Abingdon and Swift Ditch trip report

Abingdon and Swift Ditch trip report

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On Sunday 11th of July eight Nomads led by Matt met at Abingdon lock for a circular tour up the Thames and down the Swift Ditch. The weather was better than forecast and it was already brightening up considerably as we carried our boats across the weir and lock to meet up with the late Simon on the other side at the put in. After a quick safety briefing focussing heavily on trees we put in according to our own style from the highish bank or the lower steps. We seemed a bit overdressed as we set off up river against a gentle current through fields and moored boats with the noise of what sounded like motocross in the background. Not far upriver we came across a sunken houseboat in…
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Hennerton Backwater and Henley trip report

Hennerton Backwater and Henley trip report

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On Sunday 13th of June seven Nomads and a friend led by Simon paddled from Wargrave through the Hennerton backwater to Henley and on to the Aston slipway. On a day set for scorching temperatures parking was at a premium. Lots of enthusiasts were taking to the water in SUPs, canoes and inflatables and a multitude of bikes to avoid meant we had to be patient. Thank you to the tenant of the Flower Pot pub for letting some of us park in her overflow car park. After parking, shuttling back with masks and a safety briefing we started off dead on time at 10.45am to head down the Hennerton backwater, marvelling at the size of the houses and agreeing they were not for us as there would be too…
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Great Ouse trip report

Great Ouse trip report

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On Sunday 9th of May five Nomads led by Martyn met in the car park opposite Tesco in Bedford to paddle the not very inviting sounding Great Ouse. It was warm but not very sunny as we put in to a beautiful little pond on a side branch of the river and headed down a narrow channel to the join the main river. The first half of the trip was upstream on the main channel to the centre of Bedford, but the flow was hardly noticeable as we paddled through bucolic countryside towards Cardington lock. Before the lock we took a detour up a channel on the right to the bottom of Cardington white water course, which looked dry and forlorn as we imagined what it would look like with…
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RIver Gade trip report

RIver Gade trip report

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Five Nomads led by Matt set out from the aquadrome on Sunday the 11th April for the club's first trip of 2021 - a local jaunt up the Grand Union canal to the river Gade and round Croxley business park to rejoin the canal at Croxley Moor. The club area was pleasantly busy with members for the polo session, the recreational session and the trip all there - almost like old times, except of course that social distancing and hygiene precautions were maintained. The weather was warmer than the previous week and it became pleasantly sunny as we put in at the lock and were joined by Graham on his first paddle with the club in a couple of years. Because of our novelty value we attracted much attention and…
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St Patrick’s Stream trip report

St Patrick’s Stream trip report

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On Sunday December 13th five Nomads led by Matt travelled to Wargrave through teeming rain to get some paddling in after the November lockdown. All of us were keen just for being there in the first place with the weather forecast being continuous rain all day. When we arrived however the rain started to let up and by the time we were ready to put in was only a very light drizzle - maybe even a heavy mist. The river was a little high so Dan chose caution over valour and didn't seal launch his newly purchased Axiom, which he was finding a bit tippy compared to the bus of a club boat he used to paddle. Martyn was very ambitious bringing his Necky Vibe and indeed was to have…
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Cam Trip Report

Cam Trip Report

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On Sunday 11th October 6 Nomads and 2 friends led by Simon drove north to Cambridge to paddle the scenic Cam from near Grantchester through the centre of historic Cambridge and back. The weather was as good as the forecast had promised as we prepared ourselves, safety briefed and put in to an idyllic pool below the mill bridge on the outskirts of Grantchester. Due to coronavirus precautions we stayed in two separate 'pods' as we paddled through tree lined meadows toward to Cambridge and after the first quarter mile met up with Andy from Chiswick club recently moved to Cambridge, who was our local knowledge and tourist guide for the day. River traffic was light when we started out with the odd open canoe and a half dozen K1s…
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Lea at Hoddesden trip report

Lea at Hoddesden trip report

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On Sunday 13th September eight Nomads led by Matt met by Dobb's weir on the Lea for a circular tour down the Lea to Broxbourne and back via the Lea navigation. It was a beautiful sunny day so sun hats rather than helmets were the order of the day as we put in to the rather duckweedy pool below Dobbs weir and formed into two COVID friendly (or should that be unfriendly?) pods as per BCU guidance. Martyn achieved a tiny bit of side surfing on the weir's miniscule wave, watched intently by two fishermen on whose fishing spot he was surfing. Once assembled we headed off south under the road bridge and along the edge of the campsite where we were greeted by a member of the public exclaiming…
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Cherwell trip report

Cherwell trip report

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On Sunday 9th of August Simon Pettifer led 6 Nomads on a scenic trip to the Thames and Cherwell at Oxford. The day was forecast to be a scorcher, but it was pleasantly cool when we arrived at meadow lane car park in time to get parking spaces, get changed and wait for David to arrive. Once we'd all arrived it was over to the Thames for a short safety and COVID procedures briefing before putting onto the water avoiding all the passing skulls. The stretch up the Thames was short and pleasant before turning into the Cherwell on the right, just before several very fancy and expensive looking rowing club boathouses without a soul using them. We made good speed up the tree lined Cherwell against a very slight…
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Gade trip report

Gade trip report

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On Sunday 23rd of February seven Nomads led by Matt converged on the Grand Union canal at the Grove in Watford to paddle the canal and river Gade back to the aquadrome. The scheduled trip to the Abbey Stream had been cancelled due to very high water in the Thames and all other local rivers were in flood, so the plan was to take advantage of the high water to explore the Gade through Cassiobury Park, which is usually too low to paddle. Despite a poor weather forecast, we set off in pleasant sunshine with only a moderate and slightly gusty wind portaging the first two locks past the golf course and into the park. The turn off into the river Gade was a little overgrown and Matt scouted out…
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Middle Wye trip report

Middle Wye trip report

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On the 18th and 19th of January six Nomads led by Matt traveled to Builth Wells to brave freezing conditions and paddle the middle Wye with good water levels. Matt arrived friday afternoon to inspect the river in the light, being joined by three more at the B&B that evening and two the following morning at Builth car park. Levels were high but not spate, 2.05m on the Erwood gauge which promised good paddling but fewer features, unfortunately for Tony on his first proper river trip and needing a few eddies to practice breaking into and out of. Instead he got plenty of practice with big waves. The killer wave 100 yards down from Builth bridge was miraculously avoided by all and we enjoyed playing in and surfing the many…
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