Packrafting through London – Anfibio Revo

See also:
Anfibio Revo XL review
Packrafting the Regents Canal

An hour and a half before sunrise and I am in the midst of a twitter storm. Up above me unseen in the trees the neighbourhood avians are performing their dawn chorus a little ahead of schedule.
I’d been planning to try out a prototype Anfibio Revo for weeks, waiting for a sunny day while failing to pull off more ambitious test venues. In the end they wanted it back so it feel to a transit of the dreary old Thames through London.

But walking to the station it was clearly far from the predicted freezing night leading to clear skies till noon. No frost glittered on car bodies nor stars twinkled above. Oh well, it’s 6.30am and I’m at the station. I may as well go through with it. Not done the Thames in a packraft before, so there’s that.

At Putney jetty energetic young rowers were hauling out their cheesecutters from the sheds while I fumbled with the Anfibio Revo’s floor pad. At a glance the Revo looks bigger than my 2K so it might be a bit faster. It’s a self-bailer with an unusual drain funnel under the seat (like some Gumotex canoes) rather than the usual lines of holes along the floor’s edge (like the ROBfin; another stillborn test). An 8-mile run along the Thames wasn’t going to tax the self-bailing, but for flatwater the dangling funnel can be pulled in and rolled up like a dry bag to stop the boat filling up.

I am on the water midway through a 6-metre ebb; LW is 11am at the Mayflower pub in Rotherhithe.
The Revo has a high-volume stern typical of whitewater packrafts to stop them flipping backwards coming out of rapids (I presume).
That old hay bail from my visit last April in the Seawave.
It’s an arcane sign indicating ‘arch closed’ or danger. Could make a nice bird nest too
The Revo seemed to yaw a lot for a long boat. Maybe the floor pad making the floor extra flat doesn’t help.
So I pull over and fit my skeg which made it a bit better
You don’t want to push up against this with 0.55mm of TPU between you and the fetid Thames
Is Battersea Power Station powering again? I hope someone informed the new residents?
I am reminded of the famous Pink Floyd LP cover from 1977.
People ask: What does the pig symbolize in Pink Floyd?
Along with dogs and sheep, pigs are one of 3 animals represented on the album. The pigs represent people, like [Mary] Whitehouse, who feel they are the moral authorities.
I was only asking!
The latest scandals? Where to start, but good to see they’re finally getting the flammable cladding sorted.
9am, all is quiet on the river but as soon as you pass under Westminster Bridge things gets choppier.
My P&S camera is barely coping with this eclipsarian light. What a wash out.
Jaunty buildings; journey’s end is nigh
I try some more selfingtons, but the focus is too low
I pull in just before London Bridge. I averaged 5mph for 7.5 miles, but half of that speed was the tide.
Like any packraft, the Revo felt slow at times. You sure miss the g l i d e of a long IK.
But it got me here and weighs just 4kg with the floor pad.
Jeez, I’m glad I got off before he bombed through!
A picture of me rolling up the packraft, so you know I’m not making it up.
I decide to climb the ladder for old time’s sake.
Back in summer 2005 with the old Gumo Sunny (my first IK) and before I knew about packrafts
Notice the small standing waves you often get just after London Bridge
What is the name of this famous ship?
And who was the illustrious captain?
I find myself in Borough Market for the first time in years, an Aladdin’s souk of upmarket nosebag:
Paradoxically, in the middle is a greasy spoon and before I know it I’m sat before my annual Full English.
After, I buy a giant sourdough loaf for a fiver and some wafer-thin slabs Comte and Gruyere at just £45/kg.
Can I see you ticket, please?
London Bridge & APaddleInMyPack

Read more about the Anfibio Revo here.

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