Lovely sunny day for a longer paddle – to Richmond!

It was a fabulous sunny day and worth getting up early to head upriver! We wanted to get above Kew Rail Bridge before the 99 rowing and sculling boats would be getting into position for The Pairs Head Race – their first, and perhaps only, race of the year, so they would be very excited!

We approached Chiswick Bridge with caution as the RNLI had warned Steve there was a “hidden obstacle under arch 1”. ie the middlesex arch through which we were planning to go. What was it?? More would be revealed later!

That’s an unusual sight – Steve in a kayak!! But what is he looking at??
weather and PLA websites for river flow, its always worth talking to the RNLI!
A log – tied to a car roof rack!!
This shows that as well as checking tides,
Jules and Heather making great headway!
We made great time (3knots paddle speed!) and had the river nearly to ourselves all the way to the UL petrol pumps where the marshalls were setting up for the race start
David at Kew Bridge admiring an Egyptian Goose
Lesson in forward paddling technique? Or just Steve getting out of his boat!!
We couldnt resist stopping for coffee and a leg stretch in the warm sun at Kew Bridge.
And Elaine enjoyed looking back from Kew Bridge to watch the crews lining up on the surrey bank , turning around the start boat and racing down the fairway to Hammersmith!
Brought back happy memories of her rowing racing days!
Cai enjoying his first time in a seakayak – and seeing a new and pretty part of our river.
Lunch at Richmond! Fish and chips and burgers all round!
The Richmond Lock gates were closed so we carried the boats over the ramp. On the way home they had opened up the sluices allowing a LOT of water through. It comes up from underneath, and is not a place to venture into so we kept well to the middlesex shore.
Despite the ebb flow and rainwater being allowed through the lock gates giving us a +1.5knot speed boost on the way home, the water was majestically serene downriver of Isleworth.
Having done some forward paddling exercises , with improved technique, making use of a stable upper body position, shoulder and hip rotation and the boat’s glide – we sped home!
Steve had to work the hardest in his short Sierra boat, but it was such a beautiful day!
The “hidden obstacle” at Chiswick Bridge “revealed” at low tide… a car!! How did it get there?
Home stretch!
Back home! 21km in 3 1/2hours paddling time, average paddle speed 3knots. Great team!
We deserved our fish and chips!!

Elaine and Steve 11th october