Kayaks, kings and castles

Heading for the southern tip of Walney in the hope of a surf on the wave that forms early on in the ebb over the groyne at Haws Point, we passed the familiar bulk of the ruined castle on Piel Island. It is a place with an interesting history and more than a few strange traditions, overseen by the King of Piel himself. 
Whether it is upheld still I don't know, but certainly it was once the case that anyone who sat in a particular oak chair within the Ship Inn - the landlord and King being one and the same - was from that time on, considered a Knight of Piel. 
And with the title came responsibilities. Namely and rather predictably, to buy everyone a drink. But a Knight of Piel must also smoke only in moderation, be an ardent lover and be of good character. In return, a Knight's status accords the individual the right to free lodging in the event of being shipwrecked. Of the latter there seemed little likelihood and unsure that any of the group could faithfully fulfill all of the criteria, we paddled on. Piel Island was also gifted to the people of Barrow as a memorial to those lost in WW1. 
Reminders of the area's naval connections are never far away here, though today they came closer than normal as we approached the point. In the event the breeze dropped away and being more from the east than the west anyway, even a reasonable spring tide failed to produce any noteworthy waves.
Instead, we spent much of the afternoon on the beach, making tea, eating cake. There are worse ways to spend a Sunday afternoon I guess. At least there could be no fear of recrimination for failing in our duties.

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