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Upcoming Events


By Erik Rasmussen
  • M6 of 2019
    Woolwich Reach - Royal Wharf - Installation of Piles
  • M5 of 2019
    Kings Reach - Blackfriars Bridge - No 1, 2 and 3 Arch Closure

Guildford to Kew – an epic paddle – Sat 8 Sept 2018

Dave, Tudor and Fiona convened at Kew at 8.30am on Sat 8th September. We loaded up and then launched from Burpham (near Guildford) ~10.30am along river Wey & Wey navigation and then joined the river Thames at Shepperton. In total we did 12 portages before landing at Kew, and got very efficient at doing them!

As Dave had mentioned in his briefing email there was nothing difficult on any part of the trip, just that it would be several hours of paddling with the benefits of river flow, wind and tide  assisting  us along the way. Four years ago when Dave previously ran the trip there was stronger river flow to assist the journey, but due to the lack of rain this year, we received little if any fluvial flow. So we landed thoroughly exhausted & pleased with our 30mile paddling achievement at Kew at 8.30pm.

The trip goes past beautiful countryside, including a ruined priory, private gardens, narrow boats with their beautiful paintwork, moored boats, mansions, various club buildings for watersports. The river Wey has some narrow sections which feel very rural and remote, before widening and reducing again. In comparison the Thames feels bigger and “grander” with a constant stream of walkers enjoying the Thames path.

Chichester habour – 19/8/2018

Lovely Chichester harbour paddle on Sun 19 August. We selected the extensive harbour area as a safe option, given the forecast was for F5 winds from the west.

We launched from Bosham, and discovered that there are both Chichester harbour conservancy fees, and also Bosham slipway fee. Because Bosham has an all-state-of-tide slip way, they also operate a levy. So we set off ~£7 lighter! At some points we could just catch a bit of wind using our paddles! We reached the estuary finger, where is was possible, as though by magic to see through a gap in the trees to the Chichester Cathedral spire.

Then back past Dell Quay, against flow and headwind we landed in West Itchenor to have a break & enjoy an icecream from a brilliantly placed icecream van. 

We saw loads of birds – including oyster catchers, egret (see below), swans, Terns, Curlew, Redshank and Shelducks, amongst others.

Thanks to Olwen for her good company.

Beachy Head – 5 Aug 2018

An email went out to the club on the Sunday 29 July when it poured with rain to see who was around a week later & interested to paddle. Wonderfully – Sunday 5th August turned out to be a lovely sunny day. Liza, Tudor & Fiona met to load up boats at Kew at 8am to head down to Eastbourne and join Paul. We set off at low tide (approx. 11am) after luckily securing car parking places in the carpark next to the Wish Tower slip way. We were lucky with the weather – sunny, and force 2-3 winds.

At low tide it was good to see a fair amount of the ledges which run away from Beachy Head cliffs and to the east of the headland underneath the sea. These ledges create a bit of chop, and then once we were over them the sea completely flattened.

The scenery is magnificent as the Beachy head lighthouse, then the extent of the soaring white cliffs come into view, then the lighthouse on the cliffs, and finally Birling Gap. We were surprised to see no body on the beach at Birling Gap, save for two walkers on the beach. It turned out that there had been a major slump of the rocks and so the access to the beach had been closed.

We therefore had a blissfully quiet lunch where some of us chose the shade from the steps & others continued enjoying the lovely sunshine. On our way back, the land access to Beachy Head lighthouse was covered over, and we were able to see that the lighthouse door was closed.

We paddled back over the ledges and noticed they were not generating the amount of chop expected given it was now wind against tide. The gold dome on Eastbourne’s pier gleamed as we rounded the corner, and soon the Wish Tower became distinguishable, amongst the much taller buildings which look over the sea front.

We got back before our car parking tickets ran out (!), loaded up boats & then enjoyed an ice-cream, from one of several kiosks on the sea front.

During the day we had F2 winds from the east, a flat sea state, and the maximum flow we were going to have was ~1 knot. The flow started to flow to the east at 12 noon.

All in all, a happy paddle.

Paddling into a Constable painting – 27-29 July

Harwich for the continent, Margate for the incontinent – as the saying goes. So Harwich it was. Four of us – Philippa, Richard, Liza and I – had been lured by the Essex backwaters, described by folk who know as one of the last wild places in southern England.

Our weekend had been prefaced by day after day of roasting hot weather and flat calm so I had visions of rolling lazily to cool off. It was not to be. On the Friday night soon after I reached the Castle Inn where we were camping the site turned into a scene that would have done credit to a King Lear production – lightning played over the roofs, the wind moaned in the trees and the heavens opened. 

I tried to remember an article about kayak safety in lightning storms which had circulated on Facebook a few weeks previously. Fortunately, however, the problem did not emerge. In the morning the sky had cleared, and from Harwich beach the national nature reserve at Horsey Island which we aimed to go round looked like a relaxing paddle. 

