Super sunny warm day, no wind, gentle tide and a great group! We explored our beautiful river reaching the City Barge for a coffee in the sun with a riverside view! Then drifted home with the last of the ebbing tide.
We looked at how we can make our forward paddle stroke more efficient – what a difference having good connection with the boat through our feet and using our legs together with upper body rotation makes!
The group were keen to become more independent paddlers so we also used the journey to learn how the river flow affects our boats, so we can anticipate what happens for example as we negotiate bends and shallows; the importance of keeping good communication within the group and a good lookout for other river users. Learning where on our part of the Thames we should be to be most safe is much easier if we start by looking at which way the tide is flowing and whether we are paddling with the flow or against it. The full guidelines are explained in The Tideway Code, which is downloadable for free: https://boatingonthethames.co.uk/the-tideway-code-boating-on-the-thames/ However it is still much easier to combine reading the Code with a practical session on the water!