2016 Valentines Trip



Destination: North Wales (the hut)
Author: Andrew
Members: Chairman Mo, Tom “Witness This!” Bloom, Patrick “Throw me the rope” Sterling, DJ Noah in da house, Andrew Pearcy, Enrique Rodriguez, Will Scott, Joash Lee, Izzy “Misses All Girls’ School” Fraser, Adam Malagowski, Sarah Woodrow
The quintessential kayaking weekend began with the usual amount of faff sorting out stores and finding boats that weren’t broken. After some dilly-dallying and shoving as much wet kit as we could on the back seats we hit the road, straight into London’s rush hour. Chairman Mo wasn’t his usual chirpy self, having only got to bed in the early hours of the morning, after a merry evening celebrating Yuri’s birthday the night before. Let’s just say Para may have trouble remembering that Thursday night…
DJ Noah did his best to crank out the TOONS with limited supply of said TOONS. However after we disturbed the peace in the suburbs of Shrewsbury picking up Patrick. DJ Noah was let loose with Patrick’s Ipod. Needless to say, chairman Mo’s sleep was not very peaceful as we entered Wales. Arrival at the Imperial hut was around 1am, not too bad for a Wales trip. Tom “Watch This!” Bloom demonstrated his cave-man skills by creating fire! Impeccably necessary considering each and every one of us could see our breath. After a nostalgic evening reminiscing about Fresher’s trip and previous incidents we still hadn’t decided what river we would paddle the next day, standard ICCC tradition. A wild Joash appeared later in the night, bringing with him his usual sophisticated beers which the club treasury can’t afford. After deciding the river levels were two low for a morning mission, and after consuming as many beverages as we deemed fit for the first night we hit the hay around 4am and enjoyed a club spooning session to combat the cold.
In what seems to be becoming an unexpected tradition, the freshers were the first to rise and cook breakfast. Then again, have you tried rousing Chairman Mo in the morning? Discovering which part of the ovens worked was all part of the experience. Once we were all fed and watered we hit the road and DJ Noah was straight on the TOONS! We headed for the lower part of the upper Conwy. Since the club has no designated it the Upper Conwy, the Lower Conwy and the Lower Lower Conwy. The Upper being the scrape through hell, with a good number of trees thrown in for good measure, which was experienced on the fresher’s trip. The Lower Conwy was low – sorry to point out the obvious, but it wasn’t quite a scrape. After a warm up of the bean game, and gazolphins, we hit the river.
Will was the first to experience the refreshing chill of the Lower Conwy having a swim on one of the earlier rapids. However, unperturbed by his short swim he was swiftly back in his boat and heading for the next rapid. Enrique was next on the list to get wet on the Conwy. He too was soon back in his boat and ready to tackle the rest of the Conwy. After a few more swims we continued down the Conwy at a leisurely pace until one rather unassuming rapid caused carnage for the freshers taking out Izzy “Misses All Girls’ School” Fraser, Enrique and Will. Carnage was brought to the Lower Conwy that day.
Making our way down the rest of the Lower Conwy we decided not to run the Lower Lower Conwy given the levels and finished at the minibus take out. Straight back to the hut for copious amounts of chilli and merry beverages ensued. After three people attempted ‘fire breathing’ to get the iron stove going we finally warmed up from our day in the river and began a few games. The somewhat egotistical male conversation is what caused Izzy to claim on multiple occasions “I miss All Girls’ School” hence her nickname. And after a club game of ring of fire and more reminiscing of previous trips we turned in for the night.
Valentine’s day saw Noah and Joash cook the breakfast followed by the usual ‘cough’ lack ‘cough’ of canoe club faff. Once everyone was on the bus we hit the road for the Tryweryn. No Valentines Dee this year. One member down today, Izzy decided not to paddle but act as media team, although her dismayed shout as Noah got changed was heard by all. “Noah I’ve seen more of you naked than my boyfriend this Valentine’s Day!” However, we were joined by Patrick’s human Sarah who accompanied us on the river.
Slightly more challenging than the previous day, the Tryweryn had a medium level thanks to the dam release upstream and the artificial/natural white-water course was enjoyed by all. A few swims here and there slowed us up a bit meaning we only ran the Tryweryn one and a half terms. Noah escaped without a swim, but Andrew enjoyed a short swim after Mo instructed him to go play in a hole. Tom earned his nickname after waiting at the top of a rapid, shouting “Witness This!” before heading down the rapid to be immediately flipped, thrown into a rock and fished out of the river. Sarah unfortunately suffered similarly heading down the same rapid and carnage was unleashed upon the Tryweryn as four people swam down this one rapid.
Noah was acting safety further downstream with a throwline. Although when the time came and Patrick shouted “Throw me the rope” Noah didn’t hear and then thought he was joking before a cry of “NO SERISOULSY!” and we were able to pull Patrick and his tethered boat into the eddy. The day ended with Mo and Noah enjoying a bit of surfing on the last hole of the river before we packed up our things and hit the road back to South Ken.