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|Ullswater – Fri Sat Sun 20/21/22 - Nikki Gill
It was inevitable that after discussing with Lesley the possibility of getting to Ullswater early on Friday evening on the chance that we might get some sailing in before dark, that I would be delayed somehow, and of course I was. I didn’t arrive at the Waterside site until 8.30pm. As I pulled up beside Stephen and Martins’ pitched tents I was greeted by an enthusiastic report by Lesley on an excellent evenings sail with good clean winds and some amount of chop on the water. I could see that they had all enjoyed themselves and was envious that I had not been able to get there early enough to join them. Stephen’s comment to Martin that “it may be the only wind we get all weekend” was to be pondered many times over the next day. I pitched my tent with some help from Martin. We then headed into Pooley Bridge for something to eat (and possibly drink too!) Of course we arrived at the Sun Inn too late to order bar meals so had to settle for a drink and a packet of crisps! After some more drinks back at the campsite and some ‘interesting’ and fun discussions everyone turned in, unaware that Jacki had also arrived but was unable to find us. So she had pitched her tent away from the main group and was all on her lonesome, ……Oh no! (Surprised you didn’t hear us though!)
During the night our tents were battered by some strong winds, but the morning brought with it a silent stillness that was to last the whole day. We had breakfast (cooked by Stephen) and Jacki found us at last. We waited to see if there was any chance that the wind would come…….it didn’t! There were some spots of rain but the sun fought its way through and the day brightened. So after showers etc we donned our shorts and set off towards Barton fell for a short walk over to Howtown (‘we’ being, Martin, his sister, Josh, Lesley, Stephen, Jacki and me!). The plan was to enjoy some lunch there before a short ride on the steamer back to Pooley Bridge. The walk provided some striking views of Ullswater with it’s glassy water reflecting it’s picturesque surroundings as clearly as a mirror – demonstrating to us that we had made the right decision not to wait for the wind. The only vessels on the lake that were moving were those powered by motor, even the small dinghies appeared becalmed. In true Lake District style there was the odd shower as we walked, but on the approach to Howtown, the clouds cleared and the sun turned up it’s rays. We were looking forward to some cool refreshment and a bite to eat. However the welcome in the bar at the Howntown Hotel was not so warm. The bar tender’s begrudging answers to enquiries about menus, and the stark choice of pork, beef or cheese sandwich, left us feeling that it would be far from enjoyable to eat there! So we changed our plans again to return to Pooley Bridge for lunch. As we boarded the small ferry, Lisa sent a text letting us know they had arrived at the camp. We slowly motored towards Pooley Bridge there was not enough wind to even lift the flag on the rear of the ferry, but by now the sky was brilliant blue and the day was glorious. We met Ian and Lisa in the village and went to The Crown for some lunch.
On return to the campsite were met by Steve Grey who came up for the day. We must have been an hilarious sight as we picked up Jacki’s tent on the way (upegged the ground and fly sheets, a person on each corner of the ground sheet, we didn’t need to take it down) Carl had arrived and was pitching his tent. We spent the afternoon at the campsite where we all lazed, snoozed, read papers, chatted, had fun paddling about on the boards, swimming, enjoying the sunshine, and drinking tea! (After waiting an hour for the kettle to boil!!!).Lesley left for home then as she had work to do, ugh! Hope you had a productive day Lesley?! Ally arrived at tea time and as we were getting the barb-b-que ready. And of course later we visited the local pubs again. When we returned to the campsite we had more discussions, more drinking and lots more laughs until the wee small hours! When some of us turned in and others……stayed up a bit longer and played games!
Sunday morning brought the real Lake District rain, it belted the tents and to make matters worse brought thunder and lightning too. Some of us were more hungover than others and the rain waking us early didn’t help. Carl cooked breakfast and Lisa and Jacki decided to call it a day, and left for home. Shortly afterwards Dave D arrived. I pondered for a while as the wind appeared to be arriving too but then made the decision to leave and with help from everyone packed up my oversized tent, which had provided much needed shelter from the morning rain, and the gear which had not been used all weekend. Stephen, Martin, and Dave rigged up and went out. Ally and Carl were still unsure whether it would be worth it.
