As the good weather and availability of students post-exams finally aligned it was time to engage in one of the club’s yearly pumping sessions. This involved the somewhat pointless task of pumping up water from the nearest body of water before almost immediately depositing it back in again, but now with some added velocity. Irrespective of how little we may have achieved the event was great fun for new students and experienced ones alike while also giving the public something to look at, and the paddleboarders something to evade.

We started at around midday with the usual servicing and pre-flight checks before heading of to our choice of waterfronts, in this case The White Cross pub in Richmond. The drive was fortunately uneventful until Google maps decided to take us down a street barely wide enough for Jez requiring some rather careful driving. Upon arrival the hoses were laid out, branches unloaded and (probably out of date) sun cream lathered on. After the usual safety briefing the Anaconda was lowered and the pumping began.

While many paddleboards and rowing boats were targeted by our jet streams, I must unfortunately report none were forced to scuttle. The general public gathered around Jez and asked the usual handful of questions just as “Big Bertha,” the affectionately named largest branch held on Jez, was brought out for a final show of the pump’s power.

Big Bertha on Display as students answer the question of what happens when you touch the big powerful stream of water.

Despite her affinity to water, we were not keen to see Jez attempt to float in the Thames so swiftly moved her before the tide did it for us. The ride home was filled with the exciting politics of an online AGM for the RCC, at which Jez’s impromptu dash cam stole the show before being rudely kicked off the screen in favour of a boring PowerPoint. It was then back to the garage for some much-needed rest.