Cornish Estuary Trip help

Places, technique, kayaks, safety, the sea...
Post Reply
Bartman
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:21 pm

Cornish Estuary Trip help

Post by Bartman »

Hi

I had a magical trip today from Helford down the estuary and back. The only problem being that I got in at the ford at highish tide and could only get out via the sailing club marina (and a big telling off). I was told that it was possible to get out at low tide, but I couldn't see how without wading through thigh deep mud.

I paddled for about 13k and am looking to do something similar starting and ending at the same point.

Can someone recommend me somewhere simialr to paddle in the area or Cornwall, with a get in/get out that is accessible at high and low tide. I really enjoyed the wildlife so am looking for a similar type of trip. Problem is knowing decent places to park up and get in. A GR would be really appreciated as well if poss.

Thanks, I'm hooked for life :-)

DB

User avatar
nickcrowhurst
Posts: 1302
Joined: Sun Aug 06, 2006 11:07 pm
Location: Cornwall, between swims.
Has thanked: 92 times
Been thanked: 189 times
Contact:

Re: Cornish Estuary Trip help

Post by nickcrowhurst »

1. Mylor yacht harbour up to Truro and creeks and back.
2. Bodinnick (Caravan site) or ferry park (cheaper) up the River Fowey to Lostwithiel and back.
3. Saltash up the Tamar as far as you can in the time, and back. Calstock is a fine destination.
4. Saltash up the Lynher or Tiddy and back.
5. Saltash to Lopwell Dam on the Tavy and back.
6. Cawsand round the bay in appropriate wind directions and strength. Not an estuary, but a great sheltered spot in winds from south round to west and north.

All 6 have parking, WCs and slipways. Parking at Saltash is free. All bar 6 require careful use of the tides, arriving at the destinations at high water.
Have fun!
Nick

User avatar
dave1760
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 5:35 pm
Location: Truro, Cornwall

Re: Cornish Estuary Trip help

Post by dave1760 »

Some more ideas:

Helford River trip - head for Helford Passage and unload directly onto the beach by slipway. Its near the waterfront pub. Having unloaded there is a car park behind the pub about 40 metres up the hill. If you are strong (or have a trolley) you can park there and carry boats down. Its accessible at all states of tide.

Can also launch Gillan Creek (near mouth of Helford) at all tide levels. Or could launch Maenporth or Swanpool Beaches and paddle two miles along coast (easy scenic paddling) to Helford mouth.

For Carrick Roads can launch at Loe Beach (all tide) and either head upriver to Truro creeks on rising tide or turn right for Restronguet Creeek (nice waterside pub) or head for St Just in Roseland (lovely waterside church) and then on to St Mawes - Percuil Creek is good on rising tide. Or head for Penryn Creek and explore Falmouth. The maritime museum has a window that allows underwater viewing. If you are sufficiently immature you can startle tourists by paddling up to it.

Further afield try the Camel estuary on north coast. Launch Polzeath if surf flat or Daymer Bay if it isnt and take the rising tide up past Wadebridge until the river wins over the flooding tide and you are starting to paddle up small rapids.

A very small trip can be had on Looe estuary on south coast but needs to be high tide. Launch at big car park outside town, Can head out round Looe isalnd if its calm - but ebbing tide and strong SE winds create some standing waves at the entrance to the harbour and tides can run a bit faster past the island creating bigger waves if there is swell.

Or try the Gannel in Newquay on rising tide. Very short but great fun. Launch Crantock Beach if surf flat.

Carrick Roads offers by far the most potential for day trips - enough for a week. Lots of wildlife at all of the places mentioned.

Bartman
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:21 pm

Re: Cornish Estuary Trip help

Post by Bartman »

Thank you both for your time. Loads of great ideas there!
DB

"If you are sufficiently immature you can startle tourists by paddling up to it."

Red rag to a bull :-)

User avatar
Tamar
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2009 9:15 pm
Location: Tamar Valley

Re: Cornish Estuary Trip help

Post by Tamar »

My local paddle is the Tamar one - my personal favourite is to launch from Cotehele Quay (using National Tust car park) on the rising tide to get to the headwear. The new weir is modern and unpleasant but about 100m below it on either side of the small island are the old weirs which sumberge at the top of higher tides and if you time it right can be surfed in a sea kayak (done it in a Nordkapp). I think its around 12 miles and it takes me between 2 - 3 hours depending on how much dawdling I do. I know a great place to pull out to cook breakfast. Is a bit muddy if you are more that 1 - 1.5 hours after hight tide.
Image
Image
Image
Image

Saltash is a good put in (all states of tide pretty much) but there is also Weir Quay (Devon side), Cargreen and Halton Quay for other options.

