What an epic paddle – Wolvercote to Oxford, 20th May 2018, report by Ed Edwards

Wow, what an epic paddle. It seemed to have a bit of everything that a flatwater tour could ask for. River, canal, backwaters, tiny streams, urban, rural, herds of free ranging cows and horses on Port Meadow, picnickers on the banks, cyclists, walkers, over trees, under trees, even through trees!

Once again an AD paddle enjoyed blue skies. The start was at Wolvercote Car Park at the north end of Port Meadow, north of Oxford city. A lovely get-on next to a stone bridge and the first boat on had Tenzing in it. This was an attempt to stop him jumping in and out of everyone else’s boat as they were getting on. He still jumped in and out except it was the same boat very time meaning that more and more water was entering the boat via his coat. About five minutes after starting the trip we had to stop to bail out – 18 bails!

So, down the river to Tumbling Bay the site of the old outdoor swimming which is now full of reeds. A portage and then down Bulstake Stream, a backwater of the Thames. Narrow? No, not as much as Hinksey Stream which we took to reach our lunch stop at The Fishes in North Hinksey. Of course, it meant the saw had to come out again. Third consecutive trip!

Making our way back through the narrow up, over and through section we re-entered the Thames to paddle down to the mouth of Castle Mill Stream. This is the original route of the Thames going through the city centre and right up close to the Castle. Yet more branches but this time we realised that a pruning saw was going to be insufficient as a massive tree had come down across the stream. Team work portaging took us past this obstruction only to be faced with a ridiculously low bridge. Almost lying down in the boat to get through and then we saw the next obstruction. Lock gates and a climb up a two metre plus wall. A paddlers sling was set up as a stirrup and for some of us a bit of pushing and pulling from helpful hands and we were up.

The final leg took us through the City of Oxford joining the Oxford Canal and paddling back to Wolvercote via an ice cream van! Some more portages and narrow streams took us back to our start point. The circuit completed and at no point paddling against the current!

All agreed it was a fantastic trip. Donna summed it up as: Just wanted to say thank you for a super day out yesterday. The Hatchett clan really enjoyed the day and the fantastic company. On a personal note – this time last year I would never have thought that I would be willing or able to wade through backwaters, limbo under fallen trees, scramble up steep river banks, clamber across unmanned narrow boats, shimmy up canal walls with use of a sling, navigate the underside of a very low lying bridge arch, talk to complete strangers with a passion about paddling while sounding reasonably convincing that I know what I’m talking about, or enter a pub in wet gear with a very muddy backside……all in a day trip for an AD member ah. Epic!

See the pictures here

Lovely paddle through the Oxfordshire countryside into Oxford via the Rivers Ray, Cherwell and Thames

Adventure Dolphin’s paddling trip on Sunday 22nd April from the tiny Oxfordshire village of Islip to Oxford saw our group of 14 negotiate three rivers, and see some of Oxford’s most famous sights.

We were a little unsure as to what the state of the river would be as there had been thunderstorms the previous night and the River Cherwell had been in flood the week before, but much to our surprise the River Ray, which was our starting point, was at a reasonable level.

After a muddy scramble down a bank we set off; just a kilometre on and we went over the weir which was pretty uneventful – in fact, we almost missed it as the water levels were the same on either side!  Further on and we reached the confluence of the Ray and Cherwell and entered a fast-flowing stream which made for an easy and extremely pleasant journey.

This was, however, short lived as we soon came across our first obstruction and the cry ‘Send in the tree fellers’ was raised.  Ian Flanders, Adrian and Sally Moon set about clearing a path through the branches. Adrian declared “the tree felling award goes to Ian who chose to tackle a bough of 20cm diameter with a pruning saw, a task made more difficult as the offending branch was underwater.”

The route took the group through the outskirts of North Oxford, paddling past Summertown, the home of Chief Inspector Morse, before stopping off at the ever-popular Victoria Arms –  so popular all need to be warned that it can be extremely busy on a fine warm day.

Back on the water we paddled past Oxford colleges, Parsons’ Pleasure and the weir next to the punt rollers. We seemed to attract lots of interest from walkers and picnickers as we passed by. Perhaps it was the sight of a large group of paddlers or maybe it was the dog fishing for sticks from a canoe.

The route continued past the medieval walls of Magdalen College and Magdalen Bridge, and then on through the Botanic Gardens with the magnificent backdrop of college towers, church spires and Christchurch Meadow. Much amusement was had as the group played what Adrian described as “dodge the punter” as we tried to avoid the many punts being erratically steered.

