Up the Creek

On a rainy July morning Support Wing went canoeing and raft building at Danesfield. The enthusiastic PTI led us to the canoes and bets were on as to who would fall in first; it appeared that everyone had launched successfully when a loud splash marked the entry of Simon Moore into the Thames.

Some had steering problems as they zig-zagged across the river, whilst others decided to hunt in the foliage. Nobody had yet capsized and in our minds everyone thought we were going to be picked for the 2012 Olympic team.

The first task was to get over a fallen tree just under the waterline. Chloe Barraclough and I were first to jump the log; the idea was to build up speed then go to the rear of the canoe. If you are paddling fast in a canoe with both people at the back and aren’t lined up correctly, when you lean, you will capsize! Happily we were not the last, as more capsized with OC PSF and OC P1 rolling in spectacular form and after getting back in the canoe they fell in again. Canoe rugby followed with the aim of one canoe tagging others. Manoeuvring when inexperienced and as coordinated as Bambi on ice with the fear of capsizing (I don’t know how I would have got back in) and it wasn’t long before everyone was caught. Rob Hutton and Kyle Evans were in the water more than the canoe!

After lunch it was time for raft building. Luckily, enough people in my team had the mental ability to build a raft. After about two hours of lashing and tying, the team headed by Sgt Morris put their raft in the water only for it to fall apart in seconds without anyone onboard. OC P1 and Kyle Evans got across the river and back but by swimming and they probably didn’t realise quite how far it was. Our team raft was a huge success and completed the return trip. I wasn’t onboard the said vessel as Flt Lt Schofield jumped on and I bounced off. After being declared the winning team it was time to get changed and have a BBQ.


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