Lake Steamers criss-cross the lake, and are timed to connect with buses and trains:
At the beginning of Swallows and Amazons they saw A long steamship (which was) one of the steamships that ran from end to end of the lake two or three times a day, calling on the way at the little town a mile higher up the lake than Holly Howe, and at one or two landing stages .... after calling at Rio, the steamers ran directly to the foot of the lake, stopping only sometimes to put a passenger ashore at a jetty or to pick one up if he was signalling that he wanted to come aboard. The steamer track ran close beside the island .... (SA3).
At the end of the book, the Swallows are passed by one of the big lake steamers, crowded with passengers. The news about Captain Flint’s recovered box had run all over Rio, and up and down the lake. The passengers cheer and wave at the Swallows, and the steamer dips her ensign. John is embarrased and turns very red, saying How horrible (SA21)
Titty and Roger see Amazon approaching, then A big lake steamer hid her for a minute (PP2).
The Ds plan to avoid the steamer pier at the head of the lake (PM16).
The Ds are passed by a big steamer, her decks crowded with passengers, going on her way from Rio to the foot of the lake. Dick decided she will pass easily ahead of them but forgets her big wash, and Scarab is thrown all ways at once, though the passengers are still waving handkerchiefs at them. Dorothea says bitterly They think we’re doing it for fun (PM20).
If Mary did not get to the pier before it (the steamer) she would miss her bus (PM23).
The wooden boat pier was strangely out of the water .... No Rain said Nancy (PP1).