Tim vs. a Swan
Wednesday, May 02, 2007 7:05:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Those of you who have me on MSN Messenger (and use a client that displays my little sub messages) may have noticed today’s caption reads “Tim vs. a Swan : Tim 1 - Swan 0”. A few of you have asked what it is all about so I thought I’d just post it here (shame on those of you who didn't!).
For those of you who are new to my life I’m rather into my canoeing* and what with the forthcoming Cheshire Ring Race drawing closer I’ve been getting out on the water as much as possible. My new routine is now gym one night, canoe the next and last night was a canoe night. Stacey’s also training atm so she came out for a run with me.
I’ve thrown this all into a little map (see below - thanks Google Earth!) so you can better understand what I’m talking about. I usually dock near a swans nest and although around this time of the year they get a little arsey (they’re brudy or have chicks so that’s ok) we have a fairly amicable relationship –I don’t like them, they don’t like me. Last night was something different, when I got onto the water I could only see one of the two swans, the male (who is the nasty one) was no-where to be seen so we carried on (he usually potters off up a side route etc).
No sooner than I had passed under the bridge but I saw the male at the end of the straight and he started flapping to take off. Now, I don’t know if you’ve even seen a swan taking off but they’re big gits and it takes them a while so I figured he would just fly over the top of me.
I kept thinking that until he was about 20ft away from me when he angled right for me and it was clear he was after me haha. Knowing that they can cause serious damage (though we’re still debating the “Can a swan break a man’s leg” rumour) I decide to get over to the bank and wait it out there –in the tiger (my very unstable racing kayak) I wouldn’t have stood a chance in the middle of the canal.
It was a close call to be fair, he was about 5ft in front of my boat by the time I got over to the side at which point he stopped flapping and swam past hissing at me something chronic. The funniest bit of it was that Stacey had taken my paddles off me and was poised over the stingers and spikey things ready to beat him if he came close –I just wanted them back in case I needed to use them!
I’ve had swans come for me before but never fly down 0.2miles to “get” me, that was quite something else! I’m still chuckling about the thought of “You know what, I don’t think he’s planning on flying over me…”.
*Some would say this is an understatement