Bit further afield but trip up the Erme from Wonwell or Mothercombe beaches are magical, sandy estuary which goes up thtought the Fleet estate to a weir (you need the high tide to get all the way).
Image

Tiff
Posts: 204
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 12:55 pm
Location: Calstock or Falmouth

Re: Cornish Estuary Trip help

Post by Tiff »

I thoroughly agree with all of those Nick has suggested. If you time it right on the Tiddy you can get right up to the pub at Tideford, have lunch and with good fresh water run-off fly at 8mph on the way back!

Also to add to what Tamar has mentioned, mid tide onwards 75 yards downstream of the island is the main old weir. From mid tide and below (provided limited fresh water) you can literally climb your sea kayak up the overfall gap on the right hand side. It takes a bit of effort, but the buzz on the way back is great. Also the right hand side of the island has a neat little weir, that with a bit of work you can lodge your kayak parallel underneath it and be held there by the stopper. It looks a bit daft, but makes a great way to stop for lunch!

Bartman
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:21 pm

Re: Cornish Estuary Trip help

Post by Bartman »

Looks like it's Bodinninck Monday and as long as the weather is good a shore trip off Porthkerris tomorrow after some diving.

Dave28
Posts: 212
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2008 5:50 pm
Location: Plymouth

Re: Cornish Estuary Trip help

Post by Dave28 »

I put in at Wakkers Quay (SX390551) on the Lynher this morning, for a trip up the Tiddy. Almost got to Tideswell, but there's a tree down across the creek just below the village. So pulled out on the bank to eat my cheese and biscuits, and watched the tide go from flood to ebb, with no slack whatever, a good 15 minutes before it should have done!

Must have been a bit of flow on the Tiddy, because I was able (just) to get up Polbathic Lake to the road bridge and out again without getting stuck on the way out.

Wakkers Quay is good for up to three hours either side of high tide. I arrived simultaneously with a company of Marines who were about to be "extracted" after a night exercise. They kindly watched me under the (CAUTION) 7 foot height barrier on the way to the flood bank parking, and let me get on with setting up inside their defended perimeter!

If you like P & Q when paddling, don't try this on a Sunday morning - there's a clay pigeon shooting estate at Tredinnick and they were blasting off all morning.

Give me the Marines any day!

User avatar
Helen M
Posts: 1717
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2004 6:40 am
Location: Dumfries, SW Scotland

Re: Cornish Estuary Trip help

Post by Helen M »

Is the Itchen any where near you as Slime needs photos?

See Itchen thread!

H - x

User avatar
Helen M
Posts: 1717
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2004 6:40 am
Location: Dumfries, SW Scotland

Re: Cornish Estuary Trip help

Post by Helen M »

Bartman wrote:Hi

I had a magical trip today from Helford down the estuary and back. The only problem being that I got in at the ford at highish tide and could only get out via the sailing club marina (and a big telling off). DB
Spill beans re telling off! lol

H - x

Bartman
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:21 pm

Re: Cornish Estuary Trip help

Post by Bartman »

I put in at the ford having been told that it was possible to get out there even at low tide...by a non-paddler clearly. After a long trip into the wind I got back tired and was faced with a flipping great mud flat and a completely empty creek. So I paddled about looking for another exit but all I could see was the marina. I knew I would get bollocked, but was pretty damn spent by now so I got out as quickly as I could and tried to surepticiously carry my boat back up to the the car park.

Sadly a shagged out bloke huffing and puffing with a gurt great orange kayak does not go unmissed in sailing circles and I was quickly accosted by a prim old dear who enquired forecably about my membership status. I meekly tugged forelock and pleaded that it was the marina or death. Que a long lecture about insurance, private grounds etc.. etc. I was tempted to ask what would have happened if i was drowning just off the marina, but instead I smiled as nicely as I could and bowed a lot.

Later in my camper van I phoned up and asked about membership. They did not see the irony and have sent a full set of forms and as long as I am seconded and pass "the meeting" I am in (oh and pay £180) :-)

Bartman
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:21 pm

Re: Cornish Estuary Trip help

Post by Bartman »

ps. This is the BEST sport ever and I've tried loads :-)

User avatar
Tamar
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2009 9:15 pm
Location: Tamar Valley

Re: Cornish Estuary Trip help

Post by Tamar »

I always thought it was called 'Wacker Quay' assuming we are talking about the same place, apparently it was the end of an old military railway, the corrugated iron shed there is supposed to be the old engine house. I think the quay was bult to allow the building of 2 forts in the area as at the time there were no roads, hence the reason for the railway. I have gone past going up to Tideford from Saltash. It's a surprisingly large area of water when the tides in, I have certainly been to look at it from the road as a potential access point so it's good to know that it is useable.

