Christmas Eve Paddle

‘T’was the eve before Christmas, when all those at Royal
decided on paddling despite cold and toil;
Paddles were slung from boat sheds; no care,
In hope that ev’ryone would soon be right there;

The seniors all nestled, snug-tight in their beds,
While horrors the night before foggied their heads;
The captain, the commodore, vice, and harbourmaster,
Waited patiently on island for the rabble to muster.

Soon out on the lawn there gathered such a clutter,
Boats, paddles and spraydecks and things that don’t matter.
Away to the water we took in a flash,
Picked up the speed with a splish and a splash.

A lap of t-pot so that others catch up,
Nicole a ‘short cut’ and Tim did mess up;
Going backwards through swarm of paddlers many
Just not to conform risking crashes a’ plenty.

Upstream and onwards, so lively and quick,
Limbo the jetties; a low brace does the trick.
As each merry paddler did do the same,
We limbo’d on through, again and again.

“Oi, Louis! Now! Louis! fs, Louis and LOUIS!
Oh, Louis! Ugh! Louis. oh… louis and LOUIS!
At the top of our voices as he failed to selfie!
With the raft right behind him came outcries and plea

To his rescue was Jonathan, Commodore of Royal
Who succeeded where Louis had trouble and toil
A raft picture we want! Selfies galore!
Came the cries from behind the well-balanced commodore.

Upwards to Ravens, the Ait we did go
S’ners arrived first; little did they know…
Jon a task, to paddle through small gap
So narrow it was, exclaimed many; Oh cr- poo.

“POLE OF DEATH!” Came the cries
From those out and through
Goading the others do the same
And paddle the gap or face the shame.

A turning and head back, the Royals float on
But not without more challenges from Jon
Limbos and narrow gaps, a jetty or boat.
See what we can get through and still stay afloat.

At Kinston we did stop and stare
As Tony rushed up steps and stair.
We rafted once more for a pretty picture
And what Tony did would receive his wife’s stricture.

Tony out-ladd’ed us all and taught us the way
That women love a man upon an archway
Taking photos and selfies, the camera he did pass
To the woman who was checking out his ar- fine figure.

Downstream to royal, we did paddle back
While some were loitering, flirting with Slack
The paddle was over but we were not quite the done
As we were yet to jump in and feel the stun.

In lines on the jetty, groups jumped in the river
As they took it in turns to scream and then shiver.
At long last and warm, in clubhouse with fellows
Awaited hot chocolate, whipped-cream, sprinkles, marshmallows.

It’s the eve before Christmas, when all those who canoe
Paddle, jump in, cosy up with a brew
Money was raised; 1-0-7 pounds if I’m right.
Helping Children’s Society, helping those with their plight.

‘T’is the eve before Christmas, when all those at Royal
Keep going paddling despite cold and toil.