Just before I left, I went to the waters edge with Ally and Carl to see how everyone was doing…….typically the wind was blowing enough for them to be having some fun, Carl and Ally started rigging straight away and I was wishing I hadn’t just packed up………….
I think everyone would agree that, despite the lack of wind and the heavy rain this morning, we had a great time. I certainly did. It was great to get to know everyone better, we had some good weather on Saturday, plenty of laughs and loads of fun.
Thanks for making it a great weekend everyone!
|Sexy Seaton - 20th June 2003 - Gavin Duthie
Epic is probably not the word I would use for today, more like refreshingly different, yes I know that's two words, but there you go. This is the second time I've sailed Seaton and I have to say I've been pleasantly surprised on both occasions. The first time there was with a slight swell running, and fairly overcast skies. Yesterday was the opposite, with flat flat water and patches of brilliant sunshine. What also impressed was the clarity of the water. The bay is really quite shallow, and the sandy bottom could be seen all the way accross on a some of the blistering reaches we were doing. It reminded me alot of Budle Bay on a smaller scale. I suspect on a really low tide, you might just be able to stand on some of the rocky reefs below. Anyway Ray, Steve S myself and Rich sailed with an appearance by Andy and the sprog. Six five was the order of the day, with them being slightly overpowerd at times. What with the speed and flat water this was deffinatly a day for long fast powered up gybing, it really was a nice change to get back on some flatish water, and leave behind the bone rattling, knee crunching chop of Hadston. A superb venue worth the extra mile from Hadston. A word of caution though, there are numerous posts and pointy objects sticking up in the dunes and by the path where monofilm has no chance. I manged to spear my 6.5 on a one at the end of the sesh. Thanks to Ray for providing the mylar repair tape.
|Report From Ladyburn. Wed 18 June - Nikki Gill
I arrived at about 5.45pm to find Lisa and Jacki rigging up and Ian, Tim and someone I don't know (sorry!) on the water, actually they were 'in' the water. The wind was evidently quite strong but very gusty and I was actually glad I only have a little sail! Martin H, Stephen, Paul B, and Jayne arrived very soon after me. As we were rigging it was apparent that Ian was struggling with his 7.5 sail and was being blown towards the visitor centre no boat this week! so Lisa drove round to the visitor centre car park to retrieve him and his gear. Paul, Martin and Stephen gave us 'girls' some very welcome advice and help with rigging and headed for the water. Martin soon returned reporting that the wind was too much for his 6.6 sail and rigged a smaller one. By this time Lisa, Jacki and I were getting quite apprehensive about the strength of the wind, and speculated about ending up in the same place as Ian!! As it was by the time I got to the water I only had about 15 minutes in wind strong enough for me to feel that I may not be able to cope! My main problem was the weed, I had to actually take my dagger board out at one point to remove the horrible stuff. There was enough wind for some to get planing at times but the wind dropped some what after a while and Paul gave in. Martin said he'd wished he'd stuck with his bigger sail and very patiently (as usual) gave me some useful advice about how to get going with my one and only very little sail. Fr the rest of the evening the wind was very 'up and down' (don't think that's a technical term but it's the best I can do!)Stephen and Tim went out again as the wind seemed to pick up towards the end. It was an evening of some fun, some frustration found the wind quite difficult to read at times, and I don't know if that's my inexperience or just the conditions. Jacki, Jayne and Lisa found the same. Many thanks to Stephen who took the time to make sure everyone got back to the launch site safely, it's much appreciated. (You may even be forgiven for your (and Paul's) comments about girls, chicks, birds...etc...maybe..! Gavin called in on his way back from Hadston and gave some helpful advice too and Fiona, a new member, came down to watch us and meet some of the club members. Don't know how the others would describe tonight I wouldn't put it in the category of 'good fun' but was enjoyable at times and it was valuable to me in terms of practice, it's always good to get extra advice and tips. Also the evening demonstrated the importance of sailing with people who are willing to help you out (by driving or sailing to your rescue) when you get into a spot of bother! so thanks again guys!
