Having fought our way along the top fence that separates the Sunnyside reservoir from the club in total darkness Keith Hatton and I arrived on the clubhouse patio. The river was up two steps and the lockers along the waterfront were well awash. The plan had been to get to the boats further up the bank but given the stream was running at something approaching twelve knots and it was pitch black we decided that discretion was the better part of valour besides, we reasoned, the boats are insured !
The next morning Richard called. Time to get our dinghies, strimmer and the mower out of harms way. An hour later in wet suit and life jacket I was up to my knees with Richard and Lawrie in a still quite fast flowing River Thames. The problem was knowing where the 'edge' was. First Richard's dinghy was dragged up. Then Lawrie's, then Keith's, and finally Over Easy was pulled and floated down to the ramp and up into the trailer park. Next up was HMS Styrofoam. We drew the line at the rescue boat 'Aquarius'. She was a bit to heavy for three, but we beached her on the lower ramp so that when the level eventually falls she will be ready to be brought up outside the clubhouse and 'winterised'.
Just as we finished Bob Sumner turned up. Richard wound him up about turning up on the following Sunday for his race officer duty. Just for a moment Bob looked absolutely dumbfounded, either because he'd forgotten that he had RO duty or he was thinking why would anybody want to sail in this ? We last saw him wading up to 'Waterman' with the river slopping over the tops of his 'shorty' welly boots.
Having once lived on the river I've seen it in many conditions but I have to admit I've rarely seen it that swollen and flowing so fast. I was a lot happier knowing Over Easy was out of it. While we were along the bank we checked on the other boats and were happy to see Roger's advice in the last news letter had been taken and that most of the other boats were securely tied down. Richard, as always, had his trusty camera with him so I'm hoping, for those of you that didn't get to see the flooding close up, we may be able to publish a picture or two. Richard Cannon Report
Mike (Over Easy) Baker