There are lots of little jobs that need taking care of on the day of a paddle. Please try to get involved to the best of your ability. We need one volunteer to look after the shed before and after the paddling, and everyone else to help with getting the boat ready.

The Boat

  • Whoever gets there first starts to empty any collected water in the boat cover. There are jugs from the shed to do this with.
  • Next we take off the boat cover, roll it up and it is stored in the shed whilst we are on the water.
  • The next steps need at least 10 people to lift and manoeuvre the boat to the riverside. The sequence is as follows:
    • Middle tyres come out from under the boat
    • The ‘dolly’ (a frame on wheels that enables us to manoeuvre the boat) is rolled up
    • underneath from one end of the boat to the middle.
    • Once the dolly is in place about 10 + people are needed to manoeuvre the boat from its mooring to the river launch. Two people – one at each end of the boat take responsibility for steering the boat on its way, avoiding fences, to the launch point. We try and give way to cyclists etc.
  • Once we come off the water, we reverse the journey with the boat back to the Isis pub boat mooring. The dolly is moved to one end, and the tyres go back in under the boat. The tarpaulin is placed back on the boat and secured tightly with the ropes provided.

This is an important part of the process and many hands make light work.

The Shed

  • Handing out Buoyancy Aids (there are three sizes, people usually know what size they need)
  • Put the white board out for seat allocation – encourage people to indicate if they are right or left-handed
  • Help people stow their bags
  • Get out the steering arm (and drum if being used), and two wooden blocks (for use with the Dolly) and leave by the side of the shed on the grass ready for when the boat comes alongside the shed
  • As the boat comes alongside – hand out paddles and count them out
  • On return from the river – paddles need to be taken in and stored in their white fabric bags.
  • The steering arm, wooden blocks and drum are stored back in the shed.

The paddlers

  • Stow anything valuable in the shed or in the waterproof hold-all on the boat.
  • There is a warm up before we go on the water – take part and if you want to lead this there are instructions provided.
  • Collect a paddle from the shed
  • Check where you have been allocated a seat by looking at the whiteboard by the shed
  • There is a cool down after paddling – again we are always looking for volunteers to lead this.

The river and weather

Paddling all depends on the river conditions and of course the weather (strong wind is our enemy!) Using the apps listed below a small group check the indications in the days leading up to a paddle and make decisions together via a weather WhatsApp group. If this interests you then let Anne Marie or Sarah know and they will join you up to be part of that activity.

Weather

https://www.windguru.cz/28773
https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/forecast/gcpn7mp10#2019-10-06
https://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/2640729

EA river boards

http://riverconditions.environment-agency.gov.uk

Other river conditions

https://flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/station/7072?direction=d
http://eodg.atm.ox.ac.uk/user/dudhia/rowing/river.html
https://www.gaugemap.co.uk/