|Horrendous Hadston on Wednesday 18 June - Tony Champion
Gavin, Geoff and I met at about 4.45. It was windy. 5m was the choice but Geoff didn’t have that luxury and rigged a 5.7. It was pure survival sailing. In the gusts 4m would have been plenty but the wind was full of small but very deep holes so that just as you reached terminal velocity in a gust you would hit the lull, the sail would backwind and flap in your face and then snatch into full power again. Geoff, on his big Techno, inevitably struggled and ended up way down wind before sensibly walking home and giving up. Gavin on a 105L board reckoned even that was too big for the conditions and changed down to 4.2m sail hoping to gain a bit more control. I was on 86L so did not have that particular problem and lazily stuck with the 5m and when Gavin relaunched with the little sail had one really high speed blast back in getting air off the front of the waves before the inevitable backwinding, failure to waterstart because someone had switched the fan off and a 100yd swim home. Gavin wobbled thankfully in some 5 minutes later. It was not fun and perhaps a little dangerous but someone had to do it.
Geoff, you left your shades in the car park. I have rescued them.
|Beadnell Sat/Sun 14/15 June - Ross Ketteridge
Great Celebration Weekend
The good news - most of the guests turned up, it was sunny and hot, and we had two great parties. The bad news - the wind did not bother turning up.
A small fleet of longboards cruised around a high tide Beadnell Bay on Saturday afternoon, but frankly they were going very slowly indeed. That evening, the celebrations began (of Andy's stag night and Steve C and Barnesy's birthdays) with a barbeque in the dunes that was later transformed into a raging fire around which we, a dozen or so, sat and drank beers and told tall tales, until 1am.
At this point the sensible ones transferred to tent (Ray), caravan (Carl) and camper vans (John C, Andy, Donna and Ross), the marginally sensible ones to their cars (myself and Tim) and the crazy surf dudes to their sleeping bags, on the ground, under the stars. This latter group included Barnesy and Kelly, Corrine, Paul's step brother, Gavin, Alex and Tony L
Sunday dawned very early, windless and headachy, which was how it continued, apart from the early bit. We walked along a beach with a tide as low as it ever gets and examined the various reefs, pondering how many times our fins may have just missed decapitation on the sharp rocks.
The Amos clan arrived at 11.oo and set up a seriously impressive barbeque that put last night's to shame. There must have been sixty or seventy people there. When I left at 4.30 it was still in full swing and the excellent food continued to be cooked on the production line of three simultaneous barbeques that had been set up on trestle tables. Happy birthday, Peter, and many thanks for all the effort and all the superb food. Especially those bacon-wrapped bananas that I rather pigged-out on.
Meanwhile the longboarders floated around in a very light breeze that never threatened to blow at any point. Still, lack of sailing notwithstanding, it was a lovely weekend to be in a great place like Beadnell and we had great fun.
|Hadston Two Hour Hot Late Blast: Thu 12 June. - Ross Ketteridge
As I flew back into Newcastle this afternoon after a week working away, from my window seat I got a stunning view of a beautiful blue, white capped, sunny North Sea. One and a half hours later (at 5.30pm) I was at the same beach, Hadston, rigged up (6.3m and 95lt) and ready to go. Also there was Gavin, Tony C and Andy, similarly equipped.
What a fantastic two hour session we all had. Fully powered in a warm (20 degrees) steady cross off shore wind, the sea was flat apart from the usual corrugated chop that threatened at times to shake your eyes from their sockets. The lobster pot lines were less intrusive than last weekend, by far. The wind built a bit towards the end of the session, making for some screaming drag racing. The tide was fast falling to the point that the kelp started to stroke your fin (at 30mph, not a pleasant feeling) so we limited ourselves to the short time described before anything spoilt the thoroughly great fun that we all had.
|Hadston Wednesday 11 June - Tony Champion
1.30pm and there were four of us on the water: Ray, Barnsey, Tom and myself. Gusty variable SW wind, flat water 7m+ sails, high tide.