We had almost made it when we found our way blocked by a maintenance barrier that meant that we had to portage from the Cherwell to the Thames.  At this point one of our party decided that he really needed to find out what the water felt like. To put it another way one of our kayakers had an unexpected swim while climbing out by the high bank.

The final leg saw the need for us to avoid many college boats, whose rowers insist on going backwards, before we finally finished at the Riverside Centre at Donnington Bridge.  It was a great paddle – we were luckier than expected with the weather and we had lots of opportunities to test our manoeuvring skills whilst chatting with friends.

Report by Ed Edwards Trip Leader with contributions from group members who were:

Ian Flanders and Ian Blatchley (additional river leaders), Adrian Moon, Sally Moon, Jane Edwards, Corinna Bailie, Alison Stephens, Ray Cook, Lizzy Feuillade, Sue Elwood, John Elwood Elaine Greaves, Colin Greaves and Tenzing.

 

[su_slider source=”media: 2417,2408,2416,2415,2414,2413,2412,2411,2410,2409″ link=”lightbox” height=”340″ title=”no”]

DW VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
30th March – 2nd April 2018

DW has been organised every Easter Weekend since 1948 by Volunteers.
We need a team of 300 people to help us safely run the race – every year!

Volunteering is a great way for previous competitors and support crew to give time back to DW. and help others realise their goals. It’s also an opportunity for future entrants to learn about the race, the course and the people that make DW unique.

Many volunteers come back year after year, passing on important skills and knowledge. Volunteering for DW can be hard work and great fun. But it can also be rewarding, addictive and you’ll join an amazing community.

Key volunteer roles needed during Easter Weekend include:

  • Devizes (Start) Team
  • Umpires
  • Safety Teams
  • Checkpoints & Comms
  • Marshals
  • Campsite crew
  • First Aiders
  • Westminster (Finish) Team.

    Many roles are flexible, so volunteer for a couple of hours or all weekend. To volunteer, get in contact including your availability, preferred location and role, by e-mail or DW Facebook page:
    Rachel Dennis – DW Volunteer Co-ordinator
    dwvolunteers@gmail.com

    We’d like to hear from groups available to work as a team anywhere on the route, as well as each tide at the Westminster Finish Village (Sunday 16th AM & PM, Monday 17th AM).

    Thank you – DW Race Organising Team

    P.S. Date for your diary: DW will be 19th – 22nd April 2019

    Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race
    125 miles | 77 portages | 300 Volunteers
    www.dwrace.org.uk

Usk River Trip

Ray Cook, member, reports on Adventure Dolphin’s recent white water paddle on the River Usk from Sennybridge to Aberbran Bridge on Saturday 3rd February 2018.

Ray says: “The weather conditions were good for the time of year, although it was rather cold. We meet and started our day with breakfast at the Services just past the Seven Bridge, before traveling in convey to Sennybridge (Powys).
“Our adventure began before we even hit the water as the drop off point was a little wet and muddy which meant a couple of cars had to be pushed off the grass back onto the dirt track, but once on the water we we’re able to practice turns, ferry gliding and braking out before we all headed off down river.

“The first drop quickly approached and most managed to get down it without incident. Scampi, Trip Leader, did have a mishap and it took a few tries before he managed to push himself back up with his paddle and I capsized. This drop and I have history in that I capsized going down it a couple of years ago. I was confident that it was not going to happen again, but a minute later, my head was under water, the spay deck popped and I was swimming.

“The 12 of us successfully negotiated the next two drops and found plenty of play spots and waves to surf on. All in all, it’s a lovely stretch that offers varied drops and play spots which for me at least help to improve skills and confidence on white water.”

[su_carousel source=”media: 1488,1487,1486,1485,1484,1483,1482,1481,1480,1479,1478,1477,1476,1475,1474,1473,1472,1471,1470,1469″ link=”lightbox”]

Leaders/helpers’ day success

More than 60 of Adventure Dolphin’s leaders and helpers came together for their annual training event (Sunday 28th January 2108) which included a range of outdoor activities and club updates.

The morning session, run by Outdoor Academy reminded coaches and helpers alike what it’s like to try something new for the first time as they introduced participants to a mobile caving system, field archery (like clay pigeon shooting), kelly kettling and the climbing wall.

Following a superb lunch whipped up by our volunteer catering team, the afternoon covered a series of topics including DBS checks, volunteer hours, the future of Dolphin Centre, amends to coaching qualifications from British Canoeing and the latest marketing initiatives that are being undertaken.

Helper, Ollie Hatchett said, “It was my first training day and I was surprised by how good it was. The caving was brilliant, I loved the chilli and the updates were really helpful.”

