Blackwater estuary paddle - 27 November 2010

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Plan was to launch from Marconi Sailing Club [1] and then either paddle to Maldon putting in a couple of circumnavigations of islands or round trip back to start, depending on whether we want to do car shuttle to Maldon or not on the day.

Which in fact we did, though attempt to circumnavigate Northey Island was tragically cut short by the presence of a rather large causeway. The one to Osea island was easy to paddle over, just enough water to make it look like a very flat, very long weir. also of note was the temperature, hoar frost on the trees all the way there, thick fog which didn't clear on our brief (well not so brief) trip into South Woodham Ferrers in search of a full English, or even while we were getting changed in the comfort of the Marconi Sailing Club's well-appointed and generously lent club house, then just as we were getting ready to launch it lifted to show Osea Island just over the water, then Bradwell power station in the other direction, square blocks on the skyline. it took a while to warm up, but by the time we had crossed the Blackwater sensation has returned to our hands and we let ourselves drift, admiring the remoteness of the spot, the silvery sunlight on the water, and how clear it was, the chattering and chuckling of birds on the shoreline... we never made it into Maldon, as it seemed sensible to get back to the sailing club before they locked up for the night, almost certainly a very wise move as the temperature dropped precipitously as the sun set. Nor did we stop to investigate the rehab clinic (which may have closed)on Osea Island (definitely no sign of desperate inmates splashing along the causeway just in time for the pub), nor did we get to paddle inside Northey Island - I think that would take high water springs. We got annoyed by a single hardy jet skier, but nothing else disturbed our tranquility. so plenty to do when we go back again. and it's only just over an hour from Wapping...

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