We keep a constant eye on the weather forecast. If it looks like your trip is doubtful due to the wind or rain, we will be in touch with you a day or two in advance to discuss options. If we have to cancel the trip and are unable to reschedule you to another adventure or date, we will offer you a full refund or keep your payment as credit towards your next trip, whichever you prefer. Please note if you cancel even though we consider the conditions are good to go, we are unlikely to refund (but this has never ever happened). Wind levels are our main safety consideration, as is heavy rain in winter. We are still unlikely to go if the forecast is for constant heavy rain even in summer. We want everyone to have a good experience, especially if it is their first experience in the outdoors or on the water. The odd shower, however? Well then, this is South Devon and we're going! Building a 'basha' for us to duck under on the shore can be part of the adventure! Please make sure you see see our 'What to do and bring on the day' instructions for you and your crew.
Yes! Dogs are welcome so long as you know they can handle being on a boat and they won't disrupt other people's enjoyment. Please let us know in advance if you are coming on a 'By-the-Seat' trip, as we neeed to double check if other people are also bringing a dog.
Think of your Canoe Adventure as a whole day out. We're not paddling all the time. In fact we spend as much time on the shore as we do on the water. We break the paddling up into 20-50 minute sections, with breaks on the shore in between. We usually stop to visit the River Shack Cafe at Stoke Gabriel, and stop at least once more on the shore to build a fire and have a picnic.
Most of our Skippers and all the Company Directors have small children and know what they can handle. From our experience, even the most excitable maintain their engagement for around 45 minutes. Yes, even yours! Trust us - we've never had any complaints from the little ones!
And we've never had any complaints from the older ones, neither, for that matter! With 7-12 adults in one of our canoes, we can afford to carry a passanger or two. So, if you need a break, you can have one and let the others take the strain for a bit.
The oldest we have had (that we are aware of) was over 89. The youngest was less than a month old. (Please make sure your little one is willing to wear a life jacket)
Please let us know if you have an injury or any other concern about your physical ability to paddle. So long as you are on a trip with a resonably fit crew, this should not stop you going.
There is no reason to go in the water if you don't want to! Nor should your camera or phone get wet, so long as you have suitable cases, good pockets in your waterproofs, or use our on board 'dry bag'. We provide a 'dry bag' for your warm layers, waterproofs and precious things. There is some space elsewhere in the canoe for bags of food and provisions which we advise you put in plastic bags or small backpacks that don't mind splashes or light mud. You don't need to bring much more gear than that. Please see the 'Where to go and what to bring on the day' page for more details. Wear rugged shoes that don't mind getting dirty.
No. We suggest you bring some snacks and, if you are out over lunch or dinner/tea time, bring a picnic for when we stop on the shore. If you are on a BBQ trip you need to bring food to cook. Bring some money in case you stop at the cafe/pub at Stoke Gabriel or Dittisham. We will make a brew at some point - tea, coffee, hot chocolate and maybe some extra goodies - but it won't be enough to sustain you for a whole day out. Bring a bottle of drinking water. At least a litre per person is recommended. You may be surprised how dehydrated you can get on the water!
We'll provide a couple of big pans, 2 large plates, 2 tongs and 2 cooking spatulas and some cooking oil so that you can cook on an open fire quickly. We will help you start and keep the fire going using foraged drift wood from the shore. You'll be the chefs so bring whatever food you want to cook and whatever you think you need to serve it with. We like to keep waste to a minimum.
Yes, if you like! When we stop on the shore we'll show you where is safe and sensible to swim. Children remain the responsibilty of their responsible adults at all times. If you want to specifically organise a wild swimming trip, it is advisable to get a group together so you can hire your own canoe and we can arrange a bespoke trip around the most suitable tides.
Our 9m canoes are licensed to carry 12 people maximum. We cannot take more than that. Our 8m canoes are licensed to take 11 people if 3 or 4 of them are little children, but the limit is on 7-8 adults depending on size. If you go over these numbers you will need to book a second canoe. If you add numbers to your crew after your initial booking, please let us know so we bring the correct equipment such as paddles and buoyancy aids.
We really need a minimum of 6 paddlers (adults or paddling teens) to safely go out in our smaller, 8m canoes in most conditions. Let us know if your numbers go down and we can discuss options.
Adult groups may bring alcohol appropriate to the occassion and we can make some visits to riverside pubs along the way. If a beer or a bottle of bubbly shared around helps you celebrate then that is fine. Spirits are not appropriate and our trips are structured so that stops are spaced out by stretches of paddling so we're not in the same place long enough for any reasonable adult to get into an unseaworthy condition. Please note our skippers have the right to refuse anyone they consider to be in a condition that is compromising their safety, or others, or the craft. This could be very expensive for you if it means we need to cancel the trip and recover our craft using our motor launch. Please see our 'terms and conditions' for further details on the potential implications of this.
If you are setting off from the Tuckenhay, please do not park on the Maltsters' main car parks on the quay or on the road opposite their front door. They allow us to park free of charge in their overflow car park a couple of minutes walk down the road. Please see our 'Where to go and what to do on the day' page for directions and instructions for parking. Even if you are eating there before or after your Canoe Adventure, our trips can often stretch over two meal times and they do significantly miss out on passing trade if prospective customers are unable to find a place to park easily. Once you have made the journey here by car you will appreciate how space is a premium on South Devon lanes and your consideration for the pub's business and our mutual relationship with them is greatly appreciated.