Midsummer Paddle

Warm sunshine, blue sky, light nights, warm water and paddling. That is probably what 23 eager Isis CC members had in their minds when they headed for the watershed on Friday 24th June for the Midsummer’s Eve paddle. By 6pm the grounds around the watershed were a buzz of action as boats were coming out from all doors, as well as paddles, chairs, bbqs, and pretty much anything we could think of. Unfortunately, there was no sign of that sunshine, just rain, but this minor detail did not deter us.

As soon as all were packed, we headed up the river in a very impressive Armada of canoes and tourers. With a tip from Jen and Simon we set our sights towards the Angel and Greyhound meadow paddling up the Cherwell past Christ Church Meadow and the Botanic Gardens. And the few optimistic thoughts voiced at various points about the rainfall easing were soon forgotten.

After Simon scouted the area for us, we found a prefect, sheltered spot under some trees for us to set camp. With some great team work we were all soon on dry land, or at least out of the water, and ready to take over the meadow. While Simon and Paul set the bbq going, others used their creative wilderness skills, and combining painters, tarpaulin and some carabiners, created cover from the rain. Then it was just the chairs out and food to cook, and we had another Isis home-away-from-home set up.

After plenty of chatting and eating, even the rain eased and we ventured to explore the meadow a bit more. The adventure playground was a great success before a girls vs boys match of Finnish Mölkky. After few rounds of neck to neck scoring, the girls’ team finished the game as the winners.

Then it was finally time to pack up and get the boats back onto the water for the return journey. The rain decided to show us that it had not abandoned us just yet, and kept us company all the way back to the watershed. We may have not met the midnight sun, and might have gotten a bit wet, but it still turned out to be one memorable, fun filled Midsummer’s Eve!

- Hilma

Photos by Jen.