Foray up the Ember - 11th October 2009

posted 9 Jan 2010, 00:57 by Domain Admin   [ updated 9 Jan 2010, 00:58 ]
The weather on Sunday morning was disappointing compared to Saturday, but we hoped it might brighten up. Graham George Andy and I had decided to continue the exploration of the Mole/Ember which Graham Usman and Debbie had begun the previous week.

The Mole joins the Thames just below Hampton Court Bridge and it took about 50 minutes to make our way to the entrance. A short distance up the tributary the river “splits” – the Mole comes over a weir straight in front of you and the Ember comes from the left. Following the Ember between high concrete banks we soon came to the first of the Ember weirs; however this one has a set of rollers to enable small craft to pass. It’s a bit dank and dark but worth the effort.  
In the 1960’s the Ember and the Mole flooded and subsequently major flood relief works were done resulting in a concrete lined river course. I’m sure it works well for the residents and businesses of Hampton and Molesy, but there isn’t much green to be seen on this stretch of river. However we soon emerged into rural Surrey and interesting views of back gardens and summer houses. After a bit Graham noticed another tributary to the left and we spent an interesting few minutes exploring as far as we could before we ran out of water, turning Andy’s sea kayak in the narrow and heavily overhung stream was quite a challenge.

Eventually we reached another weir, we managed to get out and have a scout around for a suitable entry point above the weir. The sides of the river were steep with reeds at the edge of the bank although we did spot a sort of gap on the far bank.. however although we might well have been able to get into the river at this point, Graham wisely pointed out that getting back out again to renegotiate the weir would probably have been a different and quite soggy experience.
So it was decided that we would return on a warmer day (or when wearing dry suits) The weather, which had brightened up at one point, gradually got greyer and by the time we were back at Minima it had begun to drizzle.

Pretty good timing really!