After getting together early in the year and preparing a plan for 2020 we sit waiting for the weather to improve, but no sign of that happening any time soon :-(
The Environment Agency for the Thames has Red Boards from top to bottom. Meaning it's unsafe to venture out on the river, and we should note it may well invalidate your insurance should you choose to ignore the boards as well as the possibility of your needing to be rescued from a weir or lock and therefore potentially placing other people in danger. So please take the warnings seriously, be patient we will have better weather soon. I hope!
Meanwhile take the time to clean, sort and prepare your boat so you can take best advantage as soon as the river is clear to use.
A very pleasant day at Shepperton marina with club members, friends and other moorers.
The club was well attended, and featured a selection of "Fun on the Water" and "River Life" photo from our members, which were a great talking point for all who attended the event.
Now it turns out that Martin had an old out of date valise life-raft and suggested that we might us it for a demonstration of how to launch, inflate and potentially board a life-raft.
So after one of our regular monthly meetings we took said raft down to the waterside, gathered around, and shoved it into the water.
A couple of our lady members then tried tugging the painter line without success:
Lesson 1: it's harder to get it to inflate that you might think!, but with a couple of gents helping out we managed to get the valise to pop open and start inflating…. to a chorus of Ooh’s and aaah’s it began to look as if we were about to have a successful launch, however, shortly after the hissing and whining sounds had begun, and the life raft had started taking a recognisable shape…. there was a rather loud pop/bang and a puff of talc, as the life raft exploded.
It seems that the inner latex core and outer plastic of the raft had hardened, or perished and once a certain level of pressure was reached they both gave way!!!
Lesson 2: Life rafts go out of date for a reason - so service them regularly and once past their useful life date, dispose of them!!!!
We salvaged the remnants from the river and explored the contents. those were also wet and disgusting... Not of any use at all.
Looking back 2018 was yet another a fun filled year.