Dart November 2004

Dart Trip report

Twas dead of night, well 6.00! All was calm by the mighty itchen, Only to be disturbed by the thunder of a transit, All burst into action………………………..well chris did.

The straps were found, the boats loaded,





It was meant to be simple

It ended physical.

You see I was going to write a hilarious poem for the entire trip, but hey, lifes too short. Instead I will write a mildly funny, probably ranting description of the trip.

The trip down was simple for most people, i.e. straight down to Honiton, onto Exeter and then a left to Kingsteighnton. Gibbons car, I’m afraid including me, decided that they wanted to explore (well to be honest we missed many crucial turnings). This meant that we saw the delights of Poole, went round one roundabout three times, and were really only sustained throughout the journey by the thought that once we got to Honiton we could indulge in the feast that are the Honiton Fish and Chips. We weren’t amused that by the time we got to the fish shop, we only had to wait five minutes and the minibus crew were in. Apparently they left twenty minutes after we did, and they were in a crappy minibus! Things were not looking good for the street cred of the gibbon car. Despite the fact that we probably averaged well over ninety on the entire way down, the minibus still managed to beat us to the pub by half a pint.

Friday night, as some people know more intimately more than others, involved drinking, drinking, drinking games, and maybe a few more drinks. Some enjoyed the drink more than others, with Mikey WannaB proving that yes it is possible to get hideously drunk, …….when no one else is! Well done my friend. The hardcore group (Beth, Stevie, Rich, Will and someone else – to be honest I cant remember) stayed up playing 21’s till the early hours. We didn’t get past number 8 most of the time, which resulted in Dr Matt the following morning being able to recite the entire game, having had to listen to us half the night. Oh and I believe that it was also the night that Hurfo and his ladies were getting to know each other – the night ended quickly when they realised that Hurfo had fallen asleep – smooth….. The following day, …. Mikey WannaB looked shit (sorry Mike but you did!)

Hurfo looked as though he realised he had just lost his chance of fulfilling his teenage dream.

We made our slow way to the Dart, and unloaded at the pick up… what madness was this I hear you cry…yes we unloaded the boats only to load them again and drive to the drop of. I hear a repeat of the rhyme coming on.

The river was low, but good for us that were (are), frankly, a bit shit. The run was pretty uneventful, but did involve some swimming on sections, that frankly, were not even on features. Sam?…. Most people came out at the pick up smiling, cold, and a bit knackered. For the hardcore paddlers on the club, of which I believe even Chris was included in, it was straight back on the river for round two. For me it was about an hour and a half of hanging around in wet kit (don’t ask, even I don’t know why), and then back to the hut to make supper. After many accusations of forgetting to put the meat in the Bolognese, of putting meat in the veggie dish (that really didn’t happen), and trying to burn down the hut….don’t panic Chris it was just spaghetti ‘overcooking’, we all ate in manner much reminiscent of communist Russia. (Where that came from I don’t know, its getting late….)

That evening was surreal in so many bizarre ways, many which I can’t even remember, but I will attempt to give a sense of the scene. Scattered in little pools around the floor were strewn portions of Spag Bol, (we will return to pools of other kinds later on…… Mike?) in a corner was Mikey WannaB refusing to touch any drink ever again, and vowing to become a new man from this point on (enjoying your beer mikey?). I believe that Dickie (more of him later) initiated a game of spots, resulting in Essex Mikey resembling a little boy they used to send up northern chimneys. As the evening wore on we saw the horrific return of the Custard used earlier. This time it involved much force feeding of me (it was actually quite nice). Stevie then commented that he could do much better. By the time it actually got to him, it had evolved in the mighty monstrosity that was MACHUSTARD. (other spellings are available, ask Stevie). Machustard, to be called machustard, must have the following ingredients, Custard (obviously) brandy, and mini cheddars. It must also have a man that has been dirtied enough by Dickie, and therefore insane enough to take up the challenge. Stevie looked a bit worse for wear after….not bad enough to jump on Dave, when asleep. Dave is renowned for being an angry man, and cant even remember throwing Stevie and me off him.

Dave is a very angry young man!

Returning to the pools, of various kinds, there were accusations on the Sunday morning, of Essex Mikey feeling the need, shall we say to ‘relieve himself’, in a places not suitable for the task. Oh dear Mikey, when will you learn….. This could have been parallel to Dickie and Lucy playing ‘truth or dare’……

Next morning, Dave gets everyone in the mood for yet more extreme paddling, by throwing Stevie out (much like a cat) onto the wet grass. He is such a nice man, is he not? We unpacked in the right place on Sunday morning. Although tempers began to get frayed as tiredness wore in – Jackie, poor Jackie, had to withstand the wrath of angry Chris.

Paddling, cold, fun, more water, woo hoo! The water was higher this time. Repacking the transit proved, well, difficult to say the least. I’m sure we ended up gaining a boat, because they would just not fit in! There are so many other things that went on, I probably have missed out the funniest moment of the trip. However I hope this gave you a sense of the trip – there was some paddling, honest, much drinking, and I’m sure you will all agree, a good time had by all.

Cheers, Will