Saturday, 15 February 2014

You've got to be in it to win it!

Way back before Christmas I entered a competition to win a kayak. All you had to do was like  Scottish Kayak and Paddles facebook page - so I did!

Christmas day was the day the competition closed. You can imagine my surprise when I received a message to say I had won the Pyranha Burn 3, not just any Burn, but one in limited edition 2014 colours! I got to choose which one I liked and opted for the Avenger.
Today was the big day for going along to Scottish Kayak and Paddles in Stirling to collect my new wee toy!
And for those who wonder whether I'm going to sell it or not, the answer is quite simple - no I'm not! I'm going to have great fun in it and once I'm finished with it, there are another 2 wee folks waiting to take it over!
The Kayakey Kid tries it for size

With room for Wee Miss

A huge thanks once again to Scottish Kayak and Paddles. To say I'm fair chuffed with my prize is an understatement!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

When doing nothing never happens!

A clutter of canoes!
The big weekend for the MWE OC had finally arrived. The thought of a paddle free weekend was something I was really looking forward to. Whilst Hubby dear was sitting his assessment, I planned to spend the day doing absolutely nothing!
Well, that would be after doing the usual exciting things such as washing, ironing, paying invoices, putting in orders for work, oh I could hardly wait!
So when word came through that more mock students were needed and Hubby dear had put my name down, in my excitement,  I soon forgot about my day off doing nothing!

Keeking up to the bottom of The Soldier's Leap
Graeme looking pleased his first session is over!
The assessor, Claire, the three assesses and the 4 students all met up in Killiecrankie at 9.30 on the Sunday morning to paddle the Garry. I've never paddled this part of the Garry before, just walked down the side. The extremely long humph down the hill to the water also passed as our warm up, for once I was sweltering!
Concentrating going round in circles!

We put on the water just below The Soldiers Leap where Graeme started off his session with a really good lesson on inside and outside turns using the current to help us. His second lesson was ferry gliding, another good lesson. After lunch we carried on down the river a bit using the ferry gliding to jump from one side to the other with a few pirouettes thrown in for good measure.
Our third session was just passed the bungee bridge and came from Nick. His theme was going to be breaking in and out the eddies. However after giving us a demo, he decided the eddy wasn't defined enough to carry on with that plan. Off he toddled for a wee look at the other side of the river before coming back to say he'd changed his mind. Then came the words I was dreading, we're going to do poling instead! Aargh - me, poling, Argosy! they don't go together particularly well! However Claire allowed me to use her boat instead, it was a bit wider and more stable and in the end I really enjoyed another lesson and had a good laugh to boot!
Lunch time, we haven't come far!

Grabbing eddies

Hubby dear was coaching the other group of mock students, who carried on talking about their lesson the rest of the way down the river - surely a good sign!
After that it was a nice wee paddle down the rest of the river with the sun brightly bouncing off the water.

Back at the car, the results were in. 3 well deserved passes, well done guys.
This is the second time I've been a mock student for a MWE OC and I have to say if you get the chance of this, it's well worth it. You're helping the guys sit their assessment, you get free coaching, but best of all, it's another great day out.
So with Hubby dear's assessment out of the way, does this mean a bit of a breather for me? Oh no! We're only part way through his AWE Sea trial sessions, I've still got lots more Soggy Scenarios to get through!

Monday, 3 February 2014

A tiring Tay.

Another early, cold, wet morning to do what else but go paddling!
Practising on the wee big river
  This week it was only Me n He out, so we needed to somewhere to park and play. Back up to our old haunt, Burnmouth on the Tay.
Hubby dear was still practising for his MWE, this week he was concentrating on ferry gliding. We got ourselves kitted up, then for the shuttle to the waters edge, all of about 3feet. There was hardly any bank, the river was really high, much higher than the Tay descent, that meant it had flattened a lot of the bumpy stuff, on the other hand, it was flowing really fast with all the chutes up at the Linn in full tilt along with the wee big river flowing in at the side. The wall where we often go up to play beside had disappeared.
Across to the island
First challenge was paddling upstream. I had gone a couple of yards and was well jiggered! Hubby dear came to the rescue and pulled me up the first bit, after that it was OK. On to ferry gliding on the wee big river with my personal tuition, back, forward, try this, try that, back, forward. After a few goes, I was now really jiggered. Up the Tay a bit further, then repeating it all across the bigger, wider, faster flow across and back from the island. The problem with the flow being so fast and strong, when your angle was a bit off, it meant swooshing in the wrong direction rapidly, which I seemed to have my fair share of!
Catching the waves
Next in for a wee play on the waves with what little energy I didn't have left before crossing back over to the car.
It was next morning, when I could hardly move it occurred to me, we hadn't really paddled downstream, all upstream, no wonder I was jiggered!
Rinsing the kit!
Having said that, it was still good fun and the weather had changed while we were on the river to glorious sunshine!