Woolacombe 1997

Woolacombe surf, Devon, 28th February – 2nd March 1997

In usual club tradition this trip started off with the usual faff. As usual everybody turned up late then we had to drive round Southampton to pick up people, boats and spraydecks. We finally ended up leaving Southampton at about 8PM. We then got on the M27 and missed the turning to Salisbury. Over an hour later we made it to salisbury. A quick chip stop and off we went again, finally reaching Woolacombe by midnight.

The next morning was a surprisingly early start. We were in the sea surfing and it was still the morning. The days paddling went well, Loads of swims (Both Jamie and Andy Swam – both blaming their decks for popping). In fact nearly everybody swam that day. We were back at the hut by 3PM in time to head off down the pub and watch the rugby. This was followed by a vegetable curry and then we vacated the hut by 6.30 to make way for the bingo. We headed of down the pub for a nice game of skittles and a few beers.

Sunday was a later start but we still made it to the surf surprisingly early and with hardly any faffing. The afternoon was taken up by surfing and then to finish off (in usual club tradition) we headed for the tea shop. We then headed back and made it in time to carry out boat cleaning.

Not bad for a trip that was nearly Cancelled.

Lakes 1997

Lake District, Cumbria, 31st January – 2nd February 1997

The trip started off with the usual Faff Faff Faff. Just like any normal club trip everyone turns up late and we end up leaving the boathard at about 7PM. We then drove around Oxford for ages trying to find peppers.(but with no success) 2AM we arrive at the lakes. Cheese on toast followed and a nice early night (about 3am).

Next morning (just) we were up bright and early (NOT!!!) and some of us went off for a paddle. Well OK more of a bump and a scrape. We set off down the Crake and found that to paddle over the weirs you had to paddle uphill. We got down though. NO swims but lots and lots of scratches and dents on the boats.(Just ask Ross) We then headed back to the hut, via the off licence of course, and sat down to wait for a lovely meal. Unfortunately Kev and Jamie were cooking and the meal had a distinct taste of being burnt (Most of the food is still on the pan as it refused to come off after hours of scrubbing.) Saturday night off to the pub for a nice game of darts and then back to the centre for some usual silly games. Andy W is officially the best at playing silly games. Lou was definitely cheating!!!

Sunday morning started off with some bloke coming round with a bell and waking us all up. We had the usual Faff of sorting out the centre and then headed off to a huge play hole. It was in fact a tiny little wave so we headed off to the tea shop instead. We headed home early and this time managed to find peppers.

Overall a great time but it’s a shame that there was no water!!

River Usk 1996

River Usk, Wales, Autumn 1996

MATTHEW 2: The flight into Dyfed (and back again)

The faff was made of the village of Cwmdu and the river of Usk, in Powys, during the reign of President Burgess.

At about that time some canoeists from southern lands arrived in Cwmdu, asking “Where is this mighty river? For we have heard of its glory in far-off southern lands, and have come to paddle it.”

Many members were deeply disturbed by their question, and all of the elders were filled with dismay. They called a meeting of the leaders.

“Did the guides tell them where this river was to be found?” they asked.

“Yes, in Powys,” they said, “for this is what the great guide Storey wrote: ‘O little river of Usk, you are not merely an unimportant welsh stream, for a faff shall rise from you to embarrass thy people!'”

Then Burgess sent a private message to the committee, asking them to come and see him; at this meeting he discovered from them how to find this stream. Then he told them, “go to Powys and search for this stream. And when you find it, come back and tell me so I can go and paddle it too.”

After this interview, the guides set out again. And lo! The river appeared to them again. Their joy knew no bounds!

Entering the water, they gave it gifts of lemmings. Then they opened their purses and purchased refreshments. But when they tried to return to their home, they did not go toward Abergavenny to report to the great guide, for they have been in a dream when the elders had told them the way.

After they were gone, a great notion descended upon the elders, saying “let us get up and flee to Cwmdu via the market place, and stay there until the others arrive.” That same night they left for Cwmdu and stayed there until the others returned much later.

The driver of the scribes was concerned when he failed to recognise the path they followed. Sending a messenger to Bethlehem, he ordered that directions to Cwmdu be found.

Screams of anguish were heard from Cwmdu as one of the party entered the hall through a small aperture; Rachael weeping for her bruises – for they were many.

When the navigator found a local inn, he was told “ye, this is the way to Cwmdu,” and told him, “carry on, for those who seek the place shall find it yonder!”

So they carried on to Cwmdu with the scribes. But upon their advent they were frightened to learn that there was no room for a hall in the village. Thenceforth the navigator went from door to door, and found a babe living in a cottage, in this village of Cwmdu, in Dyfed. Then, after further consultations with the scribes, they were warned in a dream not to go to Swansea, and went instead to an inn at Llandeilo. This fulfilled the prediction of the guide: “for a faff shall rise from you.”

3 While they were in the inn, the multitude began preaching in the Welsh tongue. Their constant theme was, “turn from your heading… turn to Brecon… for the nature of you faff will soon show itself to you.” The driver made haste seeking a messenger and spake thus to his friend in far-off southern lands: “we are lost in Dyfed, and wish to contact the great guide Shorey, for the elders shall doubtless have become sorrowful at our absence. We must prepare our vehicle to convey ourselves – and return to whence we hath walked.”

Shorey’s clothing was woven from sheep’s hair and he wore a leather belt. His food was toasted bread and cheese. People from far-off southern lands went out into the wilderness to hear him preach, and when they confessed their swims, he baptized them in a river of tales.

Thus the scribes discovered the nature of their wrongdoings, and made haste to Brecon at elevated speed. And thence to the domicile of the elders, the village of Cwmdu, in Powys, in which place they found a multitude, saying “did’st we not tell you of the direction to follow?” and with them imbibing a glorious plethora of intoxicating liquors.

Andy’s Newer Testament

River Dee tour 1996

River Dee tour, Wales, October 1996

It takes just a few words to describe this tour.Mud, Mud and More Mud. Yes you have guessed it, it was muddy.

However we still managed to get a couple of days paddling in and a great party on the Saturday Night. The river was nice with lots of great swims down it and as for the party. Well in usual SUCC tradition we drunk all other uni’s under the table – NOT!!!

A great trip, loads of socialising and some great swims.

Lakes 1996

Lake District, Cumbria, 1-3 March 1996

At last we finally made it to the Lakes! Our first attempt a few weeks earlier had to be aborted at a late stage as the weather turned for the worst… Jack was spotted on the telly getting stuck in the snow, and this kind of put us off! I’m told by the few who braved the drifts that the rivers were storming that weekend.

Here’s some advice for anyone planning to paddle in the Lakes in March… DON’T GO!! It appears that the worthiness of the rivers is inversely proportional to the quality of the weather. We had almost blazing sunshine on Saturday, so you can probably work out from GCSE Maths what the Duddon was like. Scrapescrapescrape was the general situation until we arrived at the pseudo-big drop under the bridge (sorry, the name escapes me!) where Rachael pinned her Invader between two big pointy rocks and capsized upstream. At least three swimmers ensued. More scraping of expensive plastic took us to the get out. The best thing about this river is how you get to it from Ambleside… Wrynose Pass runs straight through some of the most stunning landscapes I’ve seen for, oh, at least since Scotland last year. And SUCC of course found ample excuse for an impromptu snowball fight at the top!

I’m not even going to mention the Cr*ke. It’ll bore you too much!!!