Wednesday, 15 January 2014

What I do for a bacon buttie!

Well, back from a lovely, warm, sunny holiday where in nearly three weeks we got about 10 drops of rain - if that many!, straight into paddling back in Scotland where it's been chucking it down most of the time we've been away!
The open canoe start
Somehow Hubby dear and I managed to be talked into helping with the safety on the Tay Descent. It's 2 years since we had taken part in the descent and I always remember it seemed a long trip.
I opted for being a sweeper (last paddler making sure there were no stragglers) behind the single kayaks, whilst Hubby dear was sweeping behind the sea kayaks. It's been a while since I had been in a kayak on the river and the Tay was looking quite big!
Standing in the middle of a field up at Dunkeld on a freezing morning (I'm still on Florida thermostat!), I'm wondering why I offered to do this, possibly for the bacon roll we were provided with!
We got on the water and ushered paddlers to the other side for the start. That alone was quite interesting, some were coming along to use it for a coaching session, some "out to win!" and some for a good old jolly.
Happy to be back on the river!
As a sweeper, I didn't really see those out to win, the gun went off and so did they! I followed a coached session down til they decided to stop for tea, sweets, lunch, coffee! I carried on making sure they realised they would get picked up by the following group of sea kayaks.
A bit further on and Iain passed us in his seakayak. A few words of encouragement (such as paddle faster!) were shouted (he did do very well in the end).
Iain out near the lead
You can always tell on the Tay Descent when a "bumpy" section is close by, lots of fluorescent safety around. The top of the Linn was no exception. By this time Hubby dear had caught up and over taken us. There were a few chutes on the Linn running with a chicken chute at the far end. The Tay is my "local" river and I opted for the first or main chute. It was big, but that's the one I'm used to running. Just below the drop, 2 safety paddlers made their move. Did my running commentary coming through the bumps, sometimes swooshed round backwards, sideyways and even forward! (it's very swirley here) make them think I was a rescue candidate? I wasn't giving them a chance!
Slightly further down, the beach was littered with all sorts of kayaks, canoes and paddlers, recovering from their refreshing swims.
It was a great days paddling. A lot faster than 2 years ago, but then there was masses more water this time.
After that it was off to the show in Perth with our free tshirts. A tshirt and bacon buttie - well worth it!

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