Taken from mouthfuls christmas 2005
The Dart December 2005
What happened on the Dart Trip Steveo? Dart would be telling!
It only works if you say it in a dodgy West Country accent. Ask George to oblige if you’re struggling to get it.
Friday, Boat Hard, Boats in van. This time though, the Van is to be driven by me. After much arguing with Stu, Martin and everyone else in the Minibus, it was agreed I was allowed to keep my tape adapter. By agreed, I mean I dictated the result, despite claims that my sole passenger, George, should be entertainment enough.
Driving conditions were interesting; Me and George were constantly surprised just what high crosswinds can do to the direction a long wheel base, hi-cube transit (read giant sail) is traveling in. Ironically, after my victory with the tape adapter, it started playing up mid journey. George felt the best chance of fixing it involved holding out in the wind and rain for half a minute. We were both surprised when this didn’t fix it. Honest.
Much dodgy local radio later and we arrived at the hut, and had time to make it to the pub for last orders, bonus! Many paddling tales were told by those who had paddled the Dart during the day, exciting those yet to paddle with stories of lots of water! Except George, who spent most of the time exercising his wrist with the Gyroscope (that thing that looked like an Ariel liqui-tab). He has a weak wrist apparently.
On returning to the hut, much drinking took place, and of course the odd couple of drinking games. The return of some old favourites – Deutsches Erotica, and the learning of some new – Knob, Plonker, Bollocks. It was shortly after these that George demonstrated his ability to entertain the masses. I don’t fully remember the events leading to it, but me and George agreed that I would attempt to eat 3 dry wheat bisks in a minute (like Weetabix, only cheaper) if he managed to do so successfully, which he was adamant was not a problem. For those who haven’t seen the video, George did not complete the challenge, he just ended up spilling wheat bisk all over the floor. You spill it, you snort it George. He did indeed, and I quote “Hoover it like a Bitch”. Georges hoovering skills impressed Tony, who then proceeded to drop his trousers and mount George. Whatever floats your boat. (Oooh you little tease—Tony (probably)).
At midnight, the celebration of Mikey Wannabs birthday took place. Myself and Danny prepared a suitable beverage for Mr.B, containing a bunch of alcoholic things, some Pepsi and Paprika. After much singing of the classics “Happy Birthday”, “Why was he born so beautiful?” and “Mike is the captain of our ship” he still hadn’t downed the pint. So we sang them all again and he did it. He claims it was quite nice, but that he really didn’t want another, thanks all the same.
Saturday morning and many people arose very early to go and paddle the Upper Dart. Many people stayed in bed and had a bacon sandwich instead, me included. Minimal faff (maybe, I can’t remember) later and we were at the get in, kitted up and ready to paddle. Some pre-paddling shenanigans took place, involving much bundling and chest jumping. All good fun! The loop was running at a decent (it looked good to me anyway!) level, and everyone enjoyed seeing the Dart a little fuller than it had been 2 weeks previous.
Off the water, some free cheesy chips were enjoyed by a lucky few, courtesy of the man in the Dart café. However, the main culinary excitement was to come later, Christmas dinner! Back at the hut, the festive spirit was high. Mark had managed to bodge the broken tape adapter to work in the hut, so that Christmas tunes filled the air! The traditional festive meal was served, club spag bol, and crackers were pulled. The same five jokes were told many a time, people donned colourful paper hats and no end of fun was had with crap plastic toys! All was followed by Christmas pudding. Alas, Brandy had been deemed “too expensive”, so some Vodka was scrounged and Mike Buntons pudding was set alight in honour of his growing old!
Off to the pub for some beer, crisps and chat. Which lead to Danny and some chums agreeing to paddle the loop in the dark. After I’d had a couple of pints, it sounded like an awesome plan, I’ve always wanted to sellotape glowsticks to myself and go down a river. However, on departing the pub, Me, Dr.Nick and Seb all agreed it was much colder and darker outside the pub, and probably not ideal paddling conditions. Instead, we returned to the hut and commenced the consumption.
Oh! What consumption it was. I don’t fully remember the night, and anything from here on in might be more speculation/retelling/Chinese whispers than the rest of my reports. It all started with a game of Ring of Fire, as all good evenings do. The cards were written on the whiteboard to prevent disagreement, although they were made up because we couldn’t remember them all. Oh well, you can’t win them all. It is at this point my memory is a little hazy. By all accounts of those sleeping, both in the hut and neighboring villages, I was quite a loud chairman. However, in my defense, the Bunton Brothers did need controlling. A game of categories lead to Tony Bunton (From hereon to be called MR.BUNTON SENIOR) claiming American was a language, and Mike Bunton (From hereon to be called MR BUNTON JUNIOR) backing him up. After much arguing, and shouting on my half, the monsieurs Bunton had racked up approximately 20 fingers each. It was agreed for MR BUNTON SENIOR that a Stella bottle full of an Amaretto/Tequila combo was an acceptable substitute. He necked it, and looked much worse the wear for having done it. Respect. I can’t remember what MR BUNTON JUNIOR did, but I think it’s fair to say he was probably battered anyway. Any accusation that I got away with claiming “Antipodean” as a language can be combated by the fact I drank a triple Tequila to leave the table, despite being the chairman.
Beyond this, I know that Tim C downed a pint in record time, and that I did a Tequila suicide as did Tim C, because I have video evidence. I also know, that I attempted to recreate Machustard. I’m not quite sure what this years ingredients were, but they most definitely did not include Mini Cheddars and Stickle Bricks. Brown sauce, lager and plain crisps have been speculated as their replacements. It was tasty enough, but more fun was had flinging it, which I know occurred because of the state my jumper and the floor was in. Me and Mr.Casalis also incurred injurychasing Stu (probably being a juvenile delinquent again), which lead to cut knees. Which we both poured vinegar in to, in return for cheese on toast. I can only assume it was worth it.
After the events of Saturday night, I felt surprisingly well on Sunday morning. Some major faff this morning, I believe attributed to MR BUNTON JUNIOR having the keys on him to the hut, preventing us from locking up. Note – if you are trusted with the keys, it is in your best interests to remember you have them! The river was still at a good level, and the day was sunny. Ideal conditions for Team Fun! Myself, Dr.Nick, Seb, Tom W and Laura all jumped off of a cliff in to the unseasonably warm Dart (I may have been wearing a Beer Thermal. Oh, no I remember, it was just a pair of board shorts.). The seal launch was enjoyed by a few, and Holne bridge offered another jumping point. Most notable jumps included Seb, who got a nosebleed, making him look double hard, and George, who rotated during freefall, landing on his front. For those who can’t see the immediate problem with this, his reaction was a high pitched “My balls!”.
A smooth departure from the get out, and everyone was home in good time. Another trip enjoyed by all, touted by some as “the best trip I’ve ever been on, in the world, ever”.