From The Golden Ball pub, Snatchems; up the river Lune through Lancaster to Skerton wier and back.
Me (Simon) and Lucy had been eying up this little adventure for months but had to wait for the tides, weather and personal plans to be in our favour. It was early March 2013 when we got the chance.
The tide was high so we rung ahead to the Golden Ball pub to confirm tide height, times and parking. It’s a pretty unique pub, when the tide is high enough you can’t leave or enter as the water line covers the access roads and even covers the seating in the pubs beer garden on some spring tides.
You wouldn’t think it but under that mass of water is the road home!
The plan was simple. Park at the pub, easy paddle up river with the tide to Skerton wier then an even easier paddle back to the pub with the river+tide. Well the paddle up river was far from easy. There was no push to speak of from the incoming tide and any push there may have been was easily counteracted by the pretty strong headwind. The first 3-4km up river was a bit of a struggle but interesting none the less.
We saw an otter but couldn’t get a photo because he was a little too far away. Paddling alongside old abandoned factories and into Lancaster quay it’s hard to believe large ships use to come with their spoils from all over the world, when it use to be a pretty serious port (check out the Lancaster maritime museum). Lucy slowed down under the millenium bridge to chat breifly with a photographer from the Lancaster guardian who took out photos (not sure if we made it into the paper but our images were on their web archive of photos the day after). Then we pretty much cruised up to Skerton.
Once we started to get close to Skerton wier we saw a heron, then another, then another. We’ve seen two herons in the same area before but here there must have been 5+.
The wier was pretty impressive
I had a little play at the bottom of the wier but didn’t get too involved, next time I plan to take a helmet and not hold back.
Once back at the Golden Ball pub car park we packed up the stand up paddle boards and then went in the pub for chips and a pint to finish a great paddle.
Will definitely do this one again but hopefully with more people.