An early morning start was the order of the day because of the tide times. We needed to paddle to Greenwich and be back at Tower Hamlets just after 12.00 otherwise we would be paddling against a significant tidal flow. The river is always quieter on Sunday mornings so we were able to be more relaxed when it came to crossing over or to passing some of the river ferry terminals.
I always find paddling past Canary Wharf and the Isle of Dogs a nostalgic experience as I lived in the area in the early to mid 1970's, when it was a completely different place. We used to be able to see ships from our kitchen window and there wasn't an office block in sight.
Arriving in Greenwich we found a small rubbish covered beach on which to land before a quick sprint for coffee and muffins. These were consumed on the river bank as inquisitive tourists passed by. In previous years we have had time to linger for lunch but today time was tight because of the earlier tide and all too soon it was time to cross over the river and head back towards the Canoe Club.
Another couple of great days paddling in the heart of London thanks to the hospitality of the Tower Hamlets Canoe Club. We already have next years dates fixed but with a slightly different programme which includes an over night trip. It should be interesting.
Early morning calm as we headed past the commercial hub of Canary Wharf. The river was uncharacteristically calm.
As we were approaching slack water we were able to explore the remains of some of the derelict wharves, left over from when London was the greatest port in the world . Urban caving.
Landing places are not always easy to find in Greenwich. This rubbish strewn beach seemed the best option. It is hard to believe that something like this is allowed to exist in a World Heritage Site. We were lucky as the day before there was a dead dog on the beach.
Coffee and cakes were the order of the day, barely an eye brow was raised as we mingled with the Sunday morning crowds in our dry suits.
As time and tide wait for no man it was important to head back towards Tower Hamlets. En route we came across an Antony Gormley sculpture close to The Grapes pub.
Launching the day before required some imagination, today it was exiting. Keeping hold of the kayak with a foot whilst climbing onto a ladder and then reaching down to grab the bow required a certain amount of co-ordination.
The final movement of the kayak out of the water was completed with several willing volunteers.