Thursday, 21 November 2013

Splashing around on Skye

Still dry, but not for long
Another week, another island, another SCA gathering.
Although it was the end of September, it was the start of our summer holidays! This time we were heading up to Skye for the development weekend. We had booked into our usual B & B - Otter's Lodge run by paddlers and comes complete with a dryroom - Brill!
Beginning the balances
Dave cooling down
Hubby dear with 4 other ladies!!!
15 of us met up on Saturday morning in Armadale, where we all jumped in our boats above the tide line! Gordon and Dave had us going through our paces, getting kit out of our hatches whilst in our boats. Makes you realise that you need to be careful what goes in your hatches first, leaving the important things til last, thus being at the top - like sweeties!
We then headed out into the water. It was a lovely sunny day with flat calm waters which was probably just as well as we were going to get wet, very wet!
We started off with a roll resulting in some rescues as well, then carried on with scoop rescues, before doing lots more balancing things, resulting in getting wetter (well for some of us!). Lunch was all the way to half way up the bay! We hadn't paddled very far, in fact I think it's the shortest trip I've ever done!
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Marion getting a lift
After lunch, we paired up with "bigger folk" to practise rescuing someone larger than yourselves. Lots of very useful hints and tips all along.
Next there were great discussions on how to empty a swamped cockpit and hatch which resulted in us all having a go at this, then onto sharing boats, sitting/standing on the backs before attempting to get back in your boat feet first on your back, shimmying in before falling out again (not too successful at that one!)

Captain going down with his boat?
Having a wee lie down
Anyone watching must have wondered what we were all doing. A bunch of adults having the time of their lives - playing! Considering this was such a short paddle, it was an exhausting one which left more than it's fair share of massive bruises!
That night a get together had been organised, meeting in Creelers restaurant, before heading over to the bar to rehydrate.
The Soay group heading off

Perfectly clear waters

Next morning we were meeting in glorious sunshine at Elgol. I felt I was going to be a boil in the bag in my drysuit. Some of the group opted for a paddle over to Soay, whilst Alice, Ansgar, Marion, Alice, Kirsty, Roddy, Me n He headed round the south of the peninsular to find the Spar cave via the small islands at the bottom where some of us spotted an otter sploshing around.

Lunch ledge

Alice making a quick getaway!

We all managed to squeeze onto a wee ledge for lunch, a lovely sunny spot.
We did eventually find the cave, not the easiest to find, thought they might have had a sign outside!
It was worth the clamber up the steep drippy wet rocks which looked like they should be slimy, but did thankfully give a good grip.
Spar entrance

Going up

Me n He

Ansgar in the dip pool

 Arriving back into Elgol was a bit of a race as the Soay group were trying to beat us back, we won!
Another fantastic weekend, bit jiggered. We got home at 11.00pm to hang up our kit and finish putting things together to be at the airport at 4am  the next morning. Needless to say, I managed to snooze most of the way to America.
If that seagull thinks it's getting my icecream!!!!!

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