Blog #6 – Term Time

OK, it is a bit dreary again today – and probably tomorrow too. But then it cheers up and mid-term forecasts are all beginning to suggest that summer’s due this weekend and into next week. We’re so confident winter’s finally done that we’ve at long last started to schedule our SUP school lessons up at Paper Mill Lock on the River Chelmer. Sunday 22nd April, Sunday 13th May and Saturday 19th May will be the first few dates for our scheduled Learn to SUP courses in 2018, with 11am and 2.30pm sessions now available to book online! Plus we have much more freedom this year to offer bespoke sessions to smaller groups (three or more friends, or family groups including children over 8 years old) at times and dates to suit – just get in touch via [email protected] if you want to arrange something special…

Please do help spread the word – sharing our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and/or website is always very much appreciated, especially as we kick off our teaching season. In fact, next we need to start building our search engine presence, so if you’ve already helped us socially it would be amazing if you could spare a moment of your time to review us on Google (or even Yell if that’s more your thing?) with just a quick star rating. OK, sorry – enough web marketing shnash already!

So what have we been up to? Well, there was a Wednesday last week so naturally there was a SUP Club – which, despite some fierce winds and an even fiercer current than the week previous, went better than we could have hoped up at Mill House again. One more paddler than last time joined us to make up a strong fleet of 11 taking on the upwind / upstream work-out to Cuton Lock and back for a 6k loop. Then another grand dinner at the SIx Bells, who seem to have upped their game even higher on food this year! Check out the pix on our Facebook page.

And then yesterday might have been drizzly and cloudy, but without any danger of a sea breeze it was one of the guaranteed stillest days of the year. Hence Dunc got out for a big training paddle in the morning – 15k round the end of Southend pier from Two Tree Island. Then in the evening, a handful of us scored Chalkwell for a paddle to the pub in Old Leigh … although as it was so so flat we took the scenic route there to inspect the newly reinstalled platforms out in the Ray. The Crooked Billet provided a welcome halfway beer before the tide swept us home into the dusk. More of that on Facebook too.

What’s next? Well, Wednesday night is SUP Club of course – and with a north-easterly breeze on the cards we’re very hopeful that the weather might allow us one of our favourites: the downwinder to Old Leigh from Thorpe Bay? Fingers crossed on that as it’s looking like the only coastal option available following a 4.17pm low tide, but so far so good with the forecast. (Be ready for another early one though, as if it pans out we’ll need to meet out east by 6pm for vehicle ferrying and taxi rides, etc…)

Then next weekend, on Friday a gang of us are off to Stratford-upon-Avon for our first SUPfari camping trip of the year. The flood warnings have all subsided now so we’re just holding out for fine weather! There’s still time to get on it if you want – details available via the Facebook SUPsect forum (ask to join if you haven’t already, then scroll down to 26th February). Where we’ll also soon be posting plans for a late May Bank Holiday trip out west: details tbc.

Right – think sunny thoughts and we’ll see you on the water very soon!

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