Afraid that, with a 3.12pm high tide and 7.20pm sunset behind cloudy skies, we’re going for a crazy early one again tonight in order to stay coastal (rather than hit a dark river!) To warn everyone from the outset, we are taking on another route right on the edge of its feasible tidal window – the launch is liable to be a little muddy, and we’re going to need to make the landing (9k later) before the water disappears. So don’t wear your white boardshorts / tennis shoes, and give this week a miss if you don’t have a reasonable sense of adventure and aren’t ready to paddle steady and strong for 90 minutes… Weather conditions should be great, with very little wind, and we’re paddling through mid-tide so the ebb current should be awesome for a down-tider from Old Leigh to Thorpe Bay. It’s a one-way ticket, and we are cutting it fine with timings so we need everyone at Old Leigh (park under Belton Bridge, SS9 2EH) from 5.10pm (please be prompt / early if you need to pump up: we really can’t hang about for anyone!) and completely ready to go at 5.30pm. No late-comers. After a super-quick briefing we’ll immediately launch the shortest boards first and swiftly move on via the longer boards to the full-on raceboarders. We’ll be following Leigh Creek out to the Ray, then we’ll stay as far offshore as necessary to get all the way down to the slipway at Ness Road, just shy of the coastguard station (SS3 9HG / www.supsect.com/thorpe-bay) from where we’ll book enough taxis for everyone to go back and collect vehicles. Then we can all drive back and pack up, before reconvening at The Shorehouse for drinks and another Harvester dinner. There’s no time for shuffling vehicles about beforehand but we’ll be done by 7pm again, so there’s ample opportunity to sort logistics afterwards! (And sorry, but timings, parking and safety mean there’s no hire kit again tonight…)
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