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Crossing Water - Windermere

By Ashleylister @ashleylister
I have crossed the English Channel many times en route to events on the near continent, including a  memorable overnight crossing to Rotterdam on a visit to see my eldest brother's family who were living near Munich. On that occasion we journeyed in my brother-in-law's Range Rover to Austria for a skiing holiday in Kaprun. Although we had four young children with us, I managed to find a great bier hall with a dance floor. I was a very popular partner and danced away most evenings. Unfortunately, I was usually too tired to ski - I didn't really like the cold anyway.
One particularly enjoyable crossing was on Lake Lucerne to a small island called Landau - a space locked in time, with only horse-drawn carriages to transport you. I can thoroughly recommend the experience.
I grew up in a country pub and my parents had some great customers. Sidney Rhodes was an adventurer who raced Bugatti sports cars in his youth. He was also an industrialist who built the first fuel-injection plant in the UK. Sidney invested in his leisure time too, and was the proud owner of a cabin cruiser and a small Edwardian steamer, both kept on Lake Windermere.
I was lucky enough to be invited on several occasions to sail on the steamer 'Otto', a glorious boat, bedecked with copper steam kettles and beautiful decoration. Sidney's wife Ethel was a stickler and no trip on 'Otto' was complete without a huge amount of polishing, amply rewarded by a wonderful tea. At the time I probably didn't realize just how lucky I was. There were so few privately owned steamers on Windermere. It was almost like an Arthur Ransome story.
When Sidney died, Ethel donated 'Otto' to the Lake District Steamboat Museum where the boat remains and is on show to the public. I intend visiting soon to rekindle very happy childhood memories. Here is a link to the museum's web site: Windermere Boats

Crossing Water - Windermere

The elegant 'Otto'

“The klop, klop of water
under the bows
of a small boat will cure
most troubles in this world.”
Arthur Ransome Thanks for reading, Adele 
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