A hastily arranged trip to Tywyn with Andy , probably his last this year .A few familiar faces joined us afloat for what was a difficult day. A small tide didn’t help the Bass fishing but we all managed a few along with Po***ck , Mackerel , Gurnard and a solitary Codling . 12 noon the last post was belted out over a near calm sea in remembrance of our Queen . The day finished with a lovely drive back over the mountains.
Heroes On The Water UK
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Shared from John mann
Anyone with any RA contacts? I have been handed a NI GSM from a friend at work this medal belongs to a 25066564 GNR Jones RA. I would love to get this back to the rightful owner if anyone could help or have gunner mates please pass this message on so I can return this medal. REgards John Mann
Registered Charity 1155380. www.heroesonthewater-uk.org. Heroes On The Water brings the proven ther Please support us if you can.
Started in the US in 2007, HOW has helped over 6,000 service personnel and is now available in Canada, Australia and the UK. The physical challenge of kayaking, the mental challenge of fishing combined with the relaxing effects of water give a unique therapy that is now prescribed in the US military rehabilitation community. The kayak allows the injured to enjoy the outdoor freedoms that we all ta
Operating as usual
Our Paddle Leaders have been on the water recently with 2 days on the Thames and a day on Llangorse in the Brecon Beacons . No pictures due to the participants being active in our forces in sensitive positions but 3 enjoyable sessions with a few fish to the nets
Martin Met up this morning with Andy for his third trip with Bass on the surface lure the target . Absolutely scorching weather so it was only a short session , launching at 8am and off the water before midday . Andy’s face says it all , a few small fish to the kayak and a lovely 50cm fish to take home . Thanks to Ade and Jay for keeping the lads company .
Heroes On The Water UK updated their address.
Today our trustee Martin handed over Mels donated tackle to two of our Welsh lads Richard and Stephen . The incredibly generous donation will allow the lads to get their grandsons out on the bank . They then joined Martin on the water , deciding to hire themselves a boat instead of the usual kayak . Some cracking pike caught including Stephens PB of 13lbs 6oz
Mel from Sheffield recently contacted us . Over 5 years ago he donated a number of rods and was again in a position to donate more tackle . He had around a dozen full sets of freshwater tackle including rods , reels , floats , hooks , nets etc , as well as a couple of rods more suited to kayak Angling . The only stipulation was they should go to veterans . We managed to introduce Gary from heroes to Mel who was delighted to receive a huge batch of tackle , which will benefit many veterans , including Gareth who coincidentally is a friend of our trustee Martin ( pictured ) and now lives in the South of England .. Today Martin collected another 3 sets of tackle from Mel , the recipients already eagerly awaiting their tackle in Mid Wales , as well as a couple of rods for use on our trips . Lovely gesture from Mel , at great personal cost , that will benefit so many of our Heroes and their family’s , and a fine example of how charities can work together .
Another trip to Poole Harbour for the team. This time Keith was joined by Mark at the Ben Saville Memorial Kayak Fishing event for flounder organised by South Coast Canoes. Poole is a frustrating venue with crabs in plague proportions and flounder only being there when it seems the moons align. After frosts, water temp drops, flood water subsides etc etc. needless to say it wasn’t to be this day. No flounder were caught by any competitor. Mark had a good practice at anchoring and retrieving, effects of paddling into and against the wind and kit stowage advice, so not altogether a bad day. Keith was lucky enough to have his name drawn out of the hat getting his entry fee back so at least a winner of some sort. The rest of the cash was donated to charity. Roll on next year where hopefully fishing will be better and we can get sessions going back into full swing. If you or you have any friends injured, physically or mentally, in public service that would like to join us please get in contact with us.
Once again a huge thanks to Cobhs Quay yacht club and Poole bay Small boat Angling club who have recently donated £184 through their charity fundraising .
You will note the international photo code for a blank when the first picture depicts a nice sunset!
Despite being a little cold the weather and tide seemed perfect for a day on the water in Poole Harbour for flounder on Thursday. Mark Radcliffe, Rich the HOW client and I, Keith Ward launched at about 10am. Gutted for the other client Mark who broke down on way to the venue.
We fished the ususl spots and desperately tried a few new ones too. It’s debatable whether we even had a bite all day other than crabs in plague proportions. I think it was down to the bright sunshine and water being clearer than I have ever seen it in the harbour before.
My consolation was that it wasn’t just me, Mark, one of the UKs all time best kayak fishers blanked too.
Unfortunately Fridays launch was cancelled due to the weather.
