You’d be forgiven for thinking a wet weekend is what you are most likely to get when visiting Windermere for a couple of days – even the locals would be sagely nodding their heads and wearing a ‘well, what do you expect’ look on their faces…
But not this weekend!
We had wall to wall sunshine and it was fabulous!
Just look at this shot below of Derwent Water taken on Friday.
Windermere, in the southern part of the Lake District, is some kind of paradise. Those who go boating here know all about the magic of being on the lake, constantly surrounded by the most stunning landscape and all the time watching it change with the seasons. One thing is for certain, the locals are not in a hurry to share this with just anybody. In fact, I suspect it was a mistake that the Sealine Experience weekend had been scheduled on these dates – I am absolutely certain that we were scheduled to get one of the wet weekends and it was only due to a clerical error that we ended up with one of the most beautiful weekends I’ve seen this year.
So, enough marvelling at the weather, let’s consider the event. Everything had been arranged; the brand new SC42, which we were doing the demos on was all clean and shiny, the Sealine Experience trailer was all set up and importantly – you know my fondness for food – the ‘Hog Roast’ was just about to be fired up. People were arriving by car or popping off their boats to shake hands and say hello. There was definitely an atmosphere of ‘carnival’ in the air.
It wasn’t long before we set off on the first run of the day. Instantly, it became apparent just how ‘snug’ it is in the marina at Windermere. Once we’d made our way through a couple of tight gaps the marina’s other idiosyncrasy also became clear, the very shallow water in the entrance channel – it was reading 0.2 metres below the props – gulp! Fortunately, half way down the channel it starts to get deeper and by the time we were level with the ferry there was plenty of water.
As we headed towards the southern end of the lake, chatting away about the boat and life in general, it started to make perfect sense to me why folk love to have a boat like the SC42 on the lake. Yes, I know the speed limit is only 10 knots but you really don’t need to go fast to enjoy your boat. We were actually bimbling along at 6 knots and it was fabulous. The sun was streaming into the boat, it was warm but with a gentle breeze to stop it becoming stifling, all around us people were enjoying being on the water and if we hadn’t got a number of other bookings that day I’d have been happy to carry on until sunset.
Just then I noticed a group of boats rafted up in the bay, right in front of a beautiful house. These guys really know how to use their boats properly. There were people swimming (mad fools), people water-skiing, people sunbathing and every single one of them looked to be having a ball.
Needless to say, 5 o’clock soon came around and we tied up for the evening.
As we stepped ashore I could see the band getting ready to delight us with their guitar skills and vocal harmonies – well, perhaps not every member of the band would be in harmony…
It wasn’t long before our corner of the marina was buzzing. People appeared from everywhere. The band gave their best rendition of well-known classics like ‘I’m a believer’ and ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’, whilst the queue for the food snaked its way down the car park. Kids were dancing erratically to the music, in a way that only kids do and bottles of beer were being consumed at a comfortable rate – it was a wonderful spectacle and at the same time, a total justification for having a boat.
Eventually it came to an end, as all good things finally do. Folk started to drift off and the clearing up started.
What a day, what a day!
It would be hard to imagine Sunday being any better than Saturday but the slight drop in wind made manoeuvring in the marina that much easier and we had some younger Sealine fans come out on the water this time.
Richard Crocker, our Chief Naval Architect, is going to get an e-mail from the young man at the helm in the picture below, as he has some new boat designs that were created in his bedroom, which he thinks Richard just might be interested in; well, you never know…
Finally, the event was over for another year and we all headed home. Driving back, I couldn’t help smiling to myself as I remembered the look on that young lad’s face when I told him to come up to the helm and drive – I think all his birthdays arrived at precisely that moment.
I hope you enjoyed reading about this adventure in Windermere. Please feel free to comment, either by clicking in the comments box or by clicking on the speech bubble by the heading on each post – it would be great to hear your thoughts and especially great to hear about your own adventures.
Don’t forget you can also find me on Twitter @Rich3591
Make sure you don’t miss my next big adventure when I hand over the first SC42 into North America. Andy Colman and his lovely family have decided to keep their ‘new addition’ on Lake Charlevoix in Michigan.
This has been another Captain Corbett’s Adventure. If I’m not on Jersey teaching a private tuition Day Skipper theory or Yachtmaster theory course, then I’m either spending time with someone on their boat, giving them the confidence to take their boat out with their family and friends on board or I’m off somewhere exotic delivering a boat. Either way, I’ll write it up and put it on the Blog for you all to see, so keep popping back to see my most recent adventures.