Swan Support

Early on Monday morning I was getting my oars and single scull ready for an outing. There were two swans on the middle of the larger pontoon. As I walked up, one of the swans swam away but the other stayed sitting down. She stayed sitting even while my stern was next to her, but she was trying to shuffle away as if she had a broken leg. She was still sitting there when I got back from my outing an hour later.

I wasn’t sure what to do, but when I got to work I looked on the internet for a swan sanctuary and came up with Swan Support in Datchet. I got in touch and they had a rescuer at the pontoon in 90 minutes. Unfortunately the swan swam away, so they had to get a boat to come, but they caught her after a couple of hours. She had a huge gash in her side above the leg and below the wing.

They took her back to their base and tried to save her, but had to put her down as the injury was too severe and infection had set deep into the tissues. Tragic, but at least she had no cygnets and she suffered less.

If you see sick or injured swans, please contact Swan Support on 07968 868172 or info@swansupport.org.uk. They are open 24/7 and I was very impressed with their response time and dedication to caring for the swan.

Long Row plan

The plan for the sponsored Long Row on 3 June is firming up. We will row an eight, Mark Hayter, and a coxed quad, Bob Bushnell,  32 miles from the City of Oxford Rowing Club to our current base at the Oratory boathouse. We will have Keith Jackson’s 6 meter rib and Murray Bracewell’s 4×4 to support us. There are 18 rowers, who will alternate between the two boats and our support rib and 4×4, with as many as possible taking a turn to cox one boat or the other.

The route involves the passage of ten locks. We have agreed stopping points at Abingdon Rowing Club (mile 8) and Wallingford Rowing Club (mile 21). On the basis of an average speed of 5 mph and 20 minutes at each lock and stopping point, the row would take 10.5 hours, as per the schedule. So leaving at 7:30 am we should be home just before 6 pm. But in reality it could be quicker or slower and much will depend on getting away on time and queues at locks.

If anyone wants to come along and support us at any point, they are very welcome!

The purpose of the row is for everyone to have a great, if testing, day out and to raise funds for the new boathouse. If anyone would like to donate they can do so on our MyDonate page.

The sponsorship form gives a bit more detail.