Here’s a few words from Rich our client for the day:
“ I cannot thank Heroes on the Water UK and their instructors Mark and Keith enough for the past couple of days chasing flounder in Poole Harbour. The only problem was we kept chasing and lost the race. I think Keith and Mark were more disappointed than me. Just being safely out on the water was what I needed. Quiet and peaceful with great company to look after me. A little friendly banter with them saying they would only put hooks on after I’d caught one hence the lack of fish and periods of comfortable silence without feeling anyone needed to fill the quit made the day. This was my second session of what is a structured program to take me from beginner to hopefully becoming a competent kayak angler. I was taught anchoring on this session, the principles then plenty of practice. Seriously I cannot thank HOW enough, when you feel the World is against you this is the best therapy. I would highly recommend contacting HOW to anyone wishing to learn kayak fishing safely with expert tuition. I appreciate the many people and organisations that donate funds to make this happen.
Thank you Rich, if you know anyone who may benefit from our HOW sessions please get them to contact us.
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A glorious day out on the Thames.
Rich had fished a bit before and kayaked a little bit before but not really put them together until today.
A few pointers and we soon had him grinning from ear to ear as we drifted along the river finding plenty of perch, especially when a decent one of 2lb put in an appearance.
It might have been his first session but it certainly wont be his last. Plans are already being made for a follow up.
A massive Thankyou the Ceri Davies the owner of Swansea Watersports and Oxwich Watersports for his kind donation of PFDs and some fishing rods for our service users.
I am sure we will make good use of them.
It’s been over two years since Andy came out with us on Llangorse . With small tides this week it was the ideal time to get him out again , this time on the salt , bream the target with perhaps a bass or two . In the morning Andy rose 3 bass to the surface popper , hooking up once to a decent fish which unfortunately threw the hook at the yak . Once anchored up a steady stream of reasonable Black bream came aboard , only interrupted when a pod of half a dozen dolphins popped by to say hello . Another good day afloat 👍
After a year’s absence a return to the Thames was long overdue! Taking onboard the lessons from last year alongside Mark & Eddie I headed out with my veteran companion to explore this fine river and its backwaters and settle a few scores! Going slightly unorthodox we mixed things up with a kayak/SUP configuration a first for HOW I believe?
The SUP enabled some stealth like stalking for the infamous Chub underneath the trees although proved out of its depth for playing Pike in the weir pool, when the support vessel was required!
Chub, Pike and Perch all showed over the weekend in numbers, nothing huge although great sport. And the drama of the weir pool never disappoints with a fine Pike in double territory lost at the net along with the top section of my rod which means only one thing….a return trip!
Looking forward to some more HOW clients here in the SW this year now the restrictions have lifted. Got to introduce a celebrity to kayak fishing yesterday. He was a real gent and a good fisherman as well.
With a cautious air of optimism that we may be able to restart our programme soon it’s time to get the fleet ready , and there’s no better way than getting an eager volunteer on their Duke of Edinburgh to help out Grand job Chloe . # Thedukeofedinburugh’saward
As we draw to the end of 2020 one of our regular valued supporters , The Poole Bay Small boat Angling club have been in touch . This time of year we normally attend their AGM and give a presentation on our year and accept a substantial cheque for their Annual charity fundraising . Covid has hit everyone hard but despite this we have still received nearly £200 from their early years efforts . A big thank you to all their members and hopefully we can see you all next year .
Over the last year , We're delighted to confirm that Heroes On The Water UK has raised a total of £1,243.28 thanks to Co-op members in Powys who selected us as their worthy cause in the Co -op community fund initiative
Thank you to all those involved in making this possible during these difficult times 👍
Heroes on the water polo shirts £15.75 posted uk only ( payment via PayPal) .
Two extra large and two large available
PM to order . First come 🙂
Things have obviously been a bit quiet for us this year given the current climate we have found ourselves in and we hope we find all our followers well and keeping safe in these strange and difficult times. With restrictions easing a little it has allowed Andy Whitehouse and myself to have a short session on Rudyard Lake in Staffordshire with Richard and Matt. The wind was a bit troublesome at times and the fishing was unusually tough with not much to show between the four of us other than one small Pike to myself. However, the day was well worth it with new skills being learnt on both the kayaking and fishing sides for the guys which will equip them to return for a more productive day when the fish are more obliging. We still had a cracking day afloat with plenty of laughs along the way and look forward to getting out again.
Lots of hand sanitizer and disinfection of paddles and rods but a lovely morning on Llangorse Lake in the Brecon Beacons national Park . Dickie lost a pike early on then we concentrated on finding the Perch which took a while but eventually a few well marked fish obliged .
