Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Big Bash

Looking down under the Ballachulish bridge
From our room with a view
Perfect paddling conditions? No, the car park!
Ever since joining LSKC, we have been told we should attend their annual Big Bash up at Ballachulish, seems it is a really good weekend away. The thought of a couple of days paddling, meals included, comfy bed and a shindig at night sounded good, so we signed up.
Good Scottish paddling weather!

For our first days paddling, a day with Seakayak Freedom was arranged for the Falls of Lora. My previous memories of paddling this area was when we were doing the 4* training, specifically being towed by Hubby dear and another paddler in a V tow. Normally this would be lovely, sitting back enjoying the view, however, they had other ideas, paddling on either side of a large dry rock!
This time, Tony took us out. The large dry rock was on the other side of the bridge and safely submerged! We were doing lots of breaking in and out of the flow, giving it a bit more edge before heading over to the north channel, doing the same again in the opposite direction. Helped to unwind us.
Dry run edging!
Mark and Laura grabbing a breather

This was where things went downhill/downstream for me. Having been getting good edges on one side, I went in this time a bit hesitant (why, I still don't know!) and unsurprisingly ended up going over. Unsurprisingly, whilst still in the swirly area my roll failed. I'm saying unsurprisingly as my river boat roll is OK, unfortunately my sea roll went AWOL quite some time ago now!!!, however I have some tips from Tony I'm hoping will miraculously make it return! Something which did surprise me was my damp pants! My wee swim was obviously too much for my beloved drysuit!

Back in the boat, we finished off a fantastic, if not exhausting days paddling, before heading back to the hotel in time for the evening ceilidh.
On Oban slipway

Heading up the Sound of Kerrera
Looking over to a snowy Mull
 Next morning, Alice had organised a trip down to Oban to go round Kerrera. A lovely refreshing paddle with some bouncy waves round the north of the island. Lunch on the south of the island was accompanied by a sunny hail shower.
Coming round the south corner


Not a boat to play chicken with!
  For those of you who commented on the contents of my now famous wee blue sweetie bag containing sweets of various vintages, stickiness and saltiness, the bag has now been cleaned and replenished with new ones where you won't have to sook the wrappers off!
A few new sweets!
The only major incident of the day was not getting back to Oban before the ice cream shop shut! A whole weekend with no ice cream but a great Big Bash!


  1. Fabulous pics, Sarah. The image with the reflection in the still water of snow-capped mountain, kayaks, and cars is stunning! Duncan.

  2. Thanks Duncan,
    It really is a stunning area, where we had all types of weather possible!