Curious twists of fate found a medical director on Coniston Water for a birthday bash with a difference.
Former consultant surgeon at Furness General Hospital, George Nasmyth bid £100 to spend a day with a lake ranger in a charity auction.
Taking the controls of a national park patrol boat was a complete turn-around from his role at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay and brought memories flooding back.
He said helping to preserve the beautiful heritage that is the Lake District was behind his bid for a day with a difference.
But the experience was a timely reminder of how and why his lifelong passion for England's biggest national park had been forged.
Mr Nasmyth, of Urswick, in Low Furness, explained: "I owe it all to a Barrow man, Gordon Fallows, who went on to become parish priest in Coventry, where my parents lived. He introduced them to the Lake District and they, in turn, introduced me.
"By the time I was 20, I had walked most of the principal fells and counted myself very fortunate to be able to spend my working life so close to such beauty. Gordon went on to become chaplain to the Queen and later Bishop of Sheffield.
"I bid in a charity auction to spend a day with a ranger. It was a great day, wonderfully supported by the national park team, and just happened to be my birthday."
He was joined by his wife, Lalik, formerly a lecturer at Furness College, manager of the Alzheimer's Society in Kendal, and currently Vice Chair of Cumbria Council for Voluntary Service.
Park management ranger, Sara Spicer, said offering a day with lake volunteers was a great way of giving people an insight into crucial work and supporting good causes into the bargain.
She explained: "There's so much more to this than being out on a stunning lake in beautiful surroundings.
"Our volunteer crew members provide an invaluable service across the board, from checking our properties to litter picking and giving important advice to lake users.
"We were delighted the Nasmyths could join them for the day."