Not long before we resume our trips
Obviously Covid 19 has hit our activity hard but it has given us the opportunity to smarten up our fleet and rig out and test our new addition , the Wilderness radar pedal powered kayak , funded through our fantastic partnership with The British Disabled Angling Association . Powered by cyclical pedals and a tradional prop the kayak performed well in calm saltwater conditions in Cardigan bay , although it was found difficult to deploy the rudder using the cord system which is located and routed via some round plastic holders . A pulley system within the holder would surely make this more useable . The prop did occasionally pick up streamer w**d but it’s easy to lift the drive and clear , if a little bit fiddly at first due to having to line up the orange prop so it slots up into the housing . you also need to be careful with fishing lines passing under the kayak 🙄
A quick trawl of the Internet revealed that the rudder system is a common gripe and removing one of the runners from the final clip improves deployment and retrieval . With the opportunity to have a couple of days on the Cumbrian lakes the modification was made and proved to be a vast improvement . It also helped to spray the line on the rudder wheel with silicon spray .
Another small gripe was revealed in that the small screws that hold the drive retaining clip worked lose and one fell out together with the screw insert . An easy fix but worth keeping an eye on for future trips and packing a small screwdriver . On the final day on Bassenthwaite , the strong breeze turned into a gale straight down the lake . With the rods put away it was the ideal time to head into the gale and do a circumnavigation of the lake and see how she coped with conditions . It wasn’t too bad in the bay by the sailing club but conditions soon worsened heading North into the wind . The radar maintained about 1.5mph with little effort and the rudder kept the kayak straight into the waves which were breaking over the bow . Having done around 2 miles in just over an hour , I headed back with the wind hardly needing to peddle and reaching over 5mph . The radar surfed the waves well with only an occasional need for rudder correction .
On landing there was about a cup full of water in the hatch
We are looking forward to using the kayak in the future with our users who may find traditional paddling impossible or uncomfortable .
Our partner organisation doing great work on the IOM
Whilst we did not manage to get any of our veterans on the water today. The truck that we use to get our Kayakers out paddling was put to good use during the pandemic to help deliver paint for one of our veterans, deliver groceries for an other and then deliver medication. HOW Isle of Man would like to thank those who help us,help others .
Charity Bingo night in aid of “Heroes on the Water” hosted by KMF Group Ltd at their Stoke-On-Trent HQ. We are honored that the KMF apprentices are supporting us this year as part of their community project. Sincere thanks to Jess Mitchell and the team for arranging this event with no other than the legendary Gary Metcalfe (DJ Metz) hosting the evening. Rest assured this will be a great night for a superb cause….in the words of Gary “Get yer dobbers out”! Full details on the flyer below or contact KMF Group Ltd or Andy Whitehouse for more details.
More good news 😁😁
Successful grant application .
The Postcode Community Trust is a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Heroes on the water are delighted that our recent request for funding was successful People's Postcode Lottery
Our project received £2500 from the Trust to fund our winter sessions on the River Loughor as well as the purchase of new Drysuits , PFDs , and footwear .
Few photos sent to us by Stephen , one of our veterans who attended the recent session on the River Loughor .
Many thanks to Shaun and his customers at SP racing in Llandrindod . Another £32.15 donated via their collection pot 👍👍
It was great to get out this weekend after what seems like months of rain . Trustees and paddle leaders Keith and Martin were joined by veterans Richard , Stephen and Mark who had traveled up to South Wales from Guildford ( that’s dedication 😁) , and volunteer helpers Ade and Tim. The cold frosty start which resulted in kettles defrosting cam straps was soon forgotten as the group headed up river in search of Flounder on a beautiful sunny day .
The fishing was slow during the flood but a brief spell of activity saw a total of 17 fish landed , Mark being top rod closely followed by Richard .
, This session has been made possible by an award from Postcode Community Trust, a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
Lovely day on the River Loughor in South Wales for our first HOW mini meet . Big thanks to volunteers Tim Sparrow and Ade Peacock for their help on the day . 7 on the water and a few fish put in an appearance . Full report to follow later in the week .
Time to prepare one of the charity’s kayaks ready for a trip on the River Loughor flounder fishing this weekend. This Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 was one of the first kayaks donated to HOW by long time supporter and kayak fishing legend Jim Marsh. She is named Miss Wildwood in memory of his daughter Jo. Thank you Jim. It’s hard to quantify the support we are providing by assisting people, injured (physically and mentally)in public service, when we take them out. A couple of comments seem to hit the spot. A Met Police officer, “For a time out there on the sea I was able to forget all that had been troubling me, it hasn’t gone away but that bit of respite has done me the World of good.” An ex Royal Navy member, “It’s so great to be with like minded people who aren’t there to try and treat you, it’s good to talk at times, offload even, but sometimes just to sit in silence kayak fishing for a while and feel comfortable with that is as beneficial.
