Thursday 4 July 2013

Infinity found

We arrived at Hampton Court early afternoon in warm sunshine. The last few miles proved very emotional for me. Every stretch of river, every landmark, every tree, brought fond memories flooding back. They have almost completed a new bridge at Walton On Thames which looks spectacular. It replaces a tatty old steel one with four concrete pillars set at strange angles which caught many a rower out, including myself once or twice. Sunbury lock reminded me it was the last to be tackled on our sponsored row from Pangbourne, by which time I had cramp in both legs, dozens of hand blisters and a numb bum. I am reliably informed Atlantic rowers avoid the latter problem by wearing nothing on the lower body and a sheepskin seat cover, but I opted to ignore this advice for the safety of other river users. Hampton School boat club reminded me of my capsize following the longest I had ever rowed a single without mishap. Coach Roy fished me out, wrapped me in silver foil and returned me to Molesey in his motor launch. The capsize was my fault for failing to secure my bow-side blade properly otherwise the trip would have lasted far longer and have set a record distance for me. I subsequently managed a return trip to Kingston when with KGSVBC which remains my longest single trip ever. Our Hampton moorings seem OK but Tardis Two rocks and rolls a bit, perhaps due to the depth of water and high winds?
On the subject of how the other half lives I noticed even the wildlife was more up-market the further south we got.
Widgeon replaced Mallards and the geese became Egyptian (I think. I have yet to locate my wild birds book). I have not had the opportunity to check- out fish species but I suppose they will now be Dover Sole and/or Salmon. 

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