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gibbon

Day out on a canal

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Posted (edited)

Missus has the day off tomorrow and weather is meant to be nicer than today. Thought about hiring a canoe and going for a paddle on the Kennet and Avon canal with her, looked it up and the fuckers want £50 to hire a plastic tub for a few hours. Then remembered there two inflatable kayaks at my rents, they look like shit toys but are highly rated on amazon and videos of nutters taking them out to sea so should be ok on a canal. Problem is there's only one buoyancy aid. I vaguely remember a buddy who fishes that canals are only 4 feet deep? Basically is she going drown without one? 

Edited by gibbon

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I was surf skiing about 12 years ago - had a life jacket on and a helmet. A wave threw me over and the poly -.i.e heavy - surf ski landed on my head. The buoyancy aid saved me from drowning, the helmet saved me from dying - without the latter I think I would have been killed instantly. I staggered out of the water feeling very disorientated.

My point being that the unexpected happens with these things.

You do not know how deep the water actually is or what obstacles lies underneath. You also have the BIG danger this weekend of very hot air temps and water which, just below the surface, probably will be icy cold. Shock of cold water can make things go bad very quickly in this weather.

I don't want to spoil your fun but these things need to be considered. You can drown in very shallow water if things start going wrong.

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23 minutes ago, gibbon said:

Missus has the day off tomorrow and weather is meant to be nicer than today. Thought about hiring a canoe and going for a paddle on the Kennet and Avon canal with her, looked it up and the fuckers want £50 to hire a plastic tub for a few hours. Then remembered there two inflatable kayaks at my rents, they look like shit toys but are highly rated on amazon and videos of nutters taking them out to sea so should be ok on a canal. Problem is there's only one buoyancy aid. I vaguely remember a buddy who fishes that canals are only 4 feet deep? Basically is she going drown without one? 

only if you're lucky...

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Sadly no Decathlons nearby, thought before posted about popping in one last minute and buying a cheapie which as you mention would still end up cheaper than hiring a canoe for 2 hours. 

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I always wear one but picked it up at the end of season sell-out from a hire place for a tenner.

I used to happily go out without one on rivers and would again; though wouldn't risk the open sea.

I would be absolutely fine about kayaking on a canal without one.  The bank's usually in arm's reach.

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Just now, gibbon said:

Sadly no Decathlons nearby, thought before posted about popping in one last minute and buying a cheapie which as you mention would still end up cheaper than hiring a canoe for 2 hours. 

 

There must be some shops locally that sell them. Once you have one you have it for many years to come. If you do decide to buy just bear in mind that women have boobs and men tend not to... and hence a buoyancy aid that may fit a bloke might not fit a girlie and vice versa.

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16 minutes ago, The Masked Tulip said:

I was surf skiing about 12 years ago - had a life jacket on and a helmet. A wave threw me over and the poly -.i.e heavy - surf ski landed on my head. The buoyancy aid saved me from drowning, the helmet saved me from dying - without the latter I think I would have been killed instantly. I staggered out of the water feeling very disorientated.

My point being that the unexpected happens with these things.

You do not know how deep the water actually is or what obstacles lies underneath. You also have the BIG danger this weekend of very hot air temps and water which, just below the surface, probably will be icy cold. Shock of cold water can make things go bad very quickly in this weather.

I don't want to spoil your fun but these things need to be considered. You can drown in very shallow water if things start going wrong.

First rule or wave/surf skis is never use one without a lap belt and foot straps at the very very minimum you need thigh straps 

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May be average 4ft (1.8m on Wiki) depth from concrete bed across whole length.

Silt build up can reduce that. Sections may be much deeper (5.2m Wiki).

Never know what lies below surface, sharp enough to snag or puncture inflateables. Canals can be really dangerous. One problem is the height from water to climb out.

 

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2 minutes ago, Long time lurking said:

First rule or wave/surf skis is never use one without a lap belt and foot straps at the very very minimum you need thigh straps 

Yep, had those but they all failed when this fecking enormous Llangennith wave decided to smack into me. Admittedly, they weren't the best of ones but sh*t happens.

