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

Woolacombe 2000

Woolacombe, Devon, 20-22 October 2000

On the second weekend of a new academic year 40+ hardy souls ventured off into the unknown that is North Devon. They carried nothing with them but their excessively large Invaders and plenty of smeggy Kit. The Minibus journey seemed to go in a flash except for those in the Blue bus that spent 20 minutes trying to refit the Petrol cap. But eventually all of the buses arrived safely at the Scout hut in Braughnton. With in seconds of arrival Mikey B was stripped and left in the middle of the floor minus his trousers. That other serial victim of canoe club cruelty was already strung up the Flagpole.

This was no ordinary day as it was Karen’s and Paul’s birthday and so a cake was magiced out of the packet and distributed around the hungry masses. Unfortunately Paul’s housemates had been kind enough to give him in his words “a very large firework” that he and Aiden decided would be good to let of at 1 o’clock in the morning. This didn’t enamour us to either the neighbour who came to complain about the noise or the friendly Policeman who payed us a visit. Eventually, after a large amount of beer had been drunk and several human pyramids formed, people retired to their beds leaving a select band up until the wee small hours. It was odd therefore that this same small band were up first in the morning and trying to work out how exactly you cook for 50. This was managed and the food was suprisingley edible even if it took 3 hours to cook!

So then after the usual phaffing off we went to Woolacombe for some serious surfing. With the committee teaching whilst up to their waists in the surf the freshers and other new members got to try out the surf. As usual there was the odd swim on what were very nice big waves. Most suprising of which was our former president, Ben, who in mitigation was actually almost hit by some random paddler. Luckily for all concerned the large number of invaders in the water didn’t skewer any defenceless surfers, have to try harder next time. So after a few hours of playing in the surf off everyone trekked to the local coffee shop that also happened to serve beer to warm up a bit and then on back to the hut.

The absent trip organiser had been kind enough to suggest that we all might want to go in school boys and school girls uniform to the pub, the committee in drag. The current committee declined this offer but not so some of the older members. Some how Paul still doesn’t look very feminine even with a skirt lipstick and various other make up on. But before we got to go to the pub there was the small matter of food to be dealt with. The thought of cooking Chilli for 50 people is frightening enough but try doing it when the stove will suddenly light from one of he valves! After the chilli came the custard which Joel and Ben had a downing competition with (Ben easily defeated Joel who actually seemed worried that the custard was burning his throat).

So properly filled up and raring to go off we all went to the Pub and what a nice pub it was too having been gracious enough to lend us its rear room for he night complete with skittle alley. The landlord was even kind enough to go and find us a bottle of Tequila to commit suicide with. Though unfortunately one rather large fresher jumped off the table and put his head through the ceiling. A round of drinking games was started though it fell a bit flat as one end of the table was too drunk to think so just drank more. After the final orders had been called and it was time to go home there was a very inebriated member of he committee seen wearing a lab coat trying to work out how to get back into the scout hut, the answer is to pull not push. As the night went on various people drifted off to bed leaving another group of idiots to stay up until the wee small hours, though this time they found Toby’s video camera. Eventually they all departed and were not seen again until the breakfast was cooked on the Sunday. Joel and more culpable Chris failed this feat. They introduced the collected masses to barbecue flavoured baked beans, otherwise known as burnt.

Chris Vian

River Usk 1998

River Usk, Wales, November 1998

This trip started off like all other trips, a few people down the boathard when they should be, a lot of people arriving very late and one person turning up even later. But despite this there was very little faff and the bus got underway before seven.

A nice speedy drive ensured we were there before closing time. Arriving at the pub we discover the olds had all been there a lot longer than we had and had therefore had time to consume large amounts of alcohol, therefore making them all pissed.

Saturday morning was, once again, Faff free and we left for the river by half nine. Arriving at the river we unloaded the trailer and began to sort people out. After a lot of effort the last group were actually on the river by twelve.

Fun was had on the river. Karen was happy to lead her first ever bit of river, a few people swam. The biggest faff of the day has to go to Michelle. Whilst taking a little dip she managed to lose a shoe, chip a tooth and generally have a complete nightmare.

It was now time to head off to the tea shop then back to the hut for a superb chilli and that all important tequila round. At this point I won’t mention the custard. Then off to the pub to show the olds how it should really be done.

Sunday morning started off slightly slower, except for Jamie, Stu and Aidan who made it out of the door in record time to do a river before they paddled with the club.

It was another one of those days on the river where Karen Swam, Michelle showed us all the right line and Stu and Neil tried to show off but it all went wrong. Jamie came to Karen’s rescue once more but it all nearly went wrong. And Ed tried the same for Nicky, cool moves Ed but it was definately the wrong time to be doing them.

It was then that time to head home, so after the usual faff of kit loading we headed home. Again in super quick time despite sitting on the M4 for hours in a traffic jam. We made it home and it was still Sunday (only just though).

Another TOP weekend in my opinion, but then I am biased cause it was my trip.

Written by Neil on 11/11/98 Another trip by Slugs Cunning Enterprises

So just how did Michelle loose her shoe?

Michelle Claims: “The water was so powerful it got sucked of my foot!!”

We Say: “She didn’t do it up!!”

Woolacombe 1998

Woolacombe surf, Devon, February 1998

Another TOP trip to Woolacombe took place on 20 – 22nd February. The accommodation was a little different to usual, as the Braunton Scout Hut lost its roof in the storms.

Alternative accommodation was found in the Caen Street School in Braunton, SUPER LUXURY in comparison to the scout hut (if you don’t mind me saying). We had the run of the whole place, including all the classrooms, and the girls had two toilets each…..WOW (well there were only three of us). We also had use of unlimited amounts of bendy javelins, hoops, footballs, netballs….well you know, all the things kids play with at school. So we fitted in quite well.

River Dee tour 1997

River Dee tour, Wales, November 1997

As usual Affinity organised the Student Dee tour. It was held at Llangollen, North Wales over the weekend of the 15/16/17 November.

On both the Saturday and the Sunday we went off and paddled the Dee. We amazingly made it to the river in the morning (Yes that’s right even Kev got up before lunchtime!). The river had little water in it, In fact the river was over a foot lower than when we paddled it the year before. However a few great swims were still taken.

The one swim that springs to mind was the Duo which was being paddled by Jo and Mark. After much persuasion Jo decided that she wanted to paddled town falls. They made the first two drops then on the third disaster struck and the duo was upside down. Everybody watched as Jo swam out and grabbed hold of the boat making sure it stayed upside down. Mark however was still in the back desperately trying to roll the boat. Little did he know, Jo was hanging on the front for dear life preventing Mark from rolling. Finally out swam Mark!

Karen had a superb swim on Town falls on the Sunday. However there was no problem cause Jamie once more came to the rescue. As my memory recalls there was only one other swim the whole weekend, and that was by Nick on Serpents tail.

Written By Neil Hopkinson 14th December 1997