Even if we were not locked down we would not have been able to row due to some of the worst flooding in years. Andy McKenzie, who is a hydrologist, measured the high water mark at over two feet high in the boathouse. The flow meter at Reading Bridge peaked at 238m³/s on 2 February. We usually ban all rowing above 100m³/s, so it was pretty extreme. Andy warns that that the 100 year flood line would be significantly higher, so we should expect flooding like this every 5 to 10 years.
The good news is that the boathouse coped with the flood as designed, so the flood water left as easily as it arrived. The silt deposits on the floor were not bad and there is no significant damage inside, apart from the wood cabinets.
The otter holt was washed away and ended up trapped by the small pontoon. We rescued it and we will rebuild it.
We had some impressive icicles.
In other news, a salvage company used our slipway to rescue a sunken cruiser at Pangbourne.
Brian Barnes took a video of an otter by the boathouse. It could have been a mink but you decide!
Tina Wilson has been doing a brilliant job organising events to snap us out of lockdown monotony. We have had race night, cooking with Joy Skipper and even a Valentine’s quiz.