Having had varying weather forecasts throughout the week, it was good to meet at the club in bright sunshine. I had even put on shorts for the first time this summer. Martin's trailer and the cars were loaded up and we left the club at around 10, a mixture of experienced paddlers, newbie's such as Stewart, Oliver and Faith plus various family members
As we drove in convoy to Glen Coyne car park, the sky was more cloudy over fells, but I kept positive about my decision to wear shorts as the sun kept breaking through. When we got to the the car park we met up with Susan and Mark, who had got down early to go to church as part of their wedding prerequisites. As the wind was now coming up on Ullswater, Susan took great pleasure in my shorts decision, advising how earlier the water had been as flat as a mirror with gentle mist rising in the warmth of the sun. Thanks Susan!
In total 16 of us got on the water in a range of craft, sea kayaks, open boats, GP kayaks and sit on tops. Dave looked really impressive on a sit on top with wife and daughter, although I think his crew need either some training or whip, like they used on the old galley, to help them keep time. We paddled towards Glennridding, into quite a strong head wind which made it quite hard work for some the less experienced paddlers.
Ray had made a good strategic decision at the beginning by convincing Mike Hewitt to go up front in his open boat. This gave Ray the two thing he needed to make progress, power and ballast. Unfortunately Brian was paddling solo, and not having had much experience in open boats, was struggling. Ray generously passed his power and ballast over to him and had to make do with a large rock to trim his boat. Ray claimed he could not tell the difference, which I thought was somewhat unfair to Mike.
About half way down, Martin asked if anyone would like to go back, a couple of the less experienced took up the offer while the rest of us struggled on. Arriving at Glennridding, we took advantage of their facilities, a warm drink and paddled back to the car park. We now realized Martins evil plan - he and the people who went back with him already had their BBQ's on and sausages half cooked. You just can't take anyone's motives for granted these days!
The sky was now a little more ominous, so we got our BBQ's going and soon the little beach smelling of that burnt flesh smell, which we Brits do so well.
After lunch there was and opportunity to try out different craft, Rebbeca borrowed a sea boat and went off for a paddle with Ray, Faith, who is a new member of the club, got into her kayak for the first time in a year and had paddle around.
Being a father who has embarrassed his children over years, my highlight was David Lawton doing the unforgivable. Having suggest to his daughter that a practice capsize was good training for the future . He proceed to tip the open boat they were in, upside down - with the expected result of a very shocked and upset daughter. Have you been forgiven yet Dave?.
As it started to rain, we packed up the boats and headed home a good time having been had by all.
Ray mentioned organising another in August, so keep an eye out for a confirmed date