The access to this site from the A374 can be tricky as the route is popular with high speed motorcyclists so watch yourself on exit. This area is also popular with anglers and birdwatchers. I think it there is some 'nocturnal activity' there according to a police officer friend so go carefully if you decide to do a might paddle!

I think the Itchen is a bit further East from us (Hampshire)?

Dave28
Posts: 212
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2008 5:50 pm
Location: Plymouth

Re: Cornish Estuary Trip help

Post by Dave28 »

Wacker it is - faulty memory, and trouble with blue writing "Waker Lake" on a blue ground on the explorer chart.

Interestingly, although they scatter "Quay Dis" around the Explorer like confetti, they don't indicate anything at all at the one old quay that gives a decent access!

rec1551
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 9:12 am

Re: Cornish Estuary Trip help

Post by rec1551 »

"I meekly tugged forelock and pleaded that it was the marina or death. Que a long lecture about insurance, private grounds etc.. etc. I was tempted to ask what would have happened if I was drowning just off the marina, but instead I smiled as nicely as I could and bowed a lot. "

Brilliant! Encapsulated in a couple of sentences why I rarely sail anymore - insurance my harris. Whether its the foreshore at Cowes or a tiny gravel pit in the West -Midlands, you can be sure the club 'officials' will make everybody aware of just how important they are.

burpblade
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2009 11:23 pm
Location: USA

Re: Cornish Estuary Trip help

Post by burpblade »

Hi Bartman – Sympathy re your encounter with the yacht club security! Might the landing point that the ferry uses have been an option? In case you don't know of it, easily reached by path around the point from the pub (trolley useful), and you can drop gear off/pick up in the small pub car park.
Rgds,
Paul

Nick P
Posts: 238
Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 8:40 am
Location: Looe, Cornwall
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Cornish Estuary Trip help

Post by Nick P »

Bartman,
Just to add to Dave 1760's recommendation above, the Looe estuary is good for a short paddle, tho' if you aim to do the west and east parts, it can take a little longer, specially if you're in no rush. Lots of birdlife to see - Egrets, kingfishers besides a load of waders. You can park in the Millpool carpark (Pay in Dismay, 0800-1800) and put in at the slipway at the upstream end of the park.
Alternatively, for a paddle round the island and adjacent shore, park by the coastguard station on Marine Drive, Hannafore (free) and a short carry or trolley and you can launch off the beach ( a new buried storm drain across the rocky beach now provides a handy slipway).
cheers
Nick

User avatar
Mark R
Posts: 24135
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2002 6:17 pm
Location: Dorset
Has thanked: 13 times
Been thanked: 15 times
Contact:

Re: Cornish Estuary Trip help

Post by Mark R »

Bartman, loved your posts!

Have a search through here ... http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=NW2g ... q=&f=false
Mark Rainsley
FACEBOOK

Bartman
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:21 pm

Re: Cornish Estuary Trip help

Post by Bartman »

Today I died and went to heaven.

I stayed at the campsite in Boddinick last night. It was slashing it down when I arrived but the nice lady made me very welcome and I watched the clouds dissappear and the stars pop out over spag. bol and wine. This morning was beautiful, crisp sunny and hardly a breath of wind. I paid my £9 and gingerly inched the van down the slipway. Tide was nice and high so I had no problems putting in and I headed up the Fowey estuary on mirror smooth waters. Every single care in the world dissappeared as I was surrounded by peace, quiet and wildlife. I paddled up to the Church at St Winnow and stopped for a little lunch and some tea. A few hundred metres down from me a canoe piloted by the guitarist from ZZ-Top (honest, it had to be him with that beard) also pulled in and spat out an unfeasibly large number of children. We had the river to ourselves.

I wasn't sure what would happen as the tide got lower, it all seemed a bit shallow, so I headed back up the river towards Fowey. The wind had picked up a bit, but it was still dead calm and perfect conditions for a noob like me. I took a little diversion up Penpoll creek and explored the abandonded boats keeping my eyes out for Kingfishers, but the buggers had me sussed and had disguised themselves as herons.

A bit more effort saw me pass Fowey and I beached at Polruan for more tea, chocolate and a waz. Sun was still out and everything apart from my arms was perfect. I headed into Fowey, dodging various ferries and fishing boats and then out to the castle at Readymoney. My body had a quick chat and informed me that it was probably best to call it a day. I stuck to the Fowey side of the coast and headed back to Boddinick, I even managed to cut across the Yaucht club and let a silent one out as I passed. That'll teach them.

Pulling the boat up the slipway I was smiles smiles smiles. On the 250 mile journey home I was smiles smiles smiles. I hope all days out on the boat are as good as that. I managed 11 miles and was pretty chuffed with that as it was my 2nd ever solo trip.

Time for bed.
DB

Post Reply