Paddlers on the River Wey Navigation

posted 4 Dec 2013, 09:45 by Graham Morley   [ updated 4 Dec 2013, 12:11 ]
Members of the Minima Yacht Club Canoe section paddled from Goldalming to the Pyrford on the River Wey in two ‘canoe adventures’ in the Autumn. They now only have to complete the section from Pyrford to Weybridge to have paddled the entire length of the navigable river!

The first adventure was on Saturday 12th October. The weather forecast was not good, however things improved and the group experienced a perfect autumn day.

The canoe trailer was carefully loaded in the dinghy park and towed to Dapdune Wharf in Guildford where the National Trust wardens were waiting to welcome them and unlock the gate to a grassy carpark  and a gentle slipway into the navigation. Dapdune Wharf is a lovely spot with an information centre and café, well worth a visit with or without kayaks. A charge of just £2 per kayak for a day licence, was paid at the kiosk with no charge for parking the trailer.

The navigation took the group through Guildford Town wharves and shops to the first of four locks to be negotiated. Once through the town the rest of the journey wound through pleasant countryside.

Lunch was taken at The Parrot, at Shalford after The Manor at Godalming announced a 45 minute wait for food! 

The journey back and reloading of the trailer both took much less time than the outward journey and a tired but satisfied group arrived back at the dinghy park by 17:30. 

The second adventure took place on the 2nd November. On this occasion, a more sophisticated project plan was implemented. The Canoe Trailer was again loaded in the dinghy park and towed to Dapdune Wharf, while others in the party took two cars to the Anchor Inn and left one in the car park, before going on to join the rest of the party at Dapdune Wharf.

The canoes were unloaded and the party started paddling while Steve Collins towed the empty trailer by road to the Pub and waited for them there.

Jonathan Lake-Thomas had had foresight to go onto e-Bay and buy a handle which opened all the lock gates, so that the canoes did not have to be lifted out and manhandled through the locks. The plan also allowed the canoeists to paddle with the benefit of the stream underneath them for the whole journey – clever, eh?

This trip took the party through some more beautiful Surrey County countryside, passing through Stoke, Triggs, Papercourt, Newark and Pyrford Locks, and of course, ending with a pub lunch at ‘The Anchor’. After lunch, half the party took the canoes back to Minima, while the other half drove back to Dapdune wharf to collect the other car.

The final canoe adventure will be on Saturday 14th December – location to be decided (we are not necessarily going back to the Wey).

Kathy Collins