Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wild Bore Hunt #3. Thwarted by the Sludge

In a final act of adventure the pre-christmas wild bore hunt took us to Glasson Dock at the mouth of the River Lune. At last we caught sight of real pig meat. Bacon baps were devoured from the 'Lantern o'er Lune' cafe in preparation for our 'Tour de Lancaster'.

'The Lancaster Round' is a lengthy day paddling trip that combines the rising waters of the Lune Estuary with the stillness of the Lancaster Canal. It took us around an hour an a half to reach Lancaster where the waterfront has undergone some splendid re-generation. Many of the original buildings from Lancaster's bustling past as a trading port remain. The wonky house with leveled windows is one that has survived in spite of some merciless subsidence.

Unless there is an unusually high spring tide it is necessary to portage Skerton Weir in order to reach the Lune Aqueduct and the Lancaster Canal less than 500 metres further upstream.

The Canal runs 19 metres above the river. It was only once a couple of kayaks has been carried up the bank to the canal we saw that the canal had been drained for maintenance. All that remained of our inland route back to Glasson was an 18th century trough full of mud.
Thwarted by the sludge, we beat a hasty return back down the Lune Eustuary to some spectacular sunset scenes.............

Wild Bore Hunt #2. Take aim .............. mist!

The intrepid bore hunters stirred from their slumber to find the Leven Estuary blanketed in thick fog. Undeterred, the hunters hurried their kayaks to the advancing waters edge in readiness for the search for Chapel Island.

Technical minds, knowledgeable experts and a doctor from Yorkshire were summoned. They consulted their books, orientated maps, and pointed .... and following an undetermined amount of time paddling on a varied bearing the island was found much where it was last time.

Chapel Island was explored thoroughly but sadly no boar were to be found. As the mist lifted the hunters fled north with the flood in search of a place for rest and nourishment. Coffee and cakes were dispatched with yaffle and glee.
The only blot on the landscape of fulfillment was a sweltering, greasy, pungent bowl of 'Bovril and kebab floater' soup. A retreat on the ebbing estuarine waters followed soon afterwards for fear of reprisals.

Wild Bore Hunt Day 1 - The Slightly Irritated Piglet

The elusive and notoriously fickle wild bore of Arnside haunts the shores of the Kent Estuary, in the northwest corner of Morecambe Bay. A muffled roar is often heard as the wave approaches. Small animals scatter for cover and birds take to the air. Shortly afterwards patient members of the local paddling community experience the ride of their lives, or monumental disappointment.

We paddled some way out towards the retirement capital of the south lakes coast. Grange-over-Sands has an elderly community which supports a number of doilie adorned cafes providing afternoon teas. Local residents are waited upon by the younger mini-skirt and low top clad generation, but the correlation with this 'generation gap' and an unusually high incidence heart attacks has yet to determined.

The water arrived late. Not so much a wild tidal bore but more a slightly irritated piglet. we rode the surge of rising water back to Arnside and consoled ourselves with some surfing beneath the railway viaduct.

Having failed to catch any wild boar we continued on up the estuary and into the tributary River Bela where we were tempted by some Reindeer maturing in a festive manner. Our final destination was Kate's house where we washed down a herd wild boar sausages and a mountain of mash with a good old glug of mulled plonk!