Just had to take this shot. Didn’t even know it was there until I stepped into the cafe next to the boarding pier for a quick cup of tea during one of our dog walks around Bowness-upon-Windermere. It was a grey Tuesday with poor light, and I hadn’t expected to find much to photograph,
I collected my tea from the counter and turned to set it down at my favourite table: the one facing Lake Windermere. There, framed in the gap within the less-than-attractive scaffold’s lattice was the the Lake District’s newest and finest passenger ferry – the MV (Merchant Vessel) Swift, full of happy passengers and waiting to depart.
Bowness is the largest lakeside town within the Lake District National Park and the major departure point for the passenger ferries that shuttle up and down the nearly eleven miles of England’s largest lake.
After being formally handed over to Winander Leisure Limited by Damen Shipyards Gorinchem BV earlier in October 2020, the new vessel, operated by Windermere Lake Cruises Limited, carried her first passengers on Sunday October 25.
When I first saw the Swift, It looked old-fashioned, almost like an American river boat from the 1960s movies. But that look is deceptive. The ‘spacious riverboat’ is a correct perception. The vessel seats 300 people. But the interior is modern and digitally equipped with heated windows, electric doors and windows, toilets, USB and electrical sockets.
The major innovation is the shallowness of the Swift’s ‘draught’. This will allow the boat to call at some of the smaller ferry points on the lake; something that dramatically widens the commercial scope of the new vessel. The existing large ferries are retricted to Bowness, Lakeside (for Newby Bridge) and Waterhead (for Ambleside)
I haven’t sailed on the Swift, yet, but May’s ‘Circle, Water+Cross’ workshop offers us an excellent opportunity to employ it for one of our ‘mystical journeys’ across this most special body of water.
Further information on the May workshop can be found under the events page at http://www.the silent eye.co.uk)
©Stephen Tanham 2023
Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye, a journey through the forest of personality to the dawn of Being.
http://www.thesilenteye.co.uk and http://www.suningemini.blog
An impressive looking vessel, Steve. Such a long time since I was by Windermere. Such a beautiful lake.
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I’m looking forward to my trip on her, Michael. Should make a decent blog! Thank you 😀
Look forward to reading it, Steve.
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