Nigel’s plan was for as many dinghy’s as possible to sail up to The Magpie, accompanied
by the patrol boats, have a couple of bevies and a bite to eat and then sail back
to the club.
I guess the regatta weekends weather, only three days earlier, and the weather on
the 27th did little to encourage people that this was a good idea, but, in the end
six people did turn up.
Nigel and Tony sailed in a pair of Lasers accompanied by Rodger Wheeler, Joan Walkden,
Richard Cannon and yours truly in the patrol boat.
There was a three knot stream running and the Lasers progress was painfully slow.
Eventually and because everybody in the patrol boat was getting hungry we took them
in tow and 75 minutes later we arrived at The Magpie.
By now it was raining and Joan’s novel answer to this was to vanish inside a rather
large bin bag. Richard took a more conventional approach and sheltered under a rather
fetching brolly with his video camera.
Mooring at the pub was challenging for the Lasers given the strength of the stream
but they managed to manhandle themselves in and we duly trooped into the pub led
by Joan who by now was probably wishing she’d stayed at home.
Now six soggy souls arriving off the river doesn’t faze the Magpie’s staff one bit,
I guess they're used to it and we soon found Joan and Lyn, who had driven up, parked
in a corner.
Drinks and food were quickly ordered and conversation virtually stopped as everybody
‘got stuck in’.
Over coffee Joan announced she would not be making the return trip with us as she
was going back to Aquarius in the comfort of Lyn’s car! We just couldn’t understand
her reasoning. Why wouldn’t you want to go back in an open, wet and cold boat? Most
It took 40 minutes to get back but the Lasers sailed all the way despite at one point
getting themselves in an eddy that first sucked them backwards and then spun them
Having dropped Rodger back across the river the evening ended in the Aquarius bar
with Pete Carpenter who was looking very lonely all on his own as we moored up.
… And finally. The evening was actually very enjoyable although somewhat under attended.
The food at The Magpie isn’t 5 star but was very acceptable and we will no doubt
do it all again sometime in the future. I conclude that you don’t have to be mad
to do this sort of thing … but it definitely helps.