Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What a Start to our Paddling in Scotland

Thom here...

We headed south towards Oban today to start our scouting and hopefully our kayaking. The weather was cold (though not below freezing) with intermittent rain and occasional strong gusts of wind.

As we proceeded south scouting here and there, evaluating water access, training possibilities and general desirability of the paddling experience we crossed over the bridge under which run the Falls of Lora (sp). Jen couldn't contain herself and even though we are headed towards neap tide we happened (I think in retrospect she had this all planned) to be at full ebb tide. The falls were running strong (at least strong enough to intimidate Brian and myself).

Jen, on the other hand, was already half in her dry suit before we had parked to get a look at the scene. While we were getting dressed, she was already unstrapping the kayaks on the trailer and getting gear down to the water. She was well on her way up the coastline as we were still getting our foot pegs adjusted. Suffice to say she has a 'gung ho' style of coaching!

At the Falls one launches on the opposite side of the narrows, paddle up the eddy, then ferry across to the mongo tide race you have all seen in This is the Sea. I don't want to you think the Falls were going off as you saw in the flick, however, they certainly had me warmed up quickly and immediately confronting all my kayak fears. But once we had all crossed over (Jen had been on the opposite side playing for some time by then), Jen started her coaching, encouraging and coaxing us deeper and deeper into various waves and races. After an hour or so of playing, both Bryan and I became more adventurous and were rewarded with exciting rides and confidence.

Soon we grew physically tired and ferried back across the race, loaded the kayaks and went in to Oban, where we visited... what do you think??? A Chandlery (chart/map shop), a kayak shop, and, of course, the Oban Distillery (Brian's one demand for the trip).

I'll work on some picture processing tonight and hopefully get them posted tomorrow.

Regards - Thom

1 comment:

Lynn S said...

Love the descriptions. Can hardly wait for the pictures....sounds absolutely yummy and fun!!!!