Wolvercote flooded fields and the Thames Sunday 2012

-Simon, Helen Walker, Sue, Tom, Ben, Paul Rogers, Paul Richards, Adam, Chris and Su

Our day began in a car park in Wolvercote next to a flooded field. As we unloaded the boats some passing walkers commented on how it was nice to see a positive side to all this flooding! We entered the water and enjoyed the novelty of paddling around half submerged picnic benches and bins. A freelance photographer stood calf deep in the water and took pictures of us; Simon showed off by mounting the picnic tables! Hopefully we will feature in a national newspaper one day soon?!

We headed off upstream through, over and under a number of trees (which Ben particularly loved) until we found another flooded field to cross. This one involved getting out of our boats and throwing them over a barbed wire fence so that we could then wade through the water to the stile to climb over. The next field was very shallow and we found that it was the perfect place to practise our high braces and hip flicks. The fear is somewhat lessened when you can put your hand on the bottom and push yourself back up! As we went across the field it became more and more shallow and we ended up out of the boats, wading through the water. Sue and I gossiped at the back and must have expressed gratitude towards our new dry trousers a million times (it is just so wonderful walking through water and having dry feet!)

Once across the field we joined the Thames to make our way back to the boat shed. The water was flowing fast and it was enjoyable work. As we portaged around Godstow lock we were given the 'danger' talk by the lock keeper and Simon was handed the 'don't sue me' card. We made our way down past (and over) Port Meadow.

Osney was more interesting with the water flowing fast towards the weirs and boats on their sides pinned to the barriers. We decided it was best to walk for this part!

After a few seal launches, a quick limbo competition, an enjoyable paddling along a flooded towpath (luckily there was a sign informing us it was flooded) and a long gloves vs pogies discussion we reached the shed.

A really enjoyable way to spend a Sunday and a great replacement for the cancelled Dart trip. Thanks to all.


Photos by Adam