Sunday, 25 June 2017

Howsham Weir

The last chance of a bit of running water before my assessment so we headed to Howsham. Plenty of fun breaking in and out of the flow and a little bit of poling to..

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Canoe Rescues

Wanting to practice a little, the boy and myself had an afternoon at Dacre Lake.

Deep Water Canoe Rescues, solo, tandem, multiple boats, using Various Techniques from Ken Oliver on Vimeo.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

River Tees - A Little Bit of Summer Water

With a little bit of rainfall over the northern Pennines this June the river has had enough water in it for a little journey. We headed to Cotherstone on Sunday morning and made ready. Anthony was going tandem with me and Fiona was paddling on her own in the Silverbirch Broadland 15.

A detailed briefing on the beach prior to our journey.

First rapid, low levels are going to make for a bumpy ride.

A little bit of poling practice

Fiona looking good and in control.

With the water level being a little low and Anthony not particularly enjoying the close contact with boulders I decided we would line the next rapid.

It was good practice for both of us.

Down to the Reef Rapid, I had Fiona standing by with a throw line - specifically for Anthony whom had been briefed prior to descending the rapid.  I could swim line the boat to the side if necessary.

Fiona looking composed

tees from Ken Oliver on Vimeo.

Oh dear...

Just a bit wet then..

I made the decision to get off above the weir, the boy had done brilliantly, I did not want to push him too hard and I know he wasn't looking forward to the drop.  A lovely journey, from a leadership perspective this was a good trip, leading family down a river does raise the anxiety and presents its own issues. Everyone was smiling so as we got off so I'll take that as a positive.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Canoe Logbook

Where is started.. February 2010

Level 2 training (first time around) April2010

Club Stuff July 2012

Germany August 2012

3 Star December 2012

First 'white' water Feb 2013

Must be getting serious - fitted a kneeling thwart - Feb 2013

L2 Training again.. March 2013

L2 Passed June 2013

Howsham with the boy Jan 2014

4 Star Training (#1) Jan 2014

Simple Guiding Jan 2014

4 Star Training (#2) Oct 2014

Ure Whitewater Nov 2014

Howsham Nov 2015

A Weeks Paddling and Sailing in the Lakes Jan 2015

River Ure Jan 2015

River Till Dec 2015

River Ure Oct 2016

Dave.. Nov 2016

River Idle Nov 2016

River Ure Dec 2016

River Tweed Jan 2017

4 Star Leader (#3) Jan 2017

Humber Feb 2017

Ure Feb 2017

Ure April 2017

WWSR May 2017

Humber June 2017

River Tees June 2017

Canoe Rescues

Howsham Weir

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Across the Humber

I was tasked with guiding a really nice chap across the Humber. He is making his way around the UK coast and this was to be his first crossing. Both his journey and the weather came good on Tuesday evening. High water was around 9pm and of course river traffic would also be be at its peak at this time.

We made our way down to the point from Kilnsea

We took advantage of a small gap in the traffic and made a quick dash for Bull fort.

Once within the safety of the fort cardinal markers we could relax a little.

Around the sandbank at Haile fort and the water glassed out.

An exhausted but very happy Andy

Not a huge journey but with the added pressure of getting through the shipping and then the necessity of quite a large ferry glide we where both happy to land at the Humber Mouth Yachting Club

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Brigham & West Beck

After yesterdays marathon trip on the Humber today was just a simple paddle trip with family and dear friend Roger.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Humber by Open Canoe

I'd had my mind on this journey for quite a while, I had completed it many of times  in a sea kayak but never in a canoe. The forecast came good, light to moderate westerly winds and a small ebbing tide.

Even with all my sea experience and knowledge anxiety was fairly high, worst case scenarios where considered and solutions worked through accordingly.

Launching at the village of Paull at high water allowed me a clean launch, to take advantage of the full ebb tide and would allow me to miss the boat traffic around Hull docks.

The ebb was slow to start and the first couple of hours where numb and laborious.

As I reached the main shipping channels the tide really started to push me along, the wind freshened and I started to make good progress, raising the sail and moving my position in the canoe really had me flying along with not too much effort.

Out near the Sunk Dredged Channel closest landfall was over 5 km away and with such a fetch the waves where getting quite big with the occasional one breaking over the boat. This would be no place to capsize, I was watching every wave and when a larger one came along I would try and turn to surf down it rather than to take it beam on. The Silverbirch Broadland 15 was stable and inspired confidence throughout.

Out of interest I thought I would try a radio check with both Humber VTS and Humber Coastguard -  no response from either was forthcoming on my 5w VHF. The distance was just too great and my low position on the water did not help.  I checked my phone and this did have a signal - Grimsby was visible in the distance.

I was very pleased to eventually get to Spurn for a quick leg stretch. Landing on the headland is not allowed by the YWT but I sneaked a five minute stop. This also gave me a moment to talk with Humber VTS to inform them of my intentions.

Expecting a lot more lifting water around the point it all came as a bit of a relief to find it fast moving but totally flat, I hugged the beach around the corner regardless. The last few kilometres up the coast where hard work but with wind and tide in my favour it all came good.

With a total distance of over 50 km I had only just made it with enough ebbing tide, landing on Kilnsea beach at low water meant a long drag up on a C Tug trolley to the awaiting car.

A rewarding but anxious journey, I've done this many a time solo in a sea kayak but solo in a canoe raises many more safety issues. The lack of VHF coverage in a moderate to advanced water environment like this means if things where to go wrong it could be a very serious situation indeed.