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!!!

River Dee tour 1995

River Dee tour, Wales, November 1995

The weekend of the 18 November saw SUCC forgetting all about those essays due in this week and shooting off to N Wales, to join the throng of hardened and not-so-hardened canoeists throwing themselves down this rather coool river.

Saturday morning was really cool (and cold too), due in bulk to the fact that the bus arrived after closing time and we made it onto the river dead early before everyone else arrived and spoiled our fun by crowding it out (whingewhinge… let’s be more sensible next year, eh folks? It’s more fun for everyone if you aren’t going to land on someone trying to fight their way into the playhole!) The looping pool just above Nomads was, er… looping nicely, with plenty of quality piroettes from Facey, Andy W, Nev, Joe and everyone else really. Helen gave a noble demonstration of how to go fishing for rocks with your forehead, giving Dawn an opportunity to show off her first aid skills and the nurse at Wrexham Hospital some steri-strip-sticking practice. Bandages became a fashion item this weekend…

Woolacombe 1994

Woolacombe surf, Devon, October 1994

This was without a doubt the most Succesful trip of the Year, The trip was aimed at freshers mainly, and they turned up in abundance. The Surf was pretty abysmal. When we looked at Croyde it was absolutely flat, so we went to Woolacombe, It was very small surf 3-4 inches, but it was excellent conditions for teaching. Saturday night, we had to get out the hall by 7 O’clock because of the Bingo, so we all disappeared off to the Mariners Arms, for a Pub Quiz. The main entertainment for the evening was provided by Facey and Rachael. After drinking 5 pints, and then going around all the tables and drinking all the dreggs, Facey ended up on the winning team, and he managed to drink most of the prize: A bottle of wine. At Closing time, he ran out of the pub giggling, When he eventually got back to the hall, certain people thought that it would be a good idea to make him chunder, so that he got it out of his system, People tried to give him warm salt water to drink, he refused, and while doing so, he pushed the mug back into Robin Kellets face, chipping his tooth! Not exactly his best ever Succ weekend, as he also had his car vandalised, and he was meant to be going abroad in the next few days, but it had to be put off due to his dental problem. Meanwhile… in the main hall, we had a cake decorating contest. Involving Sponge cakes, and Squirty Cream and Custard. As the cakes were being judged, Rachael decided it would be a good idea to flatten all the cakes by slapping them, this triggered off the most horrific food fight ever known in Succ’s history, and as usual Alex was at the revieving end of most of it! We had barely managed to clean up the hall when the Hall’s caretaker came in to have a chat. Phew! ( Note: Even though Rachel caused the food fight, she did more than her share of cleaning up.) On the way back to Southampton, we had a slight detour via Simon’s house, so that he could see his mummy. (Nice Cake Mrs. Denman)

Widemouth Bay 1994

Widemouth Bay, Devon, October 1994

As this was the first proper trip of the year, and nobody seemed to have that much work on, it was quite popular, with olds as well as students.

Those attending this trip were ; Andy Webb, Andy Nev, Simon D, Alex, Paul, Paula, Pinky, Facey, Mark, Phil, Jane, Yannick, Ian S, Pad, Lynn, Tony, Lynn, Steve J & Tracey. On the way down to devon, games were played in the minibus, and Simon was slightly slow on the uptake to say the Um…. least.

Sadly, there was no water in the Dart, so we decided to go surfing.

WideMouth? Bay – Big Surf.

Not everbody wanted to go out, as the surf was BIG, anyway, a few of us did decide to go out, and as Andy and Simon were paddling out, Tony and Ian S placed bets to see which of them would swim first.

The outcome of the bet: The first wave which Andy and Simon encountered whilst trying to paddle out wiped them both out, and they both swam, but it was judged that Andy swam first, as Simon rolled up before going over again and Swimming. The same wave also took out Mark. Back at the hall that evening, SUCC Chili was on the menu, and as usual, it was available in three different strengths, Bugger All, Hot & Damn Hot! The Bugger All had no chili in it that Simon or Tracy could taste ( The normal “it’s too hot” wingers), but Paula seemed to think differently! ( Allergy Possible ).

Saturday night Mark was on form in more ways than one!, but a least the snoring was cured by a glass of water poured over his head. Sadly we didn’t have any Air Freshener. Paula got a little bit boysterous in a Karrimat fight, and had to be tied up with straps,(Ooeer, Spanky!)

Sunday we went to Polzeath, the surf wasn’t too bad, 3-4 ft. The most Exciting part of the day was when the trailer nearly sank in the sand, as some Womble parked the trailer in a stream on the beach.

Highcliffe-on-sea 1994

Highcliffe-on-sea freshers session, Dorset, October 1994

This trip was a very popular trip and was attended by 40-50 freshers, the idea of the trip was just to get the prospective new members into a canoe, and see if they liked it (or not).

The day was split into two. The first group of freshers paddled in the morning, with some instuctructors teaching from canoes, and others standing up to their necks in water.

The first load were taken back to southampton just before lunch,(They were a little bit delayed due to the fact that the president decided to play hide the minibus keys in the Duo!). While the first lot were being dropped home, and the second lot being picked up, this gave the instructors time to get out, and go and get some lunch. A lot of us couldnt be bothered to get changed, so walked to the shops in our wetsuits, (We did at least take our buoyancy aids and spraydecks off first!).

About an hour later, the second load arrived, and the afternoon teaching session commenced. The day went relatively O.K. apart from Alex temporarily misplacing the Minibus keys, and only 1 person seemed not to really enjoying themselves due to a scare of thinking that they could not get out of the boat, (They didn’t drown, so i don’t know what they were worrying about!).