Greetings Fellow CPCC club members and guests.
We are now in out fourteenth week of lock down and we are still trying to find ways of getting back out on the water to paddle.
This is more to let you know we are still experimenting with coach and a couple club member’s paddles. These have thrown up various issues, but we are coming to terms with how to we can over come them and still operate. We are now able to take a few more club members out than the previous restrictions allowed. It is progress and we try to remain positive.
As of last week the toilets are now open for club use, however you need to bring your own toiletries.
For you lucky club members our Chair person Sarah has been sending invitations to come paddle on a Sunday. The setup is different as we have to control the buoyancy aids, paddles and boats such that they aren’t reused within 72hrs (the virus longevity).
We are currently working one coach to two club members sometimes fewer, dependent on the number of club members who have pre booked.
We have had to change our ‘turn up and paddle policy’ so effectively its invite only. Sarah is scheduling departures, to minimize possible contact time on the pontoon.
To reiterate it is ‘no longer turn up’ and you can join the club Sunday paddle. It is for Club members to contact Sarah to allocate them their paddling slot.
We cannot accept Guests at this time – sorry we really would like to, but the limitations caused by the virus means we simply cannot at this time.
Hope to see you on the water soon.
Social Distancing And Paddling from our Chairperson
If you are invited to paddle, Sarah Deeks has put a template in the garage
We want anyone using a club boat to fill this in.
– it simply says which boat you took out so that we can be certain no one else has paddled the same boat in the last 72 hours.
When it comes to any club kit please put used kit (buoyancy aids and spraydecks) as far away from the door lock as possible – that way we will all be using different kit. When it comes to paddles I would suggest a wash down to be super safe.
I will be emailing our independent paddles to let them know it is possible to go out.
Access key holders are Sarah and Dean.
A Lovely picture taken on the foreshore with the caption, New Advertising for the club?
I think this one was again taken by Young Michelle McCarthy on a previous trip.
Any more imaginative pictures?
Last Week’s paddle was another jolly affair.Despite the slightly overcast conditions and it being a little windy we had both coaches and club members to take out.
Sarah had taken names and organised groupings, such that we didn’t come into contact with each of the separate groups.
As per usual I can only tell you of my group which consisted of Mary Jo, Michelle and myself. Michelle was wisely paddling a kayak whilst MJ and Steve took a canoes each knowing the canoes would suffer in the windy conditions.
By the time we had taken the canoes down from the rack, noting they were ‘not locked’. We wondered if anyone had used them in the last 72 hours? We didn’t know, however we carried on.
Michelle and MJ launched the canoes by untieing and lowering them to the floating pontoon, whilst Steve did a little work on one of the red sea kayaks that didn’t work out.
Abandoning the repair we all launched on to the river and headed towards Chiswick Bridge without high expectations of being able to paddle further.
The tide was on the ebb so we travelled on the Middlesex side of the river against the flow. A bit of a workout but not much effort. Our troubles started when passing through Barnes Railway Bridge.
There is quite a vortex there with flags on building point in opposite directions. With the wind blowing across the river on port side, it made for a slightly challenging paddle particularly for paddlers who paddle on the left hand side of the boat like MJ. For those paddling on the right hand side of the boat you could use the power of the wind to provide correcting strokes, so for Coach Steve it was simply paddle on the right hand side…..easy!
It did promote the conversation why paddle on the left hand side of the boat? Coach Steve’s answer right or wrong is for our stretch of the river Thames we are more comfortable paddling on the left hand side as the right is normally either bank or very shallow. Whilst the left and side more often than not deep water to paddle in.
Of course you could argue that the right hand is the control hand for dominant right handed people and the left instigates the power. I am sure there could be many comments, but i’ll stick with my original answer.
So through Barnes Bridge and both canoes struggled a little, whilst Michelle in her kayak wasn’t phased by the weather conditions, but more by the fact that she always gets wet whilst paddling despite wearing two spraydecks.
Paddling on we arrived at a point where the first group out were on their way back, which is where Michelle told us she would leave us. No problem, we waived at the first group as they passed and MJ and I carried on.
Our only point of real excitement was when a group of four single sculls having travelled with the tide turn around behind us and headed back past us. Coach Steve hailed them asking they give us a wide berth as our boats were liable to traverse sideway in the blustery condition. They passed without incident and gave us a waive as they disappeared into the distance.
The weather was deteriorating and we decided that our paddle would end at the ship, beside Chiswick Bridge. It was a quick ferry glide across and we landed on the foreshore on the opposite bank, where we got out for tea, jaffa cafes and crisps, thanks MJ.
Food consumed the clouds were looking ominous and with that a rain shower dropped on us. We quickly donned an extra waterproof layer and got back in our boats and headed back. The rain didn’t last long but we met a couple of folks in their inflatables equally sheltering from the rain.
For us we headed down the centre of the river and towards the Surrey Bank for our return leg. Had a friendly wave from the passing PLA harbour master and not long after we returned to the Middlesex side to line ourselves up on the historic boats and the get off.
Last task of the day was put the canoes back on the rack and lock them.
Final job of the day was to fitted a loop grab for the red sea kayak. Julie had some cord, so I used some of it to make a hand grab at one end of the red sea kayak. I’d like to have spent a few more minutes tidying the knot up, but a rain shower put pay to that.
So ended a nice little paddle and one to celebrate MJ’s birthday. As MJ said, great paddle pity about the weather. I can say no more.
As a codicil. I did return to see if I could retie the hand grip on the red sea kayak which I did, but not as satisfactorily as I would have wished. Wet and chilly I thought I’d retie on a more conducive day.
Think positively, things are improving.
Best wishes and keep safe and well
We hope you are enjoying our experimental paddles and we will continue to paddle safely when we can.
Weekly Newsletter News
The club has decided that the club web site is a more appropriate repository for these bloggs. As such there will be less club news and just trip news, eventually this newsletter will cease, but not for a couple of weeks yet.
Going forwards Club News will be covered on the club web site.
Do You Have Any Spare Bedlinen?
They are being made into scrubs for the NHS. Details here: https://chiswickcanoeclub.co.uk/2020/06/scrubs-for-the-nhs/