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29 March 2005

Rainy day

Paddled up river from THCC to the steps just east of Waterloo Bridge against a strong current. The switch to BST at the weekend meant it was my first daylight paddle (the first half hour at least) for months. Having said that, visibility was somewhat diminished by the mist and rain.

Wallbrook Wharf, photo � Mike StevensIn the daylight I was aware of many more of the potential hazards along the route that I have not been seeing lately in the dark. I am always a bit nervous of all the things one could get caught up in in the event of a swim when there is a powerful current running. The scariest being the two enormous barges moored at the Corporation of London's Wallbrook Wharf refuse transfer station (off Upper Thames Street). You need to give these a wide berth as you pass them on your right heading up river against the current as you really do not want to get too close in front of them.

Paddling back with the current, as ever, was much easier and there are fewer hazards to watch out for on the south side of the river. I particularly enjoyed the last section of the paddle back to Wapping from Tower Bridge as by this stage the rain was full on and quite refreshing.

23 March 2005


After a two month absence I got out on the river again last night and enjoyed a good club paddle to Greenwich and back.

I found it hard work keeping up, especially on the way there against the flooding tide. Coming back we stayed well out to make the most of the current (and to avoid the kids throwing stones at us from the bank) and cruised back. We also met some paddlers going the other way who had come from Vauxhall.

The warm weather makes it much more appealing and from next week we should even have a bit of daylight.