Sandford - The Return

The weather reports were of heavy showers and a threatening looking sky accompanied the journey to the boathouse. To my surprise we arrived at the club to find a full complement of eight paddlers all eager and ready to go. This year's bunch of intermediates certainly is keen! The line up was Tim, Niamh, Neill, Nikki, Karsten, Sheena, Paul and Bridgo.

The journey to Sandford set off at a good steady pace and after a few drops of rain, the sky started to clear and a rather beautiful evening ensued. The paddling soon saw us arranged in four pairs with lively conversation on all manner of topics and before I knew it we had arrived at the King's Arms in Sandford. With an ever-improving sky we sat in the garden and continued our conversation over our drinks and some rather fine dining of crisps and cheesy wotsits.

Due to our quick start and steady pace on the way down, we managed a full half hour at the pub before returning to the water for the journey back. Shortly after getting into our stride, Neill announced that he was struggling to keep directional stability and then casually dropped into conversation that maybe it was due to the fact that his kayak had no footrests! Subsequently it has been suggested that this may have been a ploy to get another personal mention in the newsletter (See previous write up - Sandford on Thames July 2010). We resolved the issue by lowering the skeg on his kayak (luckily he was in boat that had one) and he was a very happy bunny for the remainder of the trip. Evenings like this are what will keep me coming back to the boathouse as long as I am able. Thanks to all for a great paddle!

- Bridgo.