Evening Sundowner Trips
May 22nd 2013
Starting with the Bank Holiday and Half term we're going to be running 2 hour Sundowner trips.
In the summer months the River Fowey is particularly beautiful in the evenings. As the tide comes in, shoals of mullet swim up from the sea and peace and stillness surrounds you as the calm of the end of the day envelops the river and the sun begins to set.
This really is a great time to see the river and when tides permit we run our 6pm “Sundowner” trips. They last 2 hours, and normally we paddle up the quiet and secluded Penpoll Creek which we usually have to ourselves. This is our favourite place to paddle, it’s largely free of other boat traffic and we can immerse ourselves in this natural environment. Our trip ends with the chance to choose your own Sundowner drink and perhaps a bite to eat on the terrace of the Fisherman’s Arms which overlooks the Estuary. Our “Sundowner” trips are suitable for everyone and are a magical and relaxing way to end your day.
Hire A Kayak
May 20th 2013
Kayak hire seems to be the flavour of this month. It's a facility we offer to paddlers with some experience.
Gift Voucher Surprise
April 24th 2013
It was a joy to take out two paddling novices yesterday who had been given one of our Gift Vouchers. I'm always a bit nervous of Gift Voucher clients since it means that they didn't choose the trip but someone chose it for them! However, thanks partly to a lovely calm day Amy, Liam and I enjoyed one of those near perfect trips, spotting all the usual birds - Red Shanks, Oyster Catchers, Herons, Egrets, Shelducks and the highlight (or course), a Kingfisher catching and eating a fish!
We almost had the whole estuary to ourselves. Lerryn, quiet and still looked lovely with newly arrived swallows circling around us. Along the banks the oak and ash trees are all in the process of slowly opening their buds to reveal their vibrant green leaves. The next few days will see this process accelerate and within a week the whole estuary will have changed from sleepy browns and greys to the long overdue colours of spring pictured here.
If you're looking for ideas for that special occasion consider giving one of our vouchers!
Estuary Clean Up
April 22nd 2013
Yesterday's Estuary Cleanup was a HUGE success - despite the driving wind and rain that tried to thwart our efforts in the afternoon. We had about 30 volunteers and particular thanks goes to the 18 Plymouth University students who helped us make a big difference to our environment. Thanks also to the Fowey Harbour Office and their Environmental Officer Claire who joined us on the day and allowed us to use the Harbour skip which we almost filled.
The range of rubbish collected was wide - and apart from the usual plastic bottles, bags and tin cans we also had a parking sign from Lostwithiel Golf Course (5 miles upriver), a box of distress flares, two seats and an old hand
cranked siren! Sadly, we also continued the ongoing collection of dead birds - killed by pollution that has recently effected the whole coastline.
For someone who is lucky enough to live on this beautiful Estuary and make a living from it, it's very rewarding to be able to help organise and provide a little payback to help to keep it pristine and rubbish free. After two successful Cleanups, we do plan to make this a bi-annual event - so watch this space in November if you would like to join us next time.
Kayak with a National Trust Ranger
March 9th 2013
We are very happy to announce that this year we will be kayaking with the National Trust. We will be running a small number of special departures which will be accompanied by National Trust Rangers who have specialist knowledge of the area – and in particular those parts of the Estuary that are owned and managed by the National Trust. It’s worth reading their description of the estuary ….
“At high water the long fingers of the sea reach deep into the remote agricultural folds of inland Cornwall, drowning the original insignificant Fowey River and its valley, the true profile of which can only be seen in the upper parts of the estuary at low water. This estuarine landscape is just waiting to be explored...
The estuary was created since the end of the Ice Age 10,000 years ago. Melting ice caused the sea level to rise in excess of 120ft over succeeding millennia, finally reaching its present level after the Roman period. As well as including the bustle of Fowey harbour, the estuary has the quiet reflective creeks of Pont and Penpoll - best explored by canoe. Further inland Ethy Woods atLerryn are a perfect Sunday afternoon diversion. Take a riverside walk past veteran oak trees and enjoy the sound of children playing over the Lerryn stepping stones.”
The trips will be four hours in duration, travel at a relaxed pace and allow time for a picnic lunch along the way (bring your own). Weather permitting, we will travel from Golant village up Penpoll Creek, a hidden gem which we will often have to ourselves, and its varied Estuary wildlife. From here we will paddle along the banks of the River Fowey and into Lerryn Creek and meander up to picturesque Lerryn village. From here we have an optional walk through National Trust woodland to Ethy Point. Time permitting we will then paddle around to St Winnows and visit the historic riverside church which dates back to the 7th Century. We then head back to Golant’s hidden harbour via Woodgate Pill and The Royal Boathouse where Edward VII once entertained his lady friends.
Numbers are limited to 15 with a minimum of 4 participants
Price £35 per adult and £17.50 for children under 16, which includes a £5 donation to the National Trust
For dates and times see TRIP TIMES 2013.
Buzz the Buzzard
January 27th 2013
We've learnt a lot about buzzards this month. A week ago on a paddle to Lerryn we spotted a buzzard on the riverbank looking a bit sorry for itself. It was still there on our return and so we went to have a closer look. It turned out to be a young bird in a sorry state with the side of it's face including one eye badly injured. It didn't seem too concerned by our approach and so we decided to attempt a rescue slightly complicated by the fact that we were in two single kayaks. After some discussion it was decided that I carry the bird and Karen would tow me an buzz back to Golant where we placed him in a box by the Aga.
We didn't hold out much hope as to begin with he just lay there and wouldn't take any water or food (raw mince). However, after an hour or so there was a stirring and Buzz was perched on the edge of the box looking a little more perky. We arranged to take him to a vet who specialises in birds of prey the following day and just hoped he would make it through the night. He did just about but was very weak by the time we got to the vets - and despite his best efforts he didn't pull though.
What we did learn is that buzzards have thrived in Cornwall in recent years and adults will chase their young off their territory forcing them to try to establish their own territory and fend for themselves. Understandably many don't survive this right of passage and buzz was probably one of this - injured when already weak from lack of food and not enough reserves to pull through when rescued.
Black Swan Sighting
January 27th 2013
Black Swan's aren't a regular sight in the UK - in fact I've never seen one in my life. However, Sunday saw us on another recce - this time on the Camel Estuary paddling from Padstow to Wadebridge. As usual Karen was busy clicking away with her camera while I was more focused on the tide which was getting stronger by the minute and increasingly jeopardising our arrival in Wadebridge and coffee. She surprised me with reports of seeing a Black Swan - my first reaction was that it was a wind up but on our return there is was in the company of 5 or 6 white swans. A quick google on our return confirmed that they are occasionally seen in the UK and yes, one had been spotted on the Camel Estuary a few days before. Oh yes, we also saw hundreds of Oyster Catchers, Cormorants, Lapwings, Golden Plovers, Dunlins, Canada Geese, Black Backed Gulls, Curlews, Red Shanks.... and like the swan a solitary Razorbill.
The Big Sleep
December 31st 2012
It's very quiet and atmospheric on the Estuary at the moment - and with the exception of a few birds it seems that nature is in slumber. The trees are bare and the moorings have emptied as boats are taken ashore for the winter.
On Sunday's trip the only two other boats seen in our 3 hour paddle down to Fowey were the car and passenger ferries, both of which were doing slow trade. However, wrapped up and warm on a still winter's day the Estuary has a special charm at this time of the year. In January the first signs of spring will emerge as snowdrops begin to dot the riverbanks - but in the meantime we and the estuary will enjoy our period of quiet and rest.