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Blue Chip SUPer Club Blog

I-SUP Boards

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The 3 Rivers Paddle Adventure

Well, this was going to be the wet paddle, the forecast was rain, rain and more rain. Jules and I arrived to be met by Dave, Justin, Ian, Hanno and Steve. Ali, Mark and Sarah soon arrived. Ali, Sarah and Mark decided to bail out of the main paddle and just do a short cruise past Hampton Court. So now we were down to 7 of us going for the 3 rivers and Alligator Alley.

We pushed off from the pub leaving the warm glow of the bar behind us. Into the rain we pushed ourselves.

Past Hampton Court and turning left into the River Mole

We passed under the road bridge and towards the railway line ahead

As we reached the sluice tunnel we could hear the water rushing down the path we had to tread. It was at this point the Hanno decided this was enough for hid with his troubling elbow, Hanno decided to call it a night.

We dismounted and forced our way up through the strong overflow to the tunnel entrance in into the darkness, once inside the tunnel proper, the flow seamed to reduce as we re-launched inside the darkness of the tunnel onto the River Ember.

One by one we made our exit and continued upstream on the Ember towards our second barrier, the land bridge witch would take us back onto the Mole and on through “Alligator Alley” and the infamous “Wilderness Weir”.

First though, we had to exit the Ember and then re-launch back onto the Mole,

This was always going to be tricky;
Ian was first with a fabulous leap of faith onto his board, well done, I followed and then Dave made his pay for glory and pulled it off.

Next was Steve

followed by Justine, all made great transitions from land to water without any moisture problems.

This just left Jules, an experienced 3 river peddler so should have no problems, whoops
I spoke to soon. Jules made a spectacular slide down the bank and only came to a halt
when his feet hit the bottom of the river.

Jules made light of it as he climbed out of the water and onto his board.

Now we pushed on up stream on the Mole

We now approached the faster shallow water that exits Wilderness Weir

we got onto our knees and had to push hard against the current to get into the weir pool.

Finally we made it to the weir were we hauled ourselves up one by one onto the side of the weir.

Now it was just a case of getting back onto our boards. Ian volunteered to be the launch master.

One by one we hauled our boards over the assault course and through them onto the upper
level and then we had to make another leap of faith
Justin looked nervous as he prepared to leap off the safety of the relative weir head,

yes, what a great landing

Ian prepared Steve’s board for him, or as we call it, throwing it into the water

and we were all soon ready to rock and roll and on into the narrowing stream.

As we came to the exit point where the mole meets the Ember under a low bridge,
we could now see the exit was almost impassable but there was a small gap to our left so this was it…

One by one we pushed our way out through the gap and back onto the Ember.

We re-grouped and started on the first downstream leg towards the massive Ember weir.
As we reached the weir the light was fading fast

We left the weir behind us and son reached the sluice tunnel

We re-launched back onto the short River Mole stretch.

As we re-entered the Thames, a pleasure boat passed the tributary entrance

We soon reached the pub once more and completed the 11 km of road paddle.
This was a great adventure. It never stopped raining but we all enjoyed it, bring on the next paddle


16th April

Back on the adventure paddles again.
This was the first Full Moon paddle of 2014 but sadly the moon didn’t rise until we were leaving the pub to drive home, but at least
the ghosts didn’t get us…

We arrived at the Anchor pub at about 18:15, Ellie, Mal and myself joined Ali, Mark, Steve, James, Ian and Dave who were already there getting themselves sorted at the river’s edge. Gordon and Bruce arrived shortly afterwards.

Steve was putting the final few psi into his board,

Ali was shooting from out of the sun but that didn’t deter me from shooting back

and Mal was just beginning to wake up

We set off slowly upstream at about 18:40 towards the Priory, Bruce and Gordon set off a little later.

We soon paddled under the foot bridge

and then on towards the 17th century poets house

Steve was checking out the heating and plumbing issues with the building which was erected in 1599 and the poet “John Donne” (dean of St Paul's) lived here from 1600 – 1604. (perhaps he only lasted 4 years because he got flooded out ?)