We had reckoned without the wind. It hadn’t dropped. With much of the east coast the big problem is mud which, if you get stuck on it, is, at best, inconvenient, and, at worst, lethal. Our plan depended on getting through the shallow channels at Horsey soon after high water at 1pm. But after half an hour of paddling into the teeth of a 30mph headwind it was obvious we had no chance of reaching the island on schedule. Time for a rethink. 

The big estuaries with their mouths at Felixstowe and Harwich were the obvious fall back. We loaded up the kayaks and launched higher up the Stour. It was Swallows and Amazons territory – with a river over a mile wide, tributaries to explore, and a choice of waterside pubs for when we finished playing. But as the tide fell and the river narrowed, the expanses of mud grew wider. We  found an extra gear, and our gentle potter got quicker and more determined as we headed for solid ground. Then it was time for fish and chips which we ate while watching the river turn into a narrow trickle. 


Sunday was just as stormy so we headed up the Deben valley. Trees hung over the river, fishermen and houses were absent, warblers darted into the reeds while herons looked on suspiciously, and a swimmer heading our way was one of the few people we saw. Around a corner a mill appeared, so lovely it could have been a painting. Then the penny dropped – we were passing Flatford Mill made famous by Constable.

Now it’s a National Trust property and suddenly we were surrounded by hordes of visitors. Not sure I was pleased to see them but the luxuries of a National Trust tea room compensated.

And that was that. It was back to the cars, away from Constable country, and away from the throngs come to worship.

Meanwhile, Horsey Island remains to be explored – as does the weird and strange spit of land that is Orford Ness. Tides look good for the weekend of 29-30 September, and the Castle Inn remains a convivial campsite.

I’m going back. Anyone fancy joining me?

CKC trip to Dartmouth: a weekend of rockhopping & wildlife spotting

Dartmouth trip – 28th  June – 1 July 2018

CKC returned to Dartmouth at the end of June & had two fabulous days of paddling. Tim, Richard H, Philippe, Phillipa, Fiona & visiting Danish paddler Jakob arrived Thurs eve at Sea View Campsite Devon. Jakob has kindly helped host CKC trips to Denmark in previous years. This year the campsite had left part of the campsite grass un-cut to enable birds to nest. So we were treated to the song of larks hovering above us.

Friday 29 June – Phil, a local Dartmouth paddler accompanied us. First we took Jakob past Dartmouth’s mermaid statue, before heading out to sea. We then paddled out to Mew Stone rocks, where seals were lounging on rocks, or following us curiously as we paddled through the rocks. We returned to the estuary, stopped for lunch on the east side; before crossing the channel and paddling to Blackpool (Devon!) beach with the flow. We persevered up the shingle beach up to the café, spurred on by tales of how delicious the ice cream was! At the café we found ourselves – dressed in wetsuit shorts, helmet (forgotten to take off) – mingling with wedding guests who were looking stunning (despite perspiring) – it felt quite incongruous. We managed a tiny bit of frisbee on the shingle beach – but struggled with the gradient of the beach! On our return paddle we rock-hopped back & found the passage behind some very tall rocks, which enabled us to take short-cut back into Dartmouth.

Saturday 30 June – we headed across the upper Dartmouth ferry, to Brixham, with David, a local paddler to do a one way paddle. We launched from the small beach east of Brixham’s breakwater. The paddle from Brixham out & round Berry head was lumpy, and then the sea state reduced for the rest of our paddle. We paddled underneath the largest guillemot colony on the south coast on the north side of Sharkham point. It was fabulous to watch the striking white & black guillemots come & go.

Despite the mixed gender of our group we landed (avoiding surfers & swimmers) and had lunch at Man Sands! Before Mew Stone rocks we split into two groups. Richard & Philippe returned to Dartmouth, so that they could get back to Philippe’s van before the carpark ticket in Brixham ran out. The rest of the group had a leisurely visit to see the seals at Mew Stone and paddle into Dartmouth. Thanks are due to David’s wife and Richard & Philippe for doing the drop off/car shuttle to enable the one-way paddle. In the evening we headed to Start Bay Inn to sample some of its delicious sea food.

Sunday morning we woke up to the sound of rain on the tents. Lightening could be seen out to sea, slowing heading inland. Since had had two warm & sunny paddling days, we abandoned plans to do a half day paddle on Sunday, which would have been in solid rain, to preserve memories of our lovely sunny-paddling days!

Thanks to Tim, Phil & David from Dartmouth for their welcome, enabling us to use a couple of DYC kayaks and good company on the water.

CKC Poole harbour trip 15-18 June

CKC club trip to Poole Harbour organised by Liza.
An over-riding feature of the weekend was a steady Force 4 wind from SW sometimes gusting to F5/F6. So we had stretching paddles within the harbour! On Saturday Izzy, Liza, Lorna, Janice, Paul, Jacqui, Richard H, Richard M, Fiona, Geors paddled and explored the Southern coastline along to Round island, and back.

