Monday, October 16, 2006

Canoeing ....

I suspect that the pre-launch discussions regarding the last canoe trip, which involved a "C"apsize, here-in-after known as the "C" word, were the reason for my nervous-ness. The act of boarding was in itself a vision, the slippery mud bank adding to the fun. We launched onto the river at high tide. My white knuckles the subject of much mirth, were kept white by appropriately timed repeats of the "C" word. The highly efficient paddling of my crew mates helped us achieve a wake, at times I felt we were exceeding the rivers speed limit! We soon pulled out of sight of the village and turned the corner into sublime wilderness.

We passed through a section of water that had a thin floating layer of brown sludge, identified by our captain (PoSDO) as his own output! The predictable increase in the use of the "C" word created the equally predictable change in my knuckles colour! A vague reference to needing the water testing skills of a previoulsy "C"apsized crew member, whilst creating some mirth, only served to firm my grip. Happily we soon left the sludge layer behind.

The mists clearing, we soon arrived at our destination a small spit of land where we intended to partake of the bacon butties being carried overland by the less intrepid, or was that more intelligent!, explorers of this glorious wilderness.

We arrived as a female swimmer chose to exit the water. Presumably she had not spotted the three male canoeist paddling feverishly toward her, for she started to change with the occasional use of a covering towel! She would not have known our goal was bacon butties as she turned to see us hit the bank at speed, only yards from her changing spot. Luckily the con-current arrival of the all female over-land party calmed her somewhat frantic towel clutching activities. Our captain gallantly reversed from the bank and reinserted the canoe 6 yards further from the partly changed swimmer, an act which I am not sure did much to calm her further. We all rapidly exited the vessel averting our eyes apart for the odd glance to check for brown sludge, as after all the offending layer was only a few 100 yards up the river??!

The bacon butties in crunchy baguetes, justified our haste, though perhaps not our lack of gallantry!

I reluctantly?! let others experience the return journey, surely driven solely by my sense of fairness!, not the need to let my knuckle muscles rest! I was actually too much of a landlubber to realise that the turning tide and the wind would make the return journey much harder!

This blog was just a small part of a brilliant weekend that felt like we packed in the activities of a week! As usual the location exerted it's power. I felt the word "Relax" hit me as we drive into the village, very similar to the effect Orkney has on me. Needless to say the village is a BlackBerry free zone.... NO SIGNAL! BLISS!

Few DMLA's this blog. I have not spent the time to consider them for this previously unblogged group... the FoSDO! SDO was not there on this occasion, though her sister (SoSDO?) was.


Trundling Grunt said...

So how long can you go without getting twitchy about being disconnected. I'm shocked that there's no report on how fast you were hurtling through the water, given how diligently your GPS reported your speed when sat at dinner....

The Watcher! said...

It depends if I have a victorian wooden jigsaw to do.... they take me back in time to a world before the internet! (I know... I hear you say NOT POSSIBLE! My response ...WAY!)