Slipping down the Thames – Day 5, Thursday 30/07/2020

R&R day in Oxford

The Isis (the Thames) in Oxford

The hirer agrees to replace the double kayak with two singles (full marks to Ruksport for their patience with difficult/demanding customers). However since they wouldn’t arrive until 2 pm, we decide to make the day a rest day and enjoy a second night in our own beds.

I for one need the break, feeling so weak this morning that I‘m not sure I can continue. Seems I have blackened two toenails through impact pressures inside the kayak, that’s apart from the various cuts, bruises and scrapes to the legs that are normal to this kind of activity.

Interesting treehouse under construction
The last of the old floating Oxford College boathouses remaining within the city – the banks of the Isis were once lined with them. I know of two others still in existence, both turned into private residences further down the Thames into London.

A day of leisure helps however, and we spend an afternoon testing out the new single kayaks. A great improvement I think – we can each concentrate on our own paddling style. Mine suits me very well – it looks a very long, slow stroke, but it is a pace I can keep up all day.

While exploring some of the local backwaters we attempt to shoot a weir, something I haven’t done for over 20 years. An audience of local boys seem to find the escapade vastly amusing – we each get a cheer as we go over the edge. I thought we did rather well, even managed to stay (mostly) dry.

Very good. We’ll continue in the morning.

The Isis at Longbridges – a public swimming place once existed in a loop of the river here. It is still used, but no longer official.

Go to Day 6: Oxford – Appleford

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© Philip Hunt 2020

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