Addiction to windsurfing comes in many guises but probably the most common manifestation is a loss of concentration and a tendency to glance out of the office windows at the frantically waving trees, wheeling gulls, blowing litter etc, a tickling at the nape of the neck when you wake to the sound of the wind howling in the eaves and grumpy abusive behavior to loved ones when there is no wind. I think we have a new recruit to the fraternity.
I am pleased to announce that on June 11 2003 Tom not only planed for the first time but also pulled off his first water start. Your outlook on life has just changed, Tom.
As for the rest of us, I can’t say we had an epic day because the wind was not ideal and we probably rigged too big. On the other hand we did not spend much time wobbling about in the lulls. There was a great deal of tail walking in the force 5 gusts and some very high speed locked in blasting but how do you bear away to gybe when only the bottom 20cm of a 40cm fin is in the water? Fortunately the wind was so gusty it was usually possible to slash round in the 30yd glassy patches between the 100yd stretches of white cap and spray.
Gavin turned up at about 3pm and rigged a 6.5m. What a wimp. Where is the gorilla Gavin of yesteryear? To be fair he was going pretty well on it but by 4pm the wind was dropping off. Of course this is when everybody else turned up. Pardon me if I miss anybody but by then my brain was pretty well scrambled by overdose. I remember seeing Geoff, Andrew, Dennis and Mika on the water. Dennis and Mika on flashy new boards I believe. Andy certainly was there and Richard at about 5pm when I crawled into the car and drove home.
|Ladyburn Wednesday 11 June - Nikki Gill
As I pulled into Ladyburn car park at about 6pm I noticed in my rear view mirror that Jayne and Lesley were behind me, perfect timing!!! A convoy of women soon to invade the water (look out boys female membership is growing steadily!!! We must be up to at least six!) Ian, Martin H and Tim were already out on the water and there was apparently some wind! Very soon after that Kevin H had joined us, which was lucky because being women we were bound to need some help with something! And of course we did! Paul B popped into the lake on his way back from Hadston and gave some very welcome help and advice to those of us who needed it, (mainly me!). Once on the water we had some good moments with some reasonable wind. It was a good chance to pratice some of the basics (which some of us are having more trouble with than others!). We must have had an hour of sailing in a glorious evening sunshine that still felt warm even as it started to go down. Tim and Ian headed back to the car park first, followed by Kevin. Jayne and I were both feeling aprehensive about getting upwind and back to the car park (apparently with good reason!) Once we were opposite the car park on the other side of the lake the wind dropped completely, Lesley sailed back without problem, I needed Martin's guidance and tutoring to get anywhere at all, and Jayne was completely becalmed without a daggerboard! Luckily Jayne has good connections! She got a 'lift' back in the sailng club's safety boat, and I too hitched a ride for the last few metres!How embarrassing! Two things I take from this experience, 1. I need a bigger sail! 2. It pays to have friends with connections! Lesley didn't need any tutoring on the water she was more than capable.I can't, however, say the same about her technique in strapping the board to the roof! (Won't say anymore than that Lesley as I promised I wouldn't tell, but thanks for the entertainment!) Thank you very much Martin for your patience once again and thanks Ian for hanging around (I noticed you didn't leave until you were sure we were ok).I can't speak for everyone, but even with the problems with the lack of wind at the end I really enjoyed my first 'evening' sail.
Late addition from Ian
Myself and Martin arrived to find Richard and Tom had called in for a look and to tell us how good the sailing on the sea was for Gavin Barnsey etc. The picnicking pensioners had stories of the youngsters in the dinghies going like little speedboats across the water. We set up and got out about 5:30 with Allan from Washington,Kevin H and Tim who was road testing Richards 125 L Techno (which he did suprisingly well for only his 5th time on the water). Right on cue at 6 p.m, the strong gusts which had us stretching for the foot straps had disappeared. Although the best, cleanest, strongest wind was always down by the visitors centre as usual. Jayne and Nikki arrived and sailed past 8:30 with Martin and others, maybe due to the decreasing wind. Optimism had kept us out waiting for more, but in the end the car park called us in so we could pack up before the 9 p.m. curfew when the gate is locked.
