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31 August 2005


Deptford sphere sculpture (click to enlarge).An abbreviated paddle this week, to Deptford as we were taking some newer paddlers on the river in short boats.

We stopped at this sculpture which I have paddled past many times before, always meaning to find out more about it. According to one of the more knowledgeable members of the group last night it represents Sir Francis Drake's circumnavigation in 1577-80, the route of which is marked with red dots (only visible to us kayakers who can paddle right up to it). Drake was knighted at Deptford Docks by Queen Elizabeth I.

A little Googling reveals that the sculpture is by the artist Chris Marshall.

24 August 2005

Spring tides

Yesterday's paddle coincided with the middle of the powerful ebb tide on springs and made for a good workout. As usual when the tide is ebbing we paddled against the flow to Temple Steps and back with it to Shadwell Basin.

The outward journey took us 43 minutes and the return 24 minutes (the distance is 9.5 km according to Google Earth).

10 August 2005

Shadwell Basin to Temple Steps

Paddled to Temple Steps and back again last night. We were against a strong-ish current most of the way but it was especially noticeable how this varies from place to place.

Under the bridges is always a good spot for a strong flow: Tower Bridge, Blackfriars Bridge, London Bridge - to a lesser extent - and, most notably, between Canon Street railway Bridge and Southwark Bridge. Perhaps it is because these later two bridges are so close together and the river is quite constricted but the flow was very strong and produced some big waves.

3 August 2005

Nutter in a bath tub

Tim FitzHigham rowing a bath tub (click to enlarge).
During a leisurely paddle to Greenwich and back last night we met Tim FitzHigham rowing a bathtub. He said he had come from France and that he was on his way to Tower Bridge. We were skeptical at first but a quick web search this morning confirmed it.