When I arrived on Friday afternoon the camper/caravans of those less challenged by the demands of employment already stood at the top of the broad grassy slope sweeping down to the water's edge. I just had time to rig my canoe and drift about in the warm sunshine with DaveT and MartinO before the 6.30 limit on sailing.
The lake is a managed water sports centre, with canoes, windsurfers and dinghies for hire as well as a slipway to launch one's own craft. A safety boat buzzes up and down. At one end, suitably buoyed off, there's a waterskiing area with a moving overhead wire from which handles dangle to pull the skiers along; hence few roaring speedboats and no intrusion upon our activities. The entrance gate is locked at 7.30 but WalterG had acquired a key. When Ann & KeithM arrived later they phoned Martin (on his mobile), who drove up to the entrance and let them in.
As the temperature fell, Lynne & JohnS invited us all into their warm trailer tent. A generous offer, as we numbered about 12. However, by keeping the heavier element over the wheels and only entrusting the more delicate to the strength of two 2mm split pins (apparently), we managed. As the sky darkened, the laughter grew louder and the jokes more dubious. No more need be said. The main disadvantage with this venue is the nighttime facility for campers. There is no camping site as such, the water sports centre with its clean toilets and washing facilities is shut from 7.30 pm until 8 am so if the need arises one has a good 5-minute walk to a toilet for the disabled, which is not signposted. The lights of a modern housing estate twinkle on the far side of the water beyond the trees and railway line.
Saturday was fun. I counted 20 canoes, a few of a distinctly unusual character. JohnW ('Banjo') had built his very shapely craft out of scaffolding battens in the strip-planking method and sported a jib