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Kayaking Around Horsey Island - Dead End

Feb 4, 2008
Having paddled our kayaks two thirds around Horsey Island situated in the Walton-on-the-Naze backwaters we were confident we would soon find a suitable place to land.

We paddled down Hamford Water not knowing that we had in fact missed our turning to go around the island back at the fork after Stone Point. Despite paddling further and further we could not spot a single place to portage. As it was nearly 9.00pm and the sun had dropped behind the horizon Hamford Water took on an ominous feel.

We were starting to feel lost, tired and hungry. My inflatable kayak was unforgiving and the weight of my camping and kayak accessories made paddling even harder. I had a five litre water bottle stuffed behind my kayak seat, a foot pump, tent, sleeping bag, food and so on, all of which were making the inflatable kayak drag heavily against the tidal water.

The banks along Hamford Water seemed to be getting higher or maybe it was just our moods getting lower. Having planned to pitch a camp long before sunset and travel back the next day, nobody had thought to bring a torch. This added to our worries as we were in a channel used by other boats. Still we pushed on looking for any nook or cranny where we could pull ourselves out.

As it was now getting quite dark and we were starting to become desperate one of the group tried to get out and climb the mud banks. He instantly sank up to his knees in the mud and knew that it would be impossible to get out and pull the kayaks up the banks.

We had no other option but to keep paddling. The channel seemed to go on and on until we eventually rounded a corner to find to our horror that the channel come to a dead end. It was evident we had simply been following a large creek inland and were now around the Beaumont Cut area.

We were extremely tired, hungry and stranded in this creek with the only option to either call the coast guard or attempt to paddle back to the beach at Stone Point. Although exhausted nobody wanted to call the coast guard so we wearily began to head back in the dark to Stone Point with the feint hope we had missed an exit point along the way.

It was now gone 9.00pm and we had a three or four mile paddle back to Stone Point ahead of us. Not much was spoken on this stretch and the two of us paddling the inflatable kayaks started to lag behind. At 10.00pm and what felt like hours had passed we started to see the silhouettes of the rusty barges in the distance. This uplifted out spirits but as hard as we paddled they never seemed to get any nearer.

We remembered there was a beach behind were the barges were moored which would be closer than Stone Point. After what seemed like an age the barges were now just a few hundred yards from us. It was taking all my strength every time I lowered my paddles into the water and my inflatable kayak seemed heavier than ever.
About the Author
Vicki Churchill writes for a site that specializes in Inflatable Kayak Accessories providing you with excellent resources and products including reviews on the stunning Sevylor Ranger Inflatable Kayak.
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