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Posted on Saturday, November 3rd, 2012
As a way of rounding off this course, and putting to use the skills learned, a trip on the River Hamble was planned for the weekend of 20/21 October encompassing an overnight stay at Cricket Camp. This gave the Explorers a chance to try some different water to that of the Itchen, where we normally paddle.
Saturday morning saw the intrepid group of Explorers, with the ESL and the DESC, set off from Swanwick public slip and head up river. An Explorer from Relentless ESU also joined with us. Tides were checked and we were on a rising tide, although it did not particularly feel or look like it. A steady pace saw us progress up river soon passing the jetty at Manor Farm. Weather was overcast but grey. We were heading for Botley. At Fairthorne Manor it became apparent that the tide was not rising very quickly – time for a short stop. Soon after this point it was a case of getting out and walking the kayaks up river on a couple of sections – just not enough water under us. Botley was reached and time for lunch.
After lunch we continued up to the mill at Botley and had a play on the small weir before returning back down river to the jetty at Manor Farm. What a difference in water levels!! We now had plenty of water. We got out at Manor Farm and carried our kayaks through the park to Cricket Camp where we set up camp for the night. The fire pit was set up, burgers and sausages cooked over the open fire. A short walk around Manor Farm, in the dark, and then back to the open fire. By now the weather had turned and the rain had started which continued to gradually get heavier so a relatively early night for all. Sunday morning up and break camp ready for collection by parents at 1000 hours.
A very successful short trip locally that has given the Explorers a taste of what they can do. Time to look to next year and doing some more trips now that they have the skills.