On Saturday 16th September 5 NBRC members, along with 11 other boats, participated in the annual Tweed/Paxton House Picnic row. It was a wet Friday evening packing up with Tracy, Sandy, and myself, we were all hoping for drier row as we headed down to Spittal to meet the other boats. Saturday dawned pretty damp and dreich, but after checking in with organisers Paul and Rob we were squeezed in to Robbie’s (very kindly lent) car, joined also by my daughter Steph, who has only rowed a handful of times, but she put on her game face to join the eager team. We all kept cosy on the drive to Spittal where Claire C joined us after making her own way over.
On arrival it was a bit blustery but we were greeted by lots of happy faces and warm welcomes. Everyone pitched in to lift skiffs over the dunes to the beach, making ready for the off, stowing away all our snacks and layers! With flags flying in the breeze, 12 beautiful boats launched awaiting the tide to push us upstream.
Going under the three Berwick bridges we were waved on by pacers by. We passed a couple of slidy seat boats, they didn't look as happy as us! We could feel the pull of the tide helping us on and even though this was not a race, we did row through the others boats from the back of the fleet. It was good to keep Sandy happy! The Tweed is a lovely river and there were so many swans, which I have learnt is called a bevy, there were also gaggles of Canadian geese wondering where we'd all come from! The banks are peppered with lots of old fisherman's huts, which have been refurbished since I was last on the tweed, it is so pretty.
We did hit a patch of shallow water but no one had to get their feet wet, this time, we had just gone too fast for the tide! After an hour and a half rowing we rounded the last bend and we could see a small crowd awaiting us on the beach at Paxton house. All the skiffs were pulled up and we laid out picnics to replenish our hunger. Some folk ventured up to the cafe, others lazed on rugs enjoying the blethering and keeping a watchful eye on the boats in case they floated off in the heightening waters!
After restoring our energies we packed up and headed off for the much quicker decent. We switched coxes and positions and sped off back with the tide, soon heating up again. We were blessed with no rain for the return leg, landing back at Spittal beach after about 45 minutes of rowing. Everyone mucked in to load the boat back up, many hands make light work! All of the rowers said fond cheerios and we all thanked those who had put together a great row. We headed ack to NB for a speedy dismount and unpack. It was a super day, I would highly recommend others to participate next year. what a super day. Thanks again to my team mates and Robbie.