Herne Bay Fun, May 2024

Before the trip: Happy Paddlers!

An almost unprecedented 1pm on the water time meant that the Herne Bay trip, launching at Hampton, was very relaxed start. After a safety briefing we launched into virtually no waves from the shingle beach, although the wind was a bit stronger than expected, F3 from the East and pretty constant, the temperature was a very pleasant 14C with bright sunshine.

We paddled past Herne Bay with some waves 0.4m, 6s, caused by the wind against the tide. The wind seemed to have taken away a lot of the tidal assist that we had planned for, but the waves were fun to paddle through.

Coloured houses and waves at Herne Bay

We landed at Reculver in the lee of the breakwater and are sheltered from the wind and it becomes very warm. We have ‘lunch’ although it is 2:30pm while Mike checks the football scores to find out that Sheffield Wednesday have won their match and therefore not been relegated. So he is even happier!

Powering past Reculver

We get back on the water and paddle towards Minnis Bay. With the tidal flow reducing and the headwind still F3 with some stronger gusts, our progress is much slower. We decide to take a break on the shingle beach for scones and Sardinian jam (from our late Autumn trip to Sardinia).

Scones on the beach

While eating the scones we can see that the tide has turned and the water level on the beach starts to increase quite quickly. We hop back into our kayaks and start the return journey back to Hampton without stopping at Reculver or Herne Bay, using the increasing tidal stream to push us back. The wind has dropped almost completely and the journey back is done in blazing sunshine, and really gets quite hot.

Rafting up
After the trip: still Happy Paddlers!

Arriving back exactly at the estimated time of arrival in the plan, we carry the kayaks up the shingle, have a team photo and get changed, pack the cars and load the boats. After we’re done, our table is ready in the pub – perfect timing again. Over dinner several of our group noted that this trip was the furthest that they had paddled in a day, and that the distance and the waves had made it a thoroughly enjoyable day. To top it off we see an amazing sunset from the pub window while eating a well earned pub dinner before the long drive back to London.

Window table with an amazing sunset view
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