Lovely people on the Tees

Launched at Preston hall quarry, through Yarm and turned back at Aislaby. Meet lots of friendly people out on the river, truly great day. Hope to add moor detail later but this will do for now



Been planning the next stage, think a launch at south end of Preston park (just down stream where I finished last time) and then try and get all the way through Yarm. After that an hour there and back trip looks a bit hard.

Bowesfield Badlands

Launched from the Bowesfield Estate today, as I returned to my car to put my new trolley safely away (work in progress rapidly constructed this morning) I found a topless, tattooed muscle man paying a bit too much attention to my beloved Honda Jazz. I decided chatting with him the best tactic and he said my car would not be there when I returned. I moved it alongside the Compass Royston coach depot as there where people in their yard and there where CCTV signs on the fence.

Feeling a bit foolhardy I decided to go for it. So on a bright Sunday morning I headed south down the very meandering Tees. On the starboard back fancy modern apartments took in wondrous views of the river, around the bend on to port long gardens lead down to the river, mainly looking a little sad and requiring more care than the owners head time for. Carrying on south and under the new bridge to Ingleby and the pipe bridge with red flags of the golf course fluttering on the port bank. The other bank was starting to become more interesting with majestic trees lining the bank. Not only was it a visual treat but all senses where caterer for, sunshine warming the face, tuneful birdsong and the aroma of wild garlic.

On this bank, in clearings, people appeared, I had reached today’s target of Preston Park. Pushing on there was a rowing boat and I remembered that you could now hire boats from the park. I still felt fresh so carried on, rolling farm land to port and a riverbank aboretum to starboard. Surprisingly there was a well maintained ex fishing  boat at the bottom of a well manicured garden followed by more dream homes. Teesside High School was next and I was getting peckish but pushed on. More farmland to the left and another golf course on the right, no point of landing there. At the Southern end both banks became farmland but with a clear path down to the river on the starboard bank. The path followed the river with little fishing platforms every few hundred feet. After a while there was a relatively low one and I stepped ashore for  a well deserved lunch.

After lunch I retraced my earlier course, this was not in the least repetitif as it simply looked different and still a feast for the eyes. I have often thought that it is not the water that makes boating interesting but the junction of water and land. This river is very rich in this boundary and I stuck to the bank, frequently ducking overhanging branches.

Muscles now aching and with a freshening breeze which deamed to be always on the nose, I eventually found my launch spot. The anxiety returned and it was not without some trepidation I rushed to the car. Windows intact, roof rack still in place, and four wheels. As I packed the car the watchman from the coach company came over for a chat. He told of the constant battle fuel thieves and the boys he was yet to catch that regularly shot birds, my fears where perhaps justified.

I won’t launch from the Bowesfield Badlands again….. The Tees is certainly a river on contrasts.


Busy day

Busy day of fun, worked on the 6 meter deck and did some recognizance for the next stage of my Tees journey. Found a launch spot at the spot where I stopped on Wednesday, hard to believe that 100 foot from the river can there be such decay. Looked on the other bank but it is accessed from a housing estate and parking would-be hard.

The Tees part one

Fifteen years of thinking about it and part one of my quest to navigate the Tees has begun. Went an hour up stream and found a peaceful oasis, OK not the wilds of Canada or even Scotland but not bad for Teesside. Was a tad windy against the flow but got back down stream about ten minutes quicker than up, the Tees was at low flow but must have helped. Battery ran out on phone but went 2.5 miles upstream, will launch slightly down stream of this end point next time.image


Have started work on the 6 meter model yacht, again. I think it is a 6 meter based on these dimensions LOA 60″ (1500mm) beam 12″ (300mm) weight, raw hull including keel 18lb  (8kg). Plan is to get it sailing as authentically as possible using the Braine gear to steer. I figure it will be possible to add radio gear later if I want to.I have most of the original fittings but some need a bit of work to get functioning again.