If you or anyone you know would benefit from our kayak fishing sessions please get in touch. The aim is, dependant upon needs and ability, to get you kayak fishing with a structured program in a safe and fun way in six to ten sessions. All kit can be provided.
Heroes On the Water UK
Part 2 Aug – Dec
Mark joined us for his first session with Keith at Christchurch . Mark put his fly rod to good use and it proved to be a winning choice. He hooked into a hard fighting bass which gave a great account of itself on the light tackle.
Back on Llangorse , Martin ran a Fantastic session with Richard and Stephen . Despite a windy and blustery day the lads eventually found the target species Perch and proceeded to have a red letter day with over 150 fish coming to the kayaks . Numerous fish around the 1.5lb mark were followed by three superb specimens of 2lbs 10 oz ( Richard) , 2lbs 6oz (Martin) and 2lbs 5oz ( Stephen) .
Newly Qualified Paddle Leader , and a former recipient of HOWS services Andy ran his first sessions Not the best weather or fishing for our Devon and Dorset expedition, sometimes just being out is enough. With our RN veteran we managed two sessions around Ladrum Bay and Christchurch . Neil also lending a hand on the day
Dan and Luke had a great day off Plymouth with Stephen .The wind kept them inside the inner breakwater and by the end there were whitecaps inside the inner harbour as well. That and the rain didn't put the guys off though as both caught fish. Species caught - corkwing wrasse, po***ck, rock and black gobies and dragonette
October brought Sad news in the form of the death of HOW founder Jim Dolan . Jim was the catalyst for the setting up of Heroes on the water uk , when in 2010 two of our future trustees Paul and Martin listened to Jim giving a moving presentation at the Jacksonville classic competition in Florida .
It was a Lovely morning on the River Loughor in South Wales for the SWKA Christmas Flounder comp .Richard and Martin ( fourth) both caught plenty of fish on a cold but sunny morning afloat , with Volunteer Ade helping on and off the water
Meanwhile Keith finished off the year with Mark out in Christchurch Harbour before attending the Poole Bay Small boat clubs xmas meeting and accepting another fantastic donation
We also said Goodbye to our Treasurer David at our Trustee Meeting in Dec. David has been with us since day one and has been instrumental in ensuring the charity complies with the demands of the charity commission as well as ensuring he leaves with us on a sound financial footing . Good luck in the future David .
A total of 165 user hours on the water (excluding the disability day) , and still 3 months to go in our accounting year 😊
As always drop us a line if you know anyone who could benefit from a trip out on the water
. PADDLE …FISH....HEAL
Heroes on the Water year review
APRIL to JULY 2019
Our Year kicked off in April with 6 of our volunteers undertaking 2 days training and 2 days assesement in North Wales with BCU training provider Getafix. All of the lads passed their Paddle Leaders awards .
The fish were waking up on one of our favourite venues Llangorse Lake , where Martin , Tim , Stephen and Richard got amongst some nice Pike .
May saw the Swanage Kayak Classic . We are indebted to all the competitions that support us along with all the Kayak family who donate to the raffles etc . Pictured is Debbie , one of our hard working trustees receiving a cheque from Dave , the proceeds from T shirt sales. Martin and Andy supported the Veterans charity Change step again on their weekend residential in Snowdonia . 2 fantastic days on Llyn Padarn with over a dozen veterans. We also received some Great news from the British Disabled Angling Association. The BDAA works closely with a number of fisheries and organisations all over the UK, offering new opportunities to go fishing. On this occasion they funded HOW with a fully loaded pedal kayak complete with fish finder, tackle and trailer to ensure upper limb injured ex service people in Wales can now enjoy fishing the same as the next person.
The new Radar hit the water in June . Trustee Martin along with volunteer Tim and Mike , Terry and Colin from the South Wales Kayak Angling Club , attended the 11th Annual kayak and sailing Disability day on Llyn Clywedog in Mid Wales . Glorious weather and fantastic hospitality from the sailing club . The Wilderness Radar Kayak , funded via the British disabled Angling Association was a popular choice by the participants , with around 70 plus trips supervised by the lads . Lots of smiling happy faces from both the disabled and their carers and parents
Back on Llangorse Lake our Welsh section were having a ball !! Lots of Pike and Perch for Stephen and Richard and a memorable fish for Andrew on only his second trip out.
July Our Paddle Leaders , Neil , Andy , And Keith all fished the Oxwich European championship . However, it was trustee Martin’s daughter Chloe who for the second year took runner up in the Junior section with 5 species for 11pts Pictured is SWKA chairman and HOW trustee Ed , presenting Chloe with her prize . Once again Debbie ran our stall and the lads helped her with the evening raffle .
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