Today we ventured out onto the River Thames for challenge number 4! Neither of us have done any sort of rowing or sailing before so it took a little bit of time getting used to it! Below is our video when we arrived at the marina feeling very nervous (and poorly!).
We went to Shepperton Marina to collect our Kayak and life jackets. A lot of people were very concerned that we may end up drowning or getting run over (sailed over?) by a barge but we were assured that we would float if such an unfortunate incident would occur.
So here we are looking all enthusiastic with our paddles before venturing down to the water to get into our Kayak. That was not as easy. Trying to get into a really wobbly boat from a rather high jetty is a bit of an issue. I’m sure we provided the poor lad who was helping us with much entertainment and we wobbled around, clung to the side and finally managed to position ourselves into the Kayak. Look how pleased we are with ourselves!!! We then had to make our way out of the marina and onto the river.
Above is our video out on the Thames. We had our first rather unfortunate incident when leaving the marina. The person at the back of the kayak is in charge of steering. So what did Jenna do? Not Steer! As a result poor Sam ended up face first into a tree, a load of bushes and lots of reeds and rushes. I think a poor duck nearly got taken out during the collision too. There was tree in hair, tree in mouth, tree on face and a slightly damaged nose all very much to Jenna’s amusement. After that we definitely put a lot more focus onto steering! We did a journey round the Desborough Island then stopped for some lunch at the halfway point.
This was where unfortunate incident number two occurred. Jenna took a little bit of a splash. If you want to be technical then Jenna ran into the river. We had landed (is that the word? Do you land a Kayak? Or shall we go for beached? Like a whale?) the kayak on a bit of sand which should have enabled us to climb out of the kayak easily. As Jenna has the longest legs it was decided that she would take the leap over the tide and then pull Sam in. It took a little while but Jenna jumped out of the kayak semi gracefully and landed on the sand. Perfect you’d think? No wrong. For some reason unknown to us she turned around and ran straight into the river instead of up the sand and filled her shoes up with Thames water. Upon realising that her shoes were filling up she then jumped like a startled rabbit three times sideways along the river soaking her feet more and more each time before reaching a wall. What was Sam doing while this hilarious display was going on? Sitting in the Kayak laughing her head off so badly that she nearly capsized while hoping that Jenna was not going to push her back out into the river with no oar as a method of retaliation.
We had a quick lunch (3 hours of kayaking is more tiring than you would think!) and then made our way back out onto the river. We had learnt from past mistakes. Jenna had two wet feet by this point and Sam had one wet foot due to accidentally putting her foot into the Thames while trying to climb a ladder. This meant we only had one dry foot between us and we were planning on keeping it that way. Sam got into the kayak first and then we maneuvered the Kayak so the front of the Kayak was floating in the river. This meant Jenna only had to get into the back of the Kayak, we’d push away from the sand and off we would float. Perfect plan right? Nope. With both of us in the Kayak we had weighed it down so we were stuck in the sand. We resorted to rocking the kayak, frantic paddling and shuffling to dislodge our Kayak from the sand much to the amusement of the people picnicking on the riverside! However persistence paid off and we were soon back on the river paddling away at full speed. We completed the lap around the Island and rowed past the marina towards the weir.
We are doing these 12 wacky challenges to raise as much money as we can for BBC Children In Need. We keep in touch with all of the people following our challenge on Facebook live so we thought it was only right to do a Facebook live video from the Thames. If there is one video that you choose to watch on this blog post we suggest you watch this one!
Our 6 hours on the Thames went so quickly! We covered such a distance and saw so many amazing things but by now our arms were really starting to hurt and it was time to slowly make our way back to the marina. As we got to the entrance of the marina we met a ferry with no driver (Think Pirates of the Caribbean) which was a little bit creepy but it turns out that it just goes backwards and forwards ferrying people to the other side of the marina. We got back to the dock and then had to face the challenge of getting out of the Kayak. Somehow it just did not seem possible to climb back onto the platform which we had fallen into our kayak from 6 hours previously. After about 5 minutes of us maneuvering ourselves to try to find the best way out and arguing over who was getting out first Jenna managed to clamber onto the platform. Sam however was far too much of a chicken and far too scared of the scum and moss that was floating by in the river. Fear not though as a lovely man came to hold the kayak while Jenna yanked Sam out of the boat and onto the platform. No accidental splash in the river but a little bit of a dented ego! We sadly waved goodbye to our Kayak and made our way back to the car.
As always here is our after event video! It appears all the river air (or the amount of flies consumed!) may have gone to our heads and we appear to have lost it slightly in this video!
Please don’t forget that we are dong this for such a good cause and would really appreciate your help. Any sponsorship you can give us will make such a difference. We regularly get hundreds of views on our videos so can you even imagine how much money we could raise for Children In Need if you all just donated £1 when you watch us muppets?
Link not working? No excuse! https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/CINChallenge you can copy and paste this one here!
Not sure how to copy and paste? It’s ok! You can text “UCIN50 £10” to 70070 and donate via text! You can donate £1, 2, 5 or £10 this way!
Thank You for reading our rather long post! We look forward to seeing you for challenge number five!
Lets raise lots!
Sam & Jenna