The day was organised and run by Trustees Kevin Dennis and Ed Edwards with input from Group Co-ordinators, , Chairman – Clive Williams, Trustee – Tim Metcalfe, Coach – Claire Hardwick and Marketing – Donna Hatchett.

[su_slider source=”media: 1365,1364,1363,1359,1358,1357,1356,1355,1354,1351,1350,1349,1347,1346,1345,1344,1340,1338,1334,1333,1332,1330,1328,1327,1325,1324,1323,1322,1321,1318,1317,1314,1315,1311,1312″ link=”lightbox” height=”420″ title=”no”]

 

Proposed Trips for the upcoming months

The trips planning group are proposing the following trips, please can you let us know if any of these take your fancy for a paddle

New proposed trips:

Sunday 22nd April – Ed
Trip Leader
Local Paddle – Oxford Paddle
[poll id=”8″]

Sunday 6th May
Trip Leader Ian B and Ed assisting
Thames including St Patrick’s Stream and Hennerton
[poll id=”9″]

Sunday 20th May
Trip leader Ed
Oxford – Wolvercote Circuit
[poll id=”10″]

Sunday 17th June
Trip leader Claire
Coastal trip – circumnavigation of Portsmouth Island
[poll id=”11″]

Sunday 1st July (date change from last night)
Trip leader Ed
Abingdon Circuit
[poll id=”12″]

Saturday 21st July
2 star assessment
Scampi and John B
[poll id=”13″]

Sunday 22nd July Claire
3 star touring assessment
[poll id=”14″]

Sunday 5th August
Trip Leader Ed and Adrian
Thames Tideway
Putney to Tower Bridge and return.
[poll id=”15″]

Pangbourne Paddlers

Pangbourne Paddlers did very well yesterday (Sunday 7th Jan) at the Annual Frank Luzmore Memorial race from Elmbridge to Richmond CC.

Peter and James won the Senior Mens C class while our junior K2 crew, Tommy and Owen put in a good time despite fairly nasty conditions… a cold day with a northerly wind creating waves

Janet and Adrian Moon in C2, despite a swim at the start, also finished , overtaking several other c2 crews along the way… Janet’s comment was that the water was COLD!

New Years Day Paddle

Eight kayakers, one canoeist and three walkers braved the cold weather to see in the new year with a paddle from Bisham Abbey to Maidenhead on 1st January 2018.

Thanks go to Grant Burrup for organising and running the trip, which was successfully completed ahead of time due to the fast flow and dedication of all concerned, who naturally took full advantage and floated part way along the 6.5 mile stretch of the River Thames, through Marlow, onto Cookham Lock, past Clevedon and onto Boulters Lock.

The Sunday paddle resumes after the festivities on 7th January with a social paddle – our normal trip out, followed by tea and cake in the Dolphin Centre. So, whether you’re a kayaker, canoeist, or marathon boater, do come and join us.

Don’t forget to visit our calendar of events for an overview of what’s planned in the weeks ahead.

[su_slider source=”media: 1096,1097,1098,1099,1101,1100,1102,1103,1105,1104″ link=”lightbox” height=”420″ title=”no”]

 

Boxing Day Paddle

Thanks to Kevin Dennis for running today’s Box Day paddle.  More than 30 marathon boaters, canoeists and kayaker’s took to the water for a gentle trip down river before returning to the centre to hot drinks and mince pies.

It was the perfect opportunity to catch up with friends and fellow members at the end of what has been a very successful and enjoyable year for Adventure Dolphin.

Don’t forget to book your place on our next event – the New Years Day Paddle – Bisham Abbey to Marlow.

Happy New Year, we look forward to seeing you for more paddling in 2018.

 

[su_slider source=”media: 1048,1049,1050,1051,1052,1053,1054,1055,1056,1057,1058,1059,1060,1062″ link=”lightbox” height=”420″ title=”no”]

 

 

Allier 2018

Allier Trip 2018

17th  – 26th August

The trip is planned to leave Pangbourne on the 17th traveling to Dover, crossing the channel and then traveling in MPV’s through France over night to arrive at our campsite on the Saturday.

We will spend the week paddling various parts of the river dependent upon numbers and abilities.

At the end of the week, Saturday 25th, we will depart camp and travel home arriving back at Pangbourne on Sunday 26th.

At this time I am looking to confirm your interest and arrange an initial meeting in the early new year where I will collect a deposit from those wishing to go. The estimated cost of the trip is £650, which will include the transport to and from Pangbourne, channel crossing, camp site and the majority of the food.

Anybody interested please email

allier2018@adventuredolphin.co.uk

Help-Desk