Page 26 - The Chapka 2016
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  C Squadron – home of retired rowers
Final Fling
The Mess made a return visit to West Rhidorroch following an excellent pre-amalgamation visit in 2014. After a warm- up grouse shoot on Warcop, this year began like a scene from ‘Withnail and I’: Meeke, Sanders (Doc) and Davis arriving the first weekend to an empty, cold and seemingly lifeless pile in the Scottish Highlands. Whilst squadrons rotated through, the mess was still able to charm Jenny (the owner) and the cooking duo, and the house warmed and felt like an extension to Cambrai Lines.
On day one, the Ullapool River was high and the fishing looked promising. Indeed, when the doctor caught a salmon, having learnt to cast that very morning, it seemed as though the stars had aligned. Sadly this was not the case. His was the only salm- on caught all week. This was either a response to our poor skill with the rod, the rescinding water levels or, more likely both. That said, there was no shortage of Trout and Loch Achall, con- veniently situated only 50 yards from the house, provided lots of sport (and entertainment).
At the centre of the Rhidorroch estate, the Achall Loch pulls in the hinds and stags for rutting during the night. This year, that majestic sound was only matched by that of the Commanding Officers ‘beers on the boat’. During the day, the plentiful red and Sika Deer pushed high up the valley sides. This made for good exercise and quickly nullified the games of the night be- fore. Still working through the amalgamation back-log, a total of six red and one Sika were taken from the hill. Meeke, eager to make up for his nightmare stalk in 2014, put his hand in his pocket and regained the initiative: West Rhidorroch, 1; Meeke, 1 (and a half if you include the 2014 testicle).
For those that attended Final Fling was once again a bonding experience for the Mess. Next year’s training calendar presents challenges, but also opportunities. Whilst the Scottish deer might be missed, fishing in the lower Bow in Canada, or the odd Elk in the 320,000 acres of back-country in Alberta might be an attractive alternative. Watch this space for a report on the game book entry for 2017.
 Even in death, Stag mocks Machine Gun Meeke’s facial expression
 Smaller than usual
Brace yourself

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