CSCC Reports 2010: Central London, Bank holiday Monday - August 2010
The August Bank Holiday Monday weather was kind to us again this year and we paddled from Chiswick to Wapping and back in pleasant sunshine. Chris, Gavin, Hils/Pete and I made the trip. Amelia, Harry, Karen, John, Eliott joined us for lunch.
There are so many London landmarks on this trip, Battersea power station, the Palace of Westminster, the London eye, Cleopatra's needle, the Tate Modern, the Tower of London, the Monument and St Paul's Cathedral to name just a few. However, I am beginning to spot some of the other interesting things which go on unnoticed on the river Thames. We saw about half a dozen mudlarks looking for hidden treasure and we spotted people building impressive looking sandcastles using sand (which was presumably deposited there in the days before cheap flights to Spain).
The river area around Westminster Pier was as choppy as I could recall it. The concentration of ferries is at its highest there and it was breezy as well. Luckily there are some quieter spots in central London where it is easier to enjoy the views and take some photos.
We had lunch at the Prospect of Whitby Pub, which continues to serve excellent food. There is easy access to the river there, although I whacked my head on the annoying metal archway while I was plodding up the stairs. We got a bit too comfortable in the beer garden and our boats were about five minutes from floating away when we realised and launched. I narrowly missed the chance to put my open water swimming experience to good use.
There were quite a few other kayakers out on the river and we chatted to a chap from Putney Bridge Canoe club who was training for a circumnavigation of the Isle of Wight. By this point we were glad for an excuse to stop for a rest - 26 miles is a pretty long paddle even with the tide in your favour all the way.
I really enjoyed the trip. Many thanks to Chris for organising things so well.