We soon paddled out into the open pastures and on to the Newark Lock.

We alighted and re-joined the river on its higher level

Soon we reached the Newark Weir

where we came ashore

and navigated the meadow and stinging nettles to re-join the river below the weir. The river was flowing faster than normal so this made for some exciting launching techniques




While we waited for everyone to get safely onto the water again, Mal decided to revisit the white water and yes, he visited the white water closer than he wanted and really mucked up his hair and his “T” shirt and his board shorts and his pride…. On the third attempt he managed to get back on his board and re-join the group

Under the low bridge

and James paddled onto the Priory

Ellie posing for the photo opportunity

Mal trying to look as cool as he felt

Ali chillaxing

and Mark posing for the photo of the paddle

We soon headed back towards the pub

Ali never one to miss a photo opportunity

Now who is this little shivering person wrapped in a car blanket?

 Another great paddle adventure, well done guys

22nd  Mar

After the first of the F1 events, it’s time to get out our racing boards.

 The Thames is still flowing quite fast so this was a tad challenging in the dark.
We all met up at our Riverside base TSC, Julian, Dave, Bruce, Sarah, myself and Ian.
Ian was back on the water after a long break when he tried to shorten his thumb
with a circular saw, The NHS dis a great job putting it back to nearly its original length.

 The water looked great as we started to get ourselves sorted

Julian and I were on our ne race boards, 25" wide and a bit tippy the first time as we crossed the steam
every paddle stroke done by feel and trepidation. nevertheless, we sere soon getting into the swing of it
and making a gap between us and the pack

we soon passed the Holiday Inn on our left and pushed on up and around the long right hander as we
stuck close to the Middlesex bank. then i hit an underwater branch which nearly threw me. this branch also caught out some
of the following guys. very spooky when you hit something in the dark ..!

After passing Thames Ditton Island we could just make out Hampton Court Bridge in the distance.

Jules and I decided to wait for the rest of the crew to catch up withy us. Paddling slowly we managed to
just maintain our position relative to the shore.

Soon Ian, Dave and Sarah caught up with us, Bruce was bringing up the rear
Now we were making our final approach to Hampton Court Bridge

Hampton Court Palace looked great against the starlit horizon to our right

We paddled under the bridge and made a wide turning sweep to absorb the flow from the weir

The Surrey Bank restaurants looked great as we slowly turned to come back downstream
and back under the bridge, we could really feel the current as we paddled across the steam

As we passed under the bridge we once again headed back into the darkness and passed the Palace
now on our left.

We picked up the pace as the River Mole enters the Thames on our right shortly.
We pushed through the cross current and down stream towards Thames Ditton Island where we
paddled through the cutt and under the footbridge

Before long we were back at the Club and loading our boards back onto our cars

Another great paddle

13th Mar

Back in the saddle..

 At last after weeks of in activity due to the flooding rivers
The Bluer Chip SUPer Club is back on the water.

The water looks so surreal and calm, almost as if there was no flow at all. So Sarah, Dave,
Jules and myself off loaded our boards and took to the water. We decided to head up stream
against what little flow there was and soon found that the steam was in fact still quite strong.
There was no other craft on the water and gliding over the river was very eerie

  We soon reached the Thames Ditton Marina with the Holiday Inn in the background

Sarah was only just visible with her light.

We soon lefts the lights of the Portsmouth Road behind us and were now paddling past the
riverside houses that looked over Hampton Court Palace grounds (when its light)
As we rounded Thames Ditton Island the river side houses looked like they still hade their
Christmas lights on.
I just followed Jules and Sarah's lights.
  We soon reached the welcoming lights of "Ye Old Swan" but decided to head on back home
to the Clubhouse and Harts Boat Yard for our de-briefing and some technical training
  The conclusion of tonight's paddle
The water is fine, come on in.....