St Patrick’s Stream and Hennerton Backwater – Mixed Craft Trip

St Patrick’s Stream and Hennerton backwater Sunday 30th July

This was a joint trip between Nomads and a group named SUP with Ana, organised by Dave Hillier. Twelve of us met at the St George and Dragon, Wargrave to make up a group of nine paddleboarders (one from Nomads) and three Nomads kayakers. The publican was quite happy for us to launch but we had agreed to park elsewhere as the car park fills at weekends at this time of year (and indeed it did).

After a welcome and briefing from Dave, we set off at 0930, Westwards, against a steadily flowing Thames. This proved to be a good warm up and the one lock portage, a welcome break. We eventually arrived at St Patrick’s stream which was flowing steadily albeit less than we have experienced in the past. St Patricks stream is quite scenic and while we had to negotiate some bushes and duck the occasional tree, it was not a difficult paddle. Near the end we borrowed the jetty of a house that was being developed, for an hours lunch before heading back to the Thames.

Passing our set off point, we continued along the wide flowing Thames before turning off and heading up Hennerton Backwater, another scenic narrow river with some interesting bridges. We finally landed back at the start at which point the heavens opened as we put kit away so a drink in the pub was welcome.

We had mixed weather ranging from warm sunshine to water coming from somewhere. It doesn’t rain on Dave’s trips so I guess all the locals had their garden sprinklers on!

The pairing of Paddleboarders with Kayakers worked very well and we all comfortably kept the same pace. A couple of trees and low bridges provided an interesting challenge for the paddleboarders which they mastered with ease. The kayakers led the trip watching out for such hazards as the trees could be hidden by the greenery. We were also on the alert for fishermen, and indeed helped avoid a couple.
So, a trip that was enjoyed by all and, judging by the fact that one boarder was on their first trip of this year and another started only a month ago, it wasn’t unduly strenuous. However, being a kayaker, I did get a stiff neck from looking up to chat but it was worth as our guests were good company!

Thank you, Ian P, for leading Ana’s group to join us and thanks to Dave for organising. I am sure we will meet again.

Write up by
Chris Harper

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