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30 minutes ago, gibbon said:

Problem is there's only one buoyancy aid. I vaguely remember a buddy who fishes that canals are only 4 feet deep? Basically is she going drown without one? 

That's about right - supposed to be up to 6 feet but hardly ever is, usually deeper towards the middle as bat passage keeps the central channel clear, near the margins often see boats struggling to get off the mud on the KA so probably only a couple of feet there. Biggest risk is probably ingesting the water or getting your head stuck in the mud if you capsize. 😀 Inflate them today if you can to make sure no slow punctures.

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1 minute ago, Frank Hovis said:

I always wear one but picked it up at the end of season sell-out from a hire place for a tenner.

I used to happily go out without one on rivers and would again; though wouldn't risk the open sea.

I would be absolutely fine about kayaking on a canal without one.  The bank's usually in arm's reach.

I was wondering whether it's being over cautious, I've swam rivers and the sea before in just my shorts or a wet suit. Guess hearing all the time people dying in a canals makes you a bit more cautious but then I guess a lot of them are drunk, can't swim or get pushed in at night off the tow path.

Might just tie myself to the kayak with a safety line and risk it. 

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45 minutes ago, gibbon said:

Missus has the day off tomorrow and weather is meant to be nicer than today. Thought about hiring a canoe and going for a paddle on the Kennet and Avon canal with her, looked it up and the fuckers want £50 to hire a plastic tub for a few hours. Then remembered there two inflatable kayaks at my rents, they look like shit toys but are highly rated on amazon and videos of nutters taking them out to sea so should be ok on a canal. Problem is there's only one buoyancy aid. I vaguely remember a buddy who fishes that canals are only 4 feet deep? Basically is she going drown without one? 

I must praise you for your lack of sexual discrimination.

Clearly the highest earner should have the only lifejacket. (Or the one with the least life insurance)

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27 minutes ago, onlyme said:

That's about right - supposed to be up to 6 feet but hardly ever is, usually deeper towards the middle as bat passage keeps the central channel clear, near the margins often see boats struggling to get off the mud on the KA so probably only a couple of feet there. Biggest risk is probably ingesting the water or getting your head stuck in the mud if you capsize. 😀 Inflate them today if you can to make sure no slow punctures.

Got one inflated, surprisingly quick and easy. Quite comfortable once I removed the seat and back rest as im too tall for it otherwise. Looks awful mind

28194043110_15e07401d9_b.jpg&f=1

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1 minute ago, gibbon said:

Got one inflated, surprisingly quick and easy. Quite comfortable once I removed the seat and back rest as im too tall for it otherwise. Looks awful mind

28194043110_15e07401d9_b.jpg&f=1

Those are great. I have taken one out to sea in quite a swell and had a brilliant time.

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2 minutes ago, Cunning Plan said:

Those are great. I have taken one out to sea in quite a swell and had a brilliant time.

That's a relief to hear that they are reasonably sturdy then. Do they track ok or were you all over the shop?

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Just now, gibbon said:

That's a relief to hear that they are reasonably sturdy then. Do they track ok or were you all over the shop?

I found mine went in a good line. Mrs Plan's was all over the place. 

Maybe she just had a dodgy one?

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34 minutes ago, gibbon said:

Got one inflated, surprisingly quick and easy. Quite comfortable once I removed the seat and back rest as im too tall for it otherwise. Looks awful mind

28194043110_15e07401d9_b.jpg&f=1

Would be funny in pink.

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Professional etc would always say yes..  obviously.  But it really depends on your appetite for risk.

Main dangers are you knock your head as you go in and drown that way.

Other risks (as others have said) are whether there is anywhere along the bank you can easily get out,  if there’s something dangerous / sharp thrown in and if you end up swimming are you going to contract some godawful desease from the stagnant filthy water.  

 

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Not sure where you are on the length of the canal, but I've hired a canadian canoe a few times from Devizes marina --  about £25 for a couple of hours.  

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The basins near locks can very deep indeed on the K&A I wouldn't touch them with a a barge pole - literally I tried to find the bottom with a barge pole and couldn't.

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