Midsummer Cruise - Kielder Water - June 21st - 22nd 2003

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Eight boats assembled at Kielder Water Sailing Club, near the Scottish border in Northumberland, for some or all of the week-end of June 21st and 22nd. The winds were undemanding but adequate and the weather dry so a full week-end of sailing was enjoyed by helms and crews of all ages and degrees of experience.

Leaving the clubhouse at Tower Knowe in a westerly force 2, an initial beat up the Whickhope inlet provided a view of the Yacht club moorings before heading out into the open lake.

A steady beat took us to Leaplish (Northumbria Waters main centre for tourism) in time for lunch. Here the sailing contingent were joined by a shore party to enjoy a picnic. Stuart Evans demonstrated that this was really very routine for a toddler by going to sleep for most of the beat, but woke up once the barbeque was under way.

After lunch a reach across the central part of the lake started well but encountered an area of calm near to the scout camp at Hawkhirst. Those who struggled through this found good winds on the other side and continued west to the top dam at Bakethin. They then had a pleasant run back to Tower Knowe where the rest of the group had continued to enjoy the breeze on the eastern stretch of the lake.

As evening approached the wind dropped and the midges rose, so those who could escaped to the local hostelry - The Pheasant Inn. Here we enjoyed a good meal with excellent company.

First impressions on waking on Sunday were not good mist and low cloud, no wind with just a trace of drizzle. How the midges would enjoy this! Thankfully these conditions did not persist and by the time everyone was ready to launch we again had a force 2, but this time an easterly off the dam. A steady run the whole length of the lake allowed those who had not explored the western end on Saturday to go to Bakethin, and a slight freshening of the wind provided a lively beat back down the western leg, while those who had already been there explored the Plashetts inlet. The lake being very high at present, it was possible to sail straight onto the grass for a picnic on top of the headland at Plashetts, with fine views across the lake.

After lunch a steady beat took us back to the sailing club at Tower Knowe. The rumour is that Markus Ayres (aged 6) had by then taken over the helm of 101. Those with very long journeys headed straight back while those less pressured by time explored the Belling an attractive inlet, but with the reputation of being easier to sail into than to sail out of!

KWSC made the Wanderers very welcome and will be happy to share the uncrowded waters, excellent scenery, comfortable club-house and the midges with Wanderers in the future.

Report - Ann Eakins                                All photos John Eakins

Those taking part:

101 Chris, Morwen and Markus Ayres
988 John & Ann Eakins
1076 Brian & James Gabbett
1104 John & James Matthews
1161 Dave & Margaret Spensley
1319 Gillian Carey & Tom & Friends
1391 Janet & Mike Brenton
1438 Mark & Stuart Evans and Dave Drewery

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