The Isis 10: The Isis Barbecue

Eight of us set out under uncertain skies to find a tranquil spot in the country for a BBQ. Taking the familiar route up the The Fishes there were six of us in open canoes - Simon and Hilma, Paul and Ishy and me and Jordan - with Lewis and Val in kayaks. We encountered some interesting obstacles around the bend including fallen trees we had to punch through in the boats (being careful to take a good run up first), a family of swans (who just didn't understand how to move over), trailing brambles, grounding in shallow waters and lots of nettles. Being Isis members we managed to get through them in one piece and with only the hum of the ring road in the background we pootled on down Hinksey Stream past herons and cattle.

We finally made it to our new BBQ spot. Simon started the BBQ before most of us had even got out of our boats so by the time we had set up camp with our blanket and camping chairs there was some food almost ready. We made the most of the pink, orange and brown fizz, and the giant bottles of red and brown sauce for all the blackened food. Ishy made some impressive creations with melted cheese, and Val and Lewis made the most of their tankards of pop. With chocolate fingers and donuts for dessert we managed to fill ourselves up before deciding it was time to head home.

We set off past Hinksey pools and headed down under the railway tracks, eventually passing under the ring road. However, before we had paddled too far we realised Simon and Hilma were floating next to a boat called the Barbel Hunter. Clearly 'borrowed' and abandoned, Simon decided we should do the decent thing and tow it back to civilisation. Thus our new adventure began.

Simon and Hilma started to tow it at first but soon this became a little tiring, so we decided to break out the Isis Diamond and rafted together the open canoes and Lewis' sit-on-top and with our collective effort we made it back to the Lasher. We all lined our boats up the weir and jumped back in, forgetting that Simon and Hilma still had the Barbel Hunter to contend with. With a little help from Paul in the water at the bottom, and Lewsi is the water at the top, we managed to heave it up the Lasher and home to the Scout Hut, where Paul completed the rescues for his 2* assessment thanks to Ishy volunteering to be his victim! A brilliant afternoon and miraculously it stayed dry!

- Jen

Photos by Jen.