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Essex estuaries; Crouch

Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 3:32 pm
by waverley610
Anybody familiar with the Crouch?
I'm looking at running a club trip that way, suitable for ww and creek-boats etc, we don't really do 'salty' I'm afraid.

Have found this
http://www.canoefocus.demon.co.uk/accesscrouch.html
but would like to possibly be more down river, Burnham on Crouch way if possible/safe as far as tides,conditions etc go.
Is this the Essex marshes? Any help or alternative suggestions appreciated.

Chas

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:26 pm
by rockhopper
Hi Chas,

I live quite near it but not paddled it myself yet although I have fished from its banks in various places.
The closer you get to the estuary mouth the quicker the tide run as the river does not widen very much consequently, certainly from around Burnham onwards the tide flow on the ebb can be pretty brisk and I would not be keen to paddle it on a whitewater boat. Further upstream by North Fambridge you can access the river easily and the tidal flow is much more bearable. There are also some good marsh and saltings areas to explore and mess about in.

Rog.

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 2:05 pm
by waverley610
rockhopper wrote:Hi Chas,

Further upstream by North Fambridge you can access the river easily and the tidal flow is much more bearable. There are also some good marsh and saltings areas to explore and mess about in.

Rog.
Rog. Thanks, that sounds more like what we're after; have found the online tide-tables at bbc/weather.

Chas

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 4:51 pm
by Peter M
The crouch is very much a high water paddle any more than a couple of hours either side of the tide and you are in for a muddy walk. Access can be gained easily on the north bank at the western end of Burnham town, where there is a car park at the sports ground. This enables a paddle around the Gin palaces and racing yachts. A bit early in the year yet, most of them are still down in the Med. A quieter access can be had a bit further up stream at Creeksea, but parking here is limited.
The paddle from North Fambridge up to Hullbridge (or the other direction against the tide) is a reasonably remote area, giving a pleasant paddle of about three miles each way, probably enough in a white water boat. Brandy Hole about half way along this trip is a popular water ski area, you can generally play guess where the ski boat is going and then surf the wake. There are small areas of salting but on the whole the river has been too tamed to be called marshland. It has earthen sea walls to both banks although these do encompass areas of salting in places. Finally the Crouch is a world renown sailing centre for good reason, anything above a low force four and anywhere east of Clementsgreen Creek the wind is funnelled along the estuary.