Places for a relative noob to go solo Essex area

Places, technique, kayaks, safety, the sea...
Post Reply
Hix
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:49 am

Places for a relative noob to go solo Essex area

Post by Hix » Fri May 16, 2014 1:08 pm

Hi people,

I'm new on here, recently taken up kayaking. I've bought myself a s/h Wilderness Tempest Pro and am looking for places to try it out that are relatively safe.
I've done my two star sea kayak training but I am looking to go out solo and as such want to get used to the new boat in a safe environment until I am confident in it's and my abilities.
I live near the Lea navigation, but that is a little too safe and boring so am looking for somewhere a bit more exposed but still reasonably safe.
Does anyone have any ideas for places to go this weekend where I will not be likely to get into any troubles?
Any advice greatly appreciated

rockhopper
Posts: 771
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 7:55 pm
Location: Essex
Been thanked: 20 times

Re: Places for a relative noob to go solo Essex area

Post by rockhopper » Fri May 16, 2014 2:19 pm

Closest bet for you is likely to be the Shoebury/Southend/Leigh area. Tides are just right this weekend, low winds and super sunshine. Likely to be busy though so avoid driving along the seafront. best to head straight to Thorpe Bay and you can go along the seafront with incoming tide and then back out to Thorpe Bay when the tide turns. can stay as close inshore as you like.

Alternatively, if you want something a bit quieter then the Blackwater would be the best option. You could get in at St. Lawrence (always access to water irrespective of tide) and paddle with incoming tide along towards Maldon and either go around Osea Island or Norsea Island. Fabulous paddling, great to explore and nice and quiet with fabulous 'big' skies. Water can be surprisingly (for Essex!) clear and you often get fish moving in the shallows (although it may still be a bit early for them). Loads of birdlife too.
At St. Lawrence you can unload you boat next to the pub and right next to the sea wall and then park your car in one of the side streets nearby.

Rog.

Hix
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:49 am

Re: Places for a relative noob to go solo Essex area

Post by Hix » Fri May 16, 2014 2:35 pm

Cheers Rog,
Blackwater sounds like my cup of tea, nice and quiet with wildlife thrown in too. I was looking at Osea and Wallasea this morning, but wasn't sure about the areas. From your recommendation, it looks like Osea & Northy it will be. Thanks for the input, greatly appreciated. As a noob, you can look at charts and maps all you want, but you can't tell what the paddling will be like.
Cheers
Ade

User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 8063
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 9:44 pm
Location: Scotland
Has thanked: 9 times
Been thanked: 14 times

Re: Places for a relative noob to go solo Essex area

Post by MikeB » Fri May 16, 2014 2:39 pm

I guess it has to be said - and I guess you'll already have given this thought, but suppose you find the limits of your abilities and that of the boat, and end up out of said boat, will your abilities and the situation allow you to recover from that? Solo? I apologise for being a nay-saying doom-monger, and I don't know the area at all - but might it be better to explore these limits in the company of others?

Hix
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:49 am

Re: Places for a relative noob to go solo Essex area

Post by Hix » Fri May 16, 2014 2:49 pm

Yes, I've been giving it a lot of thought. I have been out in Pembrokeshire recently with Mike Mayberry in some fairly challenging conditions. I'm just looking to hone my skills. I'm booked in for a six week whitewater level 2 course at LVWWC and am also going to do a rolling clinic session with them.
I just don't want to pass up what looks to be a fantastic weekend this week.
If anyone is paddling around that way tomorrow or Sunday, I would happily hook up if allowed. Figured I was a bit late to arrange though.

User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 8063
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 9:44 pm
Location: Scotland
Has thanked: 9 times
Been thanked: 14 times

Re: Places for a relative noob to go solo Essex area

Post by MikeB » Fri May 16, 2014 2:56 pm

Enjoy - stay safe!

Hix
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:49 am

Re: Places for a relative noob to go solo Essex area

Post by Hix » Fri May 16, 2014 3:00 pm

I aim to.
I'll post a message in the paddle buddies section, on the offchance that someone is around and willing to hook up.
I suppose you have to make the first step in order to progress and it does seem a relatively safe place to make the step.
Cheers

rockhopper
Posts: 771
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 7:55 pm
Location: Essex
Been thanked: 20 times

Re: Places for a relative noob to go solo Essex area

Post by rockhopper » Fri May 16, 2014 5:51 pm

To be honest, there will be lots of people sailing and so forth in the Blackwater so people will be around. The tides aren't too big with high tide between 3pm and 4pm over the weekend. You can stay in close if you want and the water will be quite shallow and then if and when you are happy you can cross over to Osea and paddle around that... also shallow. The crossing to Osea is very short and boat traffic is probably the main thing to watch out for. If it gets windy there then it can get quite choppy but that does not look like a problem over the weekend.
I would keep away from Wallasea Island as the River Crouch is a very different animal... very strong tides especially on the ebb and very steep muddy banks...not one of my favourite paddling places.

Rog.

Hix
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:49 am

Re: Places for a relative noob to go solo Essex area

Post by Hix » Fri May 16, 2014 6:25 pm

Excellent, all sounding positive. It's weird, I've never had any issues with very dangerous mountain situations but going solo on the sea triggers the respect muscle

Hix
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:49 am

Re: Places for a relative noob to go solo Essex area

Post by Hix » Fri May 16, 2014 6:27 pm

One quick question Rog, drysuit. Overkill in these temps or a sensible move? Just thinking it could get a bit sweaty in there if it stays like this.

madcanoeist
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:30 pm
Location: Norfolk

Re: Places for a relative noob to go solo Essex area

Post by madcanoeist » Fri May 16, 2014 8:27 pm

There is an active sea kayak group who run Maldon & Dengie Canoe Club, and are based out of Burnham on Crouch.

Hix
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:49 am

Re: Places for a relative noob to go solo Essex area

Post by Hix » Fri May 16, 2014 8:31 pm

Cheers for the info dude. Will get in touch.

rockhopper
Posts: 771
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 7:55 pm
Location: Essex
Been thanked: 20 times

Re: Places for a relative noob to go solo Essex area

Post by rockhopper » Fri May 16, 2014 11:05 pm

Well, the saying is that you dress for immersion and I suspect that the sea temperature is probably around 9 degrees at the moment however with the air temperatures over the weekend likely to be around 20 degrees and it to be sunny I suspect that you are more at risk of overheating in a drysuit. If you have a semi-dry pair of trousers and paddling top I suspect it would be better as you can wear different layers underneath which you can add or remove as necessary.
At the end of the day it is difficult to gauge how competent you just by you having a 2 star but maybe the best bet is for you to get to the put in point, put on too many layers rather than too few, paddle for a bit to gauge your confidence and the conditions and so forth and then it is easy enough around there to pull up to the shore and adjust the clothing levels accordingly. Keep all spare stuff in a dry bag in a hatch and then you can always put some of it back on later if necessary.
If you don't feel like going out too far then don't, stay close in as often there is more to see closer in than there is bobbing about in the middle. If there are quite a few people and boats on the water it may well give you a bit more confidence to push the boundaries a bit more. Provided you can wet exit the kayak safely and there are lots of people on the water then it is probably one of the safest places to paddle in benign conditions.
Depending how long you fancy paddling for if you put in 2 hours before high water then it gives you a couple of hours going with the tide and then another couple coming back to the put in when the tide turns.

I am thinking of going out for a paddle probably on Sunday but my plans are very open at the moment so still not made my mind up where on what time. Send me a pm with your mobile number and if I end up heading toward the Blackwater I will give you a call.

Rog.

Post Reply