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Kayaking Around Horsey Island - Paddling Out

Feb 27, 2008
Horsey Island is an island in the Walton-on-the-naze backwaters in Essex, England.
It is mentioned by Swallows and Amazons author Arthur Ransome and Hamford Water at the top of Horsey Island is the setting for his eighth book, Secret Water.

Walton-on-the-Naze backwaters offer some of the most beautiful and picturesque scenery in the Essex county and with its many low lying islands and creeks it is an ideal location for kayaking. Although tidal, paddling in the many creeks is calm and effortless which makes it both safe and enjoyable for novice kayak and canoeist and also children.

The island is approximately eight or ten miles round and is predominantly covered in coastal and salt marsh plants including the extremely rare Hogs Fennel. It has a few sandy beaches but mostly mudflats surround the island. The island itself forms part of a nature reserve and is home to many rare migrating and breeding birds such as Terns, Ringed Plover, Curlew, Dunlin, Pintail, Wigeon and Dark-bellied Brent Geese.

Only a few miles away and from where Hamford Water joins the sea the ports of Felixstowe and Harwich (one of Europe's largest and developing ports) can be seen.

Several fellow kayakers and I planned to paddle around Horsey Island stopping and camping overnight on one of its beaches. The kayaks being used for the journey were the Sevylor Ranger inflatable kayak, a sit on top kayak and a Perception Sundance.

As the island could be paddled around in a matter of several hours we planned to set off on a Friday afternoon, set up camp halfway round the island and return the next morning. A 4.00pm departure time was agreed when the tide would be at its highest and would allow us to paddle our kayaks clockwise around the island. Kirby Creek at the southwest point would be inaccessible an hour or so before or after high tide so it was important we departed on time.

We were able to load most of our camping and kayak accessories on the two Sevylor Ranger inflatable kayaks due to their size and ability to carry ample equipment. The perception kayak also offered plenty of cargo space. The sit on top kayak was only able to carry the bare essentials due to the very nature of sit on top kayaks.

Unfortunately we were unable to depart on time due to one of the group being held up and it was gone 5.30pm before we eventually got underway. Having missed the high tide and together with a strong current made it impossible to paddle westward towards Kirby Creek at that time of day. The change of plan was agreed and we paddled off along the Walton Channel which leads directly into the North Sea.

Paddling along in the early evening summer sun was nothing short of glorious.
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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