A Christmas break in Lock Cottage, Exeter Canal turned into a considerable challenge for Helen and Mike Lord and teenage family from Preston.
They were very soon completely cut off from civilisation and the only way to get supplies was to borrow a canoe and cross the Exminster Marshes and paddle in zig zag fashion from the Swans Nest to the banks of the Exeter Canal.
So they hoisted the Union Jack, took compass bearings and became the first family ever to conquer the Exminster Marshes by canoe.
“We paddled down the road, found a gap in the hedge and headed for Lock Cottage,” said Joe Lord. “The swans were a little non-plussed!”