Ullswater Trip 2020

Ullswater 2020 – We Got There!

When the fireworks had finished; 2020 and a new decade was upon us, all full of excitement for the coming paddling season, boy were we in for a shock!

The planning had been completed, the campsite booked, June the 19th was the date SBC Paddlers were off the Lake District for some open water paddling a new experience for some and possibly a tad daunting.  Then Covid struck!  After, Lockdown #1, June was still a possibility.  As the time drew nearer it was obvious this wasn’t possible.  So, phone calls, emails, text, whatsapp and drums, all used and a new date was agreed September 18th was the date.

Canoes, kayaks, paddles, and camping gear all packed and ready to go! The choice of campsite was great just a few minutes’ walk to the water’s edge. Those who arrived early took advantage and got on the water for a Friday evening paddle to watch the sunset, all socially distanced of course.

Saturday morning arrived, everyone up early packed ready to go.  Two groups of 6, all levels of experience in each group.  The sun shone, the breeze blew, even had a go at sailing!  Two stops, coffee on a little beach, then our packed lunches with lashing of ginger beer on a pebble beach all to ourselves.  What could be better.  A relaxing paddle down to Glenridding, what a fabulous day! But in life where there is Ying, there has to be Yang.  7 miles completed and 7 more to go!

So off we popped to paddle back up Ullswater; the lovely breeze we had on the way down had decided to increase to Storm Force 3 gusting 5, and on open water that means wave heights 2 – 3 feet, an exciting trip.  Sadly, we were all concentrating on paddling in a straight line into wind, counting the paddle stokes, and watching the waves to take any photos! No one capsized – Phew!

A couple of hours later we arrived back at the campsite, tired, hungry, happy, and smiley.  Under normal camping rules a campfire would have been lit, with some sort of outdoor cooking extravaganza, but with Covid we cooked our own (Paul enjoyed his Pizza and wished he’d ordered two!!).   After a fabulous warm sunny day, we had a clear and very cold evening, but being hearty folk, whilst enjoying a couple of beers/wines/whiskies we had a quiz, a chat then off to our relevant tents, campervans.

So, this is our lasting image of the Ullswater trip.

Let’s get the vaccinations done and move on and have fabulous 2021.

On a side note, over the summer in groups of 6 we had a total of just over 800 paddlers on the water, not bad under the circumstances.  Many thanks to all the organisers who gave up their time.

Graeme Young

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