Paddling tale,

It was one of those rare bright crisp January days and conditions where perfect for a nice Sunday paddle and with Ian generously lending me a dry suit I found myself next to the river Wey having got up at a time no sane man should ever be awake on a Sunday (8am).

The first part of the paddle was fairly smooth on with the river slow flowing wide and well looked after with only the odd fisherman and swan to contend with. Admiring the countryside and the various bits of wild life along the way we got to our halfway point where someone many years ago had decided to build a printing works in the middle of the river now turned into flats. Deciding against braving the rapids under the ex-printing works we carried our kayaks a short distance round to the other side and taking the opportunity had some lunch.

One the second part of our trip we enjoyed a slight current all the way back with more twist and turns with a few low trees to contend with. This was also slightly more urban as we passed a large number of waterfront properties all seeming to have their own boat moored up outside them, though in various states of repair from freshly polished to pretty much sunk.

Sadly this second part of the paddle was soon over as well and we arrived back to our starting point and after getting everything packed back up we stopped by the pub for a well-deserved pint.

Written by Dominic Wiley - CAP member

Tuesday 5th Feb 2019

After hiring a kayak with my girlfriend for a few weekends on the River Medway we both discovered this had sparked a real interest. Let’s learn some skills and some water safety and have some fun with some like minded people we thought. Little did we know..... 

So, the search began for a local club. Easier than I thought. After not much research the Croydon Active Paddlers (Cappers) were found, well, the video of them kayaking the River Wandle, yep you heard me correctly the Wandle! 

Wow, these were the guys for us. 

First paddle with them was at a pool session which are run every two weeks, in a pool big enough for fifteen or so kayaks. The club has its own kit, kayaks, paddles, PFDs, helmets, and spray decks all available for us to use, be it in the pool or to rent on CAP river trips. 

This very friendly, slightly crazy but very social bunch welcomed us with open arms. 

We've been instructed and trained within our own abilities and then put this knowledge into practice in the sessions in the pool and frequent river trips. From the first local flat-water river trip (and the many others we have been on) to a Whitewater weekend on the river Dart, we have always felt safe, looked after and well coached. 

Through kayaking I’ve met many people who have expanded my skills and knowledge and that have made we want to try more and more. Sea Kayaking, more advanced Whitewater, rescue...the list goes on. So, from renting and borrowing kit I now have my own. I even have two kayaks, one of which is very comfortable in its own room in my flat and all after only seven months paddling. 

I'll end by saying, don’t just sit on the sofa saying "Ooo, I'd like to try that" shout the guys and give it a go.... you won’t be sorry. Just to finish here are a few photos of what I’ve getting up to with the club. 

Happy paddling.

Written by Tony Ireland - CAP Member January 2019, Kayaking since June 2018




You may have heard of one or two 'alien' species which have arrived here and started causing trouble - probably the most well known of all is the infamous Japanese Knotweed, but not far behind it is the Signal Crayfish, which now lives in all sorts of rivers in the UK.

The more 'globalised' everything becomes, the more likely it is that plants and animals native to one part of the world will end up colonising elsewhere, often in places where there are no predators or natural controls for them.

There's now a set of really useful leaflets and videos available which show how water users (including us CAPpers) can help to avoid spreading these interlopers around between rivers. As they point out, it's in our own best interests as some non-native plants can clog rivers and make them difficult to paddle. We'll also be helping to protect our native species which are suffering due to competition from the non-native versions.

The main message is to:

Check - your kit when you get off the water and remove any bits of plant/seeds etc, If you find any hangers-on, leave them behind in the river they came from.

Clean - your kit, boat and clothing out with tap water in between trips,

Dry - everything (including your boat!) thoroughly between rivers

Please give these a read/listen if you have a minute - they offer some practical advice for how we can help and what to look out for:





Six set out on the high seas amid crashing waves and razor sharp rocks...

OK, so it wasn't quite like that. Six of us pottered down to Brighton on a rather lovely sunny Sunday in September and were greeted by calm seas and the lovely people of Martlett Kayak Club.

It was nearly five of us as we nearly accidentally left Derek in Godstone. Oops.

After much CAP faff (I suspect that that Martlett faff does not exist, or if it does is a much milder effect) we had sea kayaks that fitted and off we went.

Led by their coach, Chris, ably assisted by MKC members Pete and Glen and fuelled by Chis' secret weapon (a big tub of chocolate raisins) we made our way east along the coast,

negotiating the entrance to Brighton Marina and passing the refined clifftop perch of Roedeen.



Rottingdean beach made a welcome picnic spot before we turned tail and headed back against wind and tide, fuelled by Chis' back up secret weapon - choc-ices! 

As we rounded the harbour wall, the sea state was variously and technically described as choppy, lumpy and bumpy but all made it safely back to base.

Apart from Mike, who survived all the way back to the beach and then fell in. Oh well, somebody had to.


Huge thanks to Chris, Pete, Glen and Martlett Kayak Club for a fabulous day out, not to mention the snacks ;o)



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