We went to Coniston for a paddle

May 4th, 2014

It was amazing! We went to Coniston for a paddle with Amber, Mum, me and Joe. I got up and popped my bikini on, tied my hair up and brushed my teeth, got all my stuff ready and we set off, with boats on the top and the gear in the boot. After about five minutes driving I realised I had forgotten my dry bag, so we had to go back and get it. We picked Joe up, loaded his boat onto the car and shoved his gear into the jam packed boot and continued with our journey. It took 1 hour and 41 minutes.

When we arrived we drove around looking for the carpark as the sat nav was wrong, but eventually we found it! After a long conversation about deciding to have lunch or not (at 10am!) we decided we would, and helped ourselves to sandwiches.

Once we had found the womens toilets we put our bags on our backs like turtles and walked the wet terrain. When we were changed we waddled back to the car…after seeing a woman take her dog into the toilet?? We could see that the boats weren’t on the car anymore and that Joe had taken them off and got them all ready for us to hop into and paddle away. So tha’ts exactly what we did.

Joe told us that the film Swallows and Amazons was filmed there and so we thought it would be good fun to go to the little island they camped on. On the way there we had races and surpise, surprise, Joe won. He also taught me how to spin my boat round whilst keeping my paddle in the exact same place. Once we got to the island we paddled around it, looking for the bay they used in the film. We soon found it and parked our boats up and climbed looking for the place they camped, but we couldn’t find it so we headed back out. We just paddled for a bit until we got to the other side of the lake. When we got there we all had a go using each others paddle. After we all got our own paddles back, Joe got me to hold the end of his boat and lower myself into the water turning my boat upside down then flicking my hips to turn the boat the right way round again (but I might have used my arms a bit as well) I managed to survive the freezing water.

Later Joe thought it would be funny to make me and him swap boats, so we parked up next to each other and got mummy and Amber to wedge us together, but Amber was no good because she kept on drifting away! After about 5 minutes we manged to swap boats without falling in. His boat was too long for me and he couldn’t fit his feet in my boat, so he decided to keep his feet out the boat, on the side, with his feet trailing in the water. So obviously he would want to be towed, so he clipped me to his boat and I pulled, but I did sharp turns (on purpose) to try and make him fall in, but it didn’t work. So I turned to plan B and paddled so that when I turned Amber would get caught in the rope, but instead she held on to it and I ended up pulling two boats back to where we got in. I didn’t make it though as my arms were getting tired and so Amber decided to get a lift off mummy.

As we arrived at where we got on, I laughed at Joe because of the way he was sat so he picked me up and chucked me in the lake. As I was dripping wet, I decided I would play in the water once I had taken off my spraydeck. Amber joined in as well and we found a big sloped rock and decided to try and run up it like it was a treadmill, every now and then we eventually made it up to the top, but it as harder than it sounds because it was covered in this green slimy stuff. We came out the water (eventually) and had tuna sandwiches. I ate mine in my boat and once I had finished my second dinner, Joe came along and pushed me further out into the lake so I had to paddle with my hand back to shore. But I misjudged how deep the water was where I was getting out and because all I had on was my wetsuit and BA I was absolutely freezing.

Mummy and Joe started skimming stones and me and Amber went to play in the water again. We finally decided to call it a day and we got changed into our dry clothes, packed up and loaded the boats. After a tiring day we drove home, me and Amber had a little nap on the way home, said goodbye to Joe and arrived home buzzing about our wonderful day!

Clara Fielding, Aged 12