Maintenance Day

It doesn't seem like five minutes since we had our last maintenance day at the start of the season, but it would appear that our summer paddling season is almost over and so we got to work seeing just how much use we had gotten out of all the kit this year.

We started early at 10am, with Simon, Niamh, Rodas and Sheena the first to. Our first tasks were to sort out all the soft kit, checking it for wear and tear. Rodas, Niamh and Sheena spent about an hour removing the knots from the spray decks, and Simon started work mending the i4 which needed the seat bungees replacing, foam fixing in and screws sealing. I hid out by the trailer cleaning it down and painting over the recent welding we had done to fix the bar. Peter arrived not long afterwards and made a start doing a very fine job of painting the doors to the shed, and Penny arrived to put teak oil on the gunwales of the Legend to help protect them. Rodas made us some fine changing mats from the remaining carpet donated by Glynn and Helen which will mean the coaches' changing area is easier to clean.

Then Hilma and Ishy arrived and we checked through all the boats, repairing any which needed fixing. Sheena and Niamh brushed out an amazing out of dust (and a few frogs) from each end of The Watershed and cleaned the carpet. Paul and Sally went on a whirlwind shopping trip which took them from B&Q and Homebase for our repair kit, to Aldi for our all important BBQ food so Sheena could show us her BBQ skills. Seiko, Glynn and Helen arrived just in time for lunch which consisted of some burgers and sausages washed down with some fizz (not the alcoholic variety) and then the heavens opened briefly, just to let us know it was definitely still a bank holiday! The Isis kitten, which had been playing around the kit all morning took refuge on some carpet in the shed and bedded down next to Simon's ipod speakers - it would appear The Prodigy is the perfect music for kittens to snooze to!

After lunch the sun popped out again Helen and Glynn replaced the spray deck bungee cord, then Helen and Ishy fixed the skeg cord on the Charleston sea kayak, Simon melted the Attak to fuse the hole in the plastic, Hilma sorted out the open canoe paddles, Ishy replaced the thwart in the Prospector open canoe, Paul fixed the seat padding in both the Charleston sea kayaks, Hilma Sally, Niamh and Seiko finished off painting the wooden fixings in The Watershed, and then Paul and Sally made a start on mending the seat for the Algonquin open canoe. Simon disappeared briefly and turned up at the back of the main shed after having spent a very long time sorting out all the smaller bits of kit and tidying the coaches' area. Seiko then brushed out the remaining dust from the back after Hilma had brushed out the front.

An exhausting list of jobs that we managed to complete and they were all executed faultlessly by everyone who came down to help. It may seem like a whirlwind of tasks that were being completed, but at times it really was a whirlwind, as everyone went from one job to the next with only a quick break for tea in the middle. Thanks to such dedication and hard work we now have a full fleet of boats ready for the winter paddling season which starts on the 1st October, and a gleaming shed in which to keep them all.

A huge thanks to everyone who came down to help, everyone at the club owes you a big thanks for giving up your time!

- Jen

Photos by Jen.