Over the last few months the club has had to restrict and adapt a lot of its paddling. We always follow all government and British Canoeing Guidelines. Unfortunately, we have had to cancel many trips and club weekends. Shetland Islands, Pembroke and Anglesey weekends, Sardinia trip, Alaska Sea Kayaking expedition and now the Alps minibus has had to be cancelled. However, the good news is that many of us are still going in household or support bubbles in cars to the French Alps now much of Europe has lifted many of its restrictions. Traveling in a car is thought to be much safer as you can easily maintain the recommended distance from others en route. (no ferry’s, coaches. Trains or minibuses). In addition we are all on our own camping plot on the campsite which is expected to be a lot quieter than normal.
As lock down guidelines are eased people have been asking about doing trips again with car shuttles. Well the simple rule is that if you want to be as safe as possible do not leave home and continue to self-isolate. However, as things are eased, short car sharing for shuttles may become an acceptable risk for some in a similar way to those that have to get a taxi or use public transport.
Most trips are safer if you remove the need for a shuttle or use another method. Eg Chester Weir – paddle from Sandy Lane, JJs you can use Llangollen Canal to get to the top next to Horseshoe weir, static sites like JJs or the Burrs etc. We use a bike to shuttle effectively in the French Alps. At the weekend, on the river Leven, you could easily walk or jog back the two miles to the start of the upper section. However you should keep all your shuttles to as short as possible – ideally less than 15 minutes.
If you have to use your car to shuttle, try to maintain 2m or if you need to “1m plus”
Some of the plus steps could include some or all of the following:
- Sit next to an open window – nobody to squeeze in on a middle seat!
- Turn the body to face out of the window and do not speak or chat on the way back.
- The driver opens and shuts all the doors and windows – passengers do not touch anything.
- Wear a mask for the journey
- Wear gloves and do not touch anything.
The club guidance says that nobody should share transport to and from a paddling event unless they are a member of the same household or support bubble. Lets all try to reduce the risks as much as possible and have a safe summer.