More Capital Paddling

The second day of our kayaking in the heart of London required a much earlier start as we were heading down stream on the last of the ebb tide.  It was a bright sunny morning after a wild night, wind wise, at the Shadwell Basin.  We were carried past Canary Wharf and Greenwich until we were just passed the O2, by now the tide had turned and it was time to head back up stream.
We landed in Greenwich, quite an amazing experience, leaving the kayaks on the river front walk whilst we retreated to the warmth of the local pub, for lunch.  It is impossible not to be impressed by the maritime traditions of this London suburb.
When it came to launch the rising tide had covered our friendly beach and it was quite entertaining to launch down the steps.  We were quickly carried up the west side of the Isle of Dogs, arriving back at Shadwell Basin for quite a tricky landing.
Kayaking in London is far more interesting than it seems at first sight.  Fast moving streams, vertical walls preventing easy access and moored obstacles create an environment which is challenging for paddlers.  Safety procedures and group control need to be sorted out before launching because once on the water it is all too easy to be distracted by the world famous historic views, which are continually changing.
If you have not been kayaking on the Thames before it is well worth considering for a weekend visit.

 The unique skyline of Canary Wharf
Residential waterfront developments are certainly different to the granite cliffs I normally paddle alongside.
The O2 from the water.
Kayaks almost blocking the footpath at Greenwich, they certainly generated interest amongst the walkers in the area.
 Launching at Greenwich.  There was quite a bit of chop bouncing off the steps.
 Landing back close to Shadwell Basin.  Not the people in the water helping the kayaker.
Landing was not easy.  It was a matter of making sure that your arrival coincided with a lull in the swell which was generated by the numerous passing ferries.  A bit of a sting in the tail.
  The end of a great day out in one of the worlds major cities.