on up under the railway bridge
And around the next corner we could see Arun Castle in the background.
A bevy of Swans crossed our path just in front of us and made a great image
Then as we closed in on Arundel Town, we saw a real character building
on our right and always the Castel ever present in the background
Again the silence was palpable as we made our final approach into Arundel
with the Castle now making it's presents felt.
and under the A27 road bridge as the river wound its way around the Castle
The River Arun runs right through the Town, literally, with the Castle now
hidden behind the river side buildings
with some fantastic water side houses
Then we came towards the old Arundel bridge at Queen Street
with its direct rout to the Castle entrance.
The river once again twister and turned back on itself to give us a different
view of the Castle
We paddled out of the town and around a long bend in the river that
seamed to go on for ever and then once again we saw the Castle in its
grandeur dominating the horizon. Then round the next bend we could
just make out our goal in the distance
The Black Rabbit Pub. We looked so small up against the adjacent reeds
At last we had made it to the Black Rabbit river side pub on the Arun. We
arrived about 45 minutes before the armada of Pagham boats arrived and one hour
before high tide and were forced, yes forced to stay at the pub for 2 hole
hours while we waited for the tide to stop running. We somehow managed
to occupy ourselves tasting the local delights on offer, Cricket and Beaver
ales and superb Crayfish and avocado begets. It’s a tuff job and all that…
Then as the water slowed to a crawl, we decided to hit the water
and start the 8 mile journey back. We were overtaken by good
old rail power
and as we cam back to Arundel Town we looked back at the Castle
and then later a great view of the South Downs at the back of us as the
Pagham fleet passed us one by one and we saw the last of the as the
Littlehampton road bridge came into sight.
The river now began to pick up some pace and was now running at 2½ knots
as we leisurely Paddled our way back to Littlehampton and back
onto dry land at the Arun Yacht Club.