Red Nose Day Paddle

The Red Nose Day Paddle went swimmingly. We managed to muster fifteen brave souls to attend. The weather, as promised, was fine and mostly sunny although a mite colder than originally suggested.

Many thanks to Graham Mogridge for the original conception of the event.

Anthony at Islip Weir

The trip was attended by Graham (the tree), Dave (the carpenter), Anthony (this boat's big enough), Liz, Chris and Tom (lets all swim together), Howard, Harry, Jen (aren't you going to tell 'em about the trees?), John (hi) (Plymouth), Ian (now do it properly) (Pangbourne), Claire (hi) (Pangbourne), Glynn (where's me keys Grommit), Helen (I'll get 'em - mind yer arm) and last but not at all least the Starring THE Phamous Phil (I thought they were going too far into that weir) Sowden. Those on the trip may know what the captions behind the names mean. Others may guess or come on the trip next time..

All arrived at Watershed, keen to get on our way. The clouds moved aside for us, after a rainy night, as if by order. Maybe Helen had a word with her boss again.

It's a strange thing that coaches wear thermals, wet or dry suits etc. that keep them lovely and warm and the lesser skilled wear shorts and rugby / sweat shirts. I wonder who is more likely to fall in?

The river was running slightly which helped us on our way. Quite uneventful beginning to the trip from Islip. Oh! except one slip - that was Anthony who decided he was too warm and took a swim on the first weir. Dave took it safely and rafted up with Helen rather than portage and over they went arm in arm - no I'm not jealous. Dave had full faith in Helen, but then he hadn't seen a previous attempt at this. That's another long story.

Parsons Pleasure Weir

Paddling on we came across a log jam or two and it took all our skills to not create a Tupperware jam too. Dave decided to make things worse by pruning a few dead branches in his attempts to navigate his boat. His new found skills were admirable.

The welcoming Victoria Arms was a well deserved break. As always we were very welcome, even in our wet - ish gear. We were joined by the rest of Dave's family who arrived to enjoy the Vic's hospitality too.

Stoves stoked we set off on the second leg back to Watershed. A few minutes passed when the cry of the dry carpenter hailed - GLLYYYYNNN. I looked around to see Dave trying out the newly mastered 180 degree roll. This was a great success and he was duly rescued by Helen and when the boat was empty of water he carried out a fine seal launch looking like a pro.

Red Nose Day Paddle Group

The University Park looked fine with the sunshine radiating through the trees then paddling under Rainbow Bridge and on to Parsons Pleasure. We all slid the rollers weir but Dave already an experienced swimmer decided to stay nice and warm and rollered it. On alongside the mill stream on the Mesopotamia - I think that's how it's spelt - we came to quite a nice jet. Chris and Tom, in the open, received instructions from Glynn to paddle toward the weir and keep the boat pointing toward the weir. OK! I was expecting them to be washed safely across the jet. I was distracted (my excuse) from what they were doing and then - Oh no!!! - the next thing I saw was the tail end of a canoe, side on to the weir, upside-down. Ooops - I thought - maybe a rescue opportunity here. Then cries of - IT'S FREEZIN' echoed through Mespot. woods. A super quick rescue was necessary and in a flash they were on the bank and a fine H recue of a rather large and heavy open was carried out by myself Helen and Phil pulling the final curl to empty the boat. The boys were fine.. We arrived back at Watershed with no more really interesting events other than having a laugh at some punting experts who had decided to venture out on this fine sunny day.

The a request for the key's to access the shed was asked. Oh dear say's Glynn (the keys) - the keys are in Islip. I didn't quite hear what Helen said but I felt "well that may be best!"

Thanks and well done all. A sterling effort on a long distance paddle for the first of the year for the young lads attending. I'm sure they all slept well - I did.

I'm sure Graham raised a few bob for Comic Relief. The total will be published as soon as the information is available.


- Glynn Carter & Helen Carter