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.

Captain’s Log

Update from Alastair Davies, Joint Captain of Rowing:

The clocks go forward tonight, and British summer time begins, which means GGBC club rowing sessions can restart on Thursday evenings at 6pm.  The first session is on the 30th March and they’ll continue all summer until the clocks go back in October.

This Sunday 2 April will be our next Go Row! day when we welcome new members to the club and help them get started on the water.  From now on, the first Sunday of each month will be promoted with a Go Row! invitation: if you have friends who would like to start rowing, please pass this on.  These will run alongside the usual club session at 10am.

If you’d rather watch someone else rowing, also this Sunday 2 April the world-famous Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race will take place.  The Catherine Wheel pub in Goring is showing the race on their big screen, and they’ll have the barn open for fun events, including a sweepstake with bottles of bubbly for the winner.  Come along from 4pm to join the party.

Our spring Learn to Row course started today, with 12 eager new rowers signed up.  A strong breeze against the stream made for choppy conditions but they all did very well, and we look forward to welcoming them to the club at the end of the course.  The next Learn to Row course will be in August and is already filling up fast, so if you know people who would like to do it, please ask them to get in touch with me soon.

The Explore Rowing squad has been competing in a Sunday league against other recreational rowing clubs along the Thames Valley, including Marlow, Maidenhead and Molesey.  The final event of the 2016/17 season was our own March Mad Dash regatta last Sunday.  The GGBC squad ended the league in a very creditable 4th place, of the 12 crews that competed.  If you would like to join the Explore Rowing squad for the next season – and it really is open and fun for everyone – then please let me know and I’ll add you to the session invitations.  There’s no commitment, but it really can open your view of rowing to new horizons.

An absolutely fantastic turn-out of volunteers ensured the March Mad Dash regatta itself was a great success, and a wonderful advert for the club as we hosted our visitors, including British Rowing’s area representative.  We raised over £300 on the day, from the raffle and the sale of hot food – it was a tremendous effort and thank you to everyone involved.

The weather gets better, and the river banks more beautiful, every day from now on.  Come and join in!