As a means to get hours on the water, the lake has the advantage of a decent size and many many varied sailing conditions on one stretch of clean water. As well as the swans, I saw an otter as I was uphauling. I dropped the sail and watched as it swam by. I guess it is a permanent resident because as Leslie sailed by, it never bothered to dive under water. It was obviously comfortable around surfers and dingies. I wonder how this little critter would react to the angling club if their application to use the lake is approved Fishing line and hooks left in the water, and an army of blokes catapulting maggots into our drinking/dunking water – YUK!
Oops, I’ve just fallen off my soap box. Cheers Ian.
|Costa Del Hadston - Ross Ketteridge
Saturday 07 June.
It was surprising that there were only five out at Hadston today, as it was a lovely day. Actually, there were a few at Ladyburn when I called there for a while before getting to Hadston. At that point, before midday, Ladyburn Lake was being painted with nice dark streaks from the somewhat gusty force 4 that was blowing from the south west.
When I later arrived at Hadston, the same wind was stronger and cleaner, as expected, and blowing cross offshore in direction. Paul G was already rigged up, his trusty 8m Heckler looking like it might be a bit too large, but then “8m Heckler” is Paul’s middle name so he was obliged to sail on it, really. As I debated between rigging a 9m or a 7.1m, I opted for the cautious approach, as white caps were intermittently visible, way out to sea. The wind was already up and down so I took out the wide board too.
As I got to the water’s edge, of course, the wind dropped. As had the tide, which caused some concern whenever my long fin dragged through a bed of kelp, even quite a long way out. Once clear of these, some good planing runs followed, but there were some even worse obstacles to come than a bit of kelp.
The area about 200m from the beach was full of lobster pots. Some were of the single buoy and rope variety, but there was one (extremely hazardous and extremely ignorantly and selfishly placed – and probably extremely illegal) that consisted of an unmarked rope of more than 150m, strung between two marked anchors, made even more dangerous by the floating wooden crates that were strung along its length. Needless to say I hit it at full speed more than once (not realising its length until after the second violent catapult). My board’s nose escaped impact, only just. [note to Barnesy – Paul, if you would look into this issue of the half-witted lobster pot owners, as you suggested, I’d appreciate it]
As the title suggests it was hot and sunny all day and the water was flat. But the wind was disappointing. It never really came back to a more consistent level than giving us some sustained gusts for blasts of 100 to 200m, interspersed by long lulls. Bobbing around with me for some 4 or 5 hours was Paul G, John C (on his new “floater” – a 105lt JP!), Ashley Mooney, who it was great to see out after a long absence, and Carl.
As a footnote, Barnesy spent the day with Kelly on Kielder (paddling in a Canadian canoe), and faced some difficulties in the force 5 westerly that was blasting across the lake. As Homer would say, “Doh!”
|Hadstonopopopolis - Friday 6th June 2003 - Gavin Duthie
[or if you want] Costa Del Druridge /
Summer finally arrived in the NE today. Perfect sailing was to be had from 3.30pm onwards today, with initially Barnsey, Andy and myself enjoying perfect cross shore F4/5 hot southerly winds, in a nigh on cloudless sky. Not only that, but the wind direction had fetched up some nice clean 3-4ft rolling ramps, which were not too close together and were coming almost straight at you for some easy air time. We couldn't quite believe how good it was. Later we were joined in our windsurfing fantasy land, by Martin D, Tony C [had a bad hair day, as he timed his short stay with the only lull in the day] Jeff, Martin H, Stephen and a new member [sorry I don't know your name] who came along to chat and watch, after getting VERY disgruntled with Ladyburn. If I've missed anyone off, sorry. We sailed onto about 6.00pm, and reluctantly had to pack in , as bye then we were getting very tired. Even whilst packing up the wind continued to blow, along with temperatures which still topped 20+. A fantastic session [it might be the best of the year so far, although Tony C would disagree], who needs to go to Greece or Spain when you get weather like this. ~ GD