Sunday we did a clockwise circumnavigation around Brownsea island. On both afternoons we took the opportunity to practice some skills in the sheltered water near Goathorn.

Huge thanks to Liza for organising a great weekend & making us feel so welcome.


Summer Sunshine on Kew to Hampton Ct 26 May – GoCanoeing

Thanks to Tim, Richard, Philippa, Philippe & John for a lovely paddle down to Hampton Court in sunny weather. We clocked 22 miles for BC’s Go Canoeing week. Ice creams with dubious coloured sauces were consumed! We got to go over the Teddington rollers, and past many goslings & ducklings. Mad kayakers and Englishman go out in the mid-day sun, equals fun!




Looking forward to summer paddles – GoCanoeing week

Paddling the Thames is always interesting during the year.
Photo from a happy February paddle with Richard, Philippa, Geors, Janice & Fiona.

Now looking forward to warmth and longer hours of daylight! Do join Sat 26 May paddle to Hampton Court – celebrating GoCanoeing week.


CKC AGM 22 Feb 2018 Agenda & Motions


Thurs 22 Feb 2018 7pm onwards

Upstairs at The Nell of Drury pub, Catherine St, WC2B 5JS. 



  1. Apologies for Absence
  2. Matters arising from the previous years minutes
  3. Chairpersons Report / Summary of the year
  4. Reports from Committee Members
  5. Presentation of CKC Accounts & appointment of auditor
  6. Review of the Club Membership fee (See below)
  7. Motions for consideration by the Members (See below)
    • Change to AGM date
    • Removal of references to Cremorne Centre
  8. Election of new Committee Members
  9. Any Other Business

After the formal close of the AGM the plan is for members to discuss trips that they would like to do and organise for the club.


Agenda item 6 – Review of Club membership fee



CKC Membership Levels

Basic  Fees  (for CKC members who don’t need to borrow CKC kit)           remain £35 / £37+


The Motion the AGM needs to vote on is for:

Full Fees  change from being £85 / £87+   to      £95/ £97+    when paid between 1st April to 31st August.

  • An early-bird discount of £5 applies if full-fee member joins before 1stApril (so the fees are £90/£92+)
  • The Late-comer full fee membership starts on 31stAugust when the fees for the remainder of the membership year are: £60/£65+
  • + indicates a £2 charge for non-BCU members.


Agenda item 7   Change to the constitution

VOTE 1A & 1B) To change the AGM date – clause 12 in the Constitution:




  1. The Annual General Meeting (AGM) shall be held in the winter October or November of each year.


  1. There shall be laid before the meeting a statement of accounts made up to the 31st day of the month of January immediately preceding.


VOTE 2) to remove references to Cremorne Centre – clause 11 in the Constitution



  • Boats and equipment owned by Cremorne Riverside Centre (“the Centre”) may be used during weekly Club Sessions but may not be used for other purposes without specific permission obtained from the Club Committee via the Centre


11.2 1   Damage to Centre or Club boats and equipment must be reported immediately to the Kit Officer.


The numbering in section 11.


11.6  5     Club Members will be liable for any damage or loss to Centre or Club boats and equipment which the Club Committee considers has been caused by negligence on the part of the user.

CKC hosts Adventurer & Sea Kayaker Freya Hoffmeister Mon 5 Feb 2018 eve, Chiswick, London

We have organised a great opportunity to listen to a incredible international paddler, Freya Hoffmeister… an amazing Woman – on Mon 5th Feb evening, short walk from Turnham Green tube station.

Freya’s London talk about the 1st Kayak Circumnavigation of South America…. an Amazing 27,000Km!!! will be the 1st event of her UK & Ireland Talking Tour.
It will be a great evening, that will not only interest Sea Kayakers but anyone wanting to hear about expeditions, adventures and the outdoors!

Please Share with anyone/clubs you think will be interested:

The Eventbrite Link for Tickets is:

Freya Hoffmeister has circumnavigated Iceland, New Zealand South, Ireland, Australia and South America.

She is now on her way around North America, and is happy to share her exciting paddle stories around her second continent, lovingly titled the “Southern Island” – South America!

This circumnavigation was a huge undertaking, roughly 27000 km, with Freya averaging around 45km per day on the water over the 44 months of the expedition.  Visit for a flavour!

Freya has been awarded the “World Paddle Award”, became the “European Adventurer of the Year! and the “National Geographic’s Adventurers of the Year”.

The evenings presentation will start @ 7pm and is spread over three hours and shall include a thirty minute refreshment break, Q&A session and a book signing at the end for those who may wish to read more about her adventures.

Please come early and take the opportunity to enjoy the tasty food and refreshments that are on offer in this lovely Fullers Pub. Many thanks to George IV and Fullers Brewery for supporting this event.

Please purchase your tickets through Eventbrite here – to secure your place and enable us to set up the room appropriately

Please spread the word for what will be a great & unique evening =:)