Jamie – First Timer Story

High Borrans 2017

468,000……The number of minutes I was looking forward to coming along with TCC to the Lakes since booking up just after becoming a member. And whilst on numbers it was probably 20 times I heard from my wife Nicola “will you stop going on about that bloody weekend”.

So here goes, sharing the experience of my first High Borrans Trip.

Friday afternoon’s drive across the Pennines from Whitley Bay via Gateshead, to pick up a fellow paddler was easy if not a little noisy. Twenty three year old Landrovers are not built for speed or comfort but are brilliant for carrying the huge amounts of kit that I’ve amassed in the year I’ve been paddling. (Note to self…..don’t let Nicola see this as she thinks I’ve only borrowed it all!).

However we made sure there was space left for the liquid refreshments we were advised to not forget through welcomed emails from John and Andrea in the lead up to the trip.

You’ll hear from others that the food at High Borrans is great and they’re right too, so I won’t add anything further other than to say it’s a good job the meals are up to it as paddling for four or so hours a day leaves you famished.

Friday night was fun as was Saturday although for some, including me it was an earlier night as the toll of paddling and the alcohol took effect. Saturday night involved a quiz and for someone who normally turns about foot when entering a pub with a quiz night on it was surprisingly entertaining. I now know what the Warren Commission was and what a papal conclave does, but as I’m unlikely to be in quiz for another year I doubt this enlightening will serve me as well as the paddling skills learnt over the weekend.

And on that point; the paddling on rivers Lune, Leven and Kent, all three I’d never been on before was superb, frightening at times and wet too having swam a couple of times but thoroughly exhilarating and the reason I’m sure why many come year after year.The social aspect of this sport both in the Library/bar afterwards but more so on the water with huge amounts of supportive coaching was invaluable for a relative newbie like me. The mickey taking over a beer afterwards sharing the experiences of the day is a high-point too.

If asked what was the one thing you’ll remember for years, easy……the flip-chart on Friday night 😀 As someone who’s bit of a people watcher the intricacies of putting your name next to a group for the weekends paddling was fascinating and hilarious in equal measure. You certainly get a snapshot of all personality types from tentative to full on Braveheart and in my case how beer can have an effect on what you plump for!
And if you’re reading this before heading off for your first trip and you’ve not paddled much then your choice should probably be Ronnie minus one at least. And for clarity Ronnie’s a great paddling buddy but a huge adrenaline junkie.

I’ll stop now as writing this has made me all melancholic and in need of a paddling fix.

And so as I started this rambling with a number I’ll end on a similar theme……..900, which is as you will all have guessed is the number of seconds it took me to pay my deposit for the 2018 trip online after the date was announced!

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