Sunday, 28 September 2014


At the beginning of August I should have been starting a new chapter in my life. I was retiring - and looking forward to it. Unfortunately, the day I retired, my Mum was taken in to hospital, very unexpected and sadly did not recover. She always instilled in the family to live life to the full, which she herself had certainly done. She was a very independent lady and was still digging her own garden right up until the day before. I'd just like to say a big thank you to my "Paddling Pals" for putting up with me telling endless stories about adventures we had had as a family, I guess that's just my way of coping!
At the put in
 One of my first paddles afterwards was an evening trip in the open canoe, up to the Kelpies in Falkirk. The problem with this stretch of canal is there are so many locks, which means so many portages, not my favourite past time! Having got through all the football traffic, Rangers was playing Falkirk, we put in at the top of Bankside, further up was where most of the locks were, and had a gentle meander down the canal. After having paddled the Union canal, I was pleasantly surprised at how clean and clear the water was on the Forth and Clyde canal. The brambles were just hanging, ready to be scoffed - so we did!
Feathery lock master
The first lock we came to had a feathery guard, a swan. When Hubby dear and I did the Glasgow to Edinburgh canal challenge a few years back, it was always held at nesting time (they must have seen sense and changed it). I can remember quite vividly the sound of a swan chasing us from behind, it's wings filling most of the width of the canal, I've always been a bit wary of them since! I'm glad to say, this one couldn't care less about us.
Approaching the Kelpies

It was only at the next lock, that the water started to get a bit "scummy" from the boats engines. We carried on down to the Kelpies, getting a magnificent view of them, they truly are a wonderful sight. We hauled the canoes out and had a good look around. It was lovely and peaceful (unlike when I took the Kayakey Kid to see them during school holidays). With the sun now going down, the Kelpies were glowing red.
Coffee time

After out coffee stop, we headed back up the canal, now in the dark. Thankfully we had had masses, or at least I had had masses of brambles on the way down. It was now so dark, I couldn't see anything. The A9 bridge we paddled under was all lit up in electric blue. We eventually made it back to the put in at about 10pm.

It was a lovely peaceful paddle, just what I needed.

Monday, 22 September 2014

July jollies

Following on with my montage of paddling, I’m now on July.
This should have been a fairly quiet start to the month paddling wise for me as I had been abandoned. Hubby dear was off for a wee jaunt round St Kilda – without me!!!
So what does an abandoned paddler do? Why go paddling of course! Tuesday evening was a loch session, Wednesday evening a sea session, Thursday was a beginners trip for LSKC out under the bridges, round and back again.
Dried my kit on Friday!

At the put in, Pitlochry
Saturday I had a lovely OC trip down the Lower Tummel from Pitlochry down to Ballinluig with Kirkcaldy Kayaker.  It was great getting 1 to 1 coaching, lots of ferry / reverse ferry gliding, setting and surfing and all in roasting sunshine, finished off with a large ice cream – yum!
Stand up paddle surfing

A St Kilda puffin
Hubby dear came home that evening complete with a puffin for me!
CWW waiting for high tide?
Simon going off the wall


CWW's turn
Next morning, we were off to Stanley for a wee play in the river boats. It’s a while since I’ve been out in the river boats, still it was good being out even if I was a bit wary as to whether the old roll was going to act up or not. A wee try at the beginning of the day worked well, whereas a wee try at the bottom of Thistlebrig worked, but not with such “flair!”
Taily time

Bow stalling

  Stanley one day, Bass rock the next!

Later in the month we had a lovely evening trip out past Inchcolm, on to Oxcars, then across to Inchmickery, where we sat drifting and watching the Puffins for a while – I can never get enough of Puffins!

The month was finished off with a lovely evening trip out from Kinghorn - we really have had some cracking weather this summer!
Extreme dressing, Young Trevor looking for a dunking or just being a boil in the bag?

Lots of sea urchins and starfish

Heading back to Kinghorn


Wednesday, 10 September 2014

June jaunts


Setting off from Seacliff
The problem with spending so much time out paddling (could there really be such a problem?) is that this page goes a bit to pot! That's where my problem comes into it, I use this page a bit like a log book to remind myself where I've been, what I've been doing and who with! So with all that in mind I'm doing a mass June paddle excluding 2 club nights per week.
It was that big!
A few Gannets
Passing the Pulpit
After coming home from Islay, our next wee outing was to Seacliff with LSKC for a short paddle out and round the Bass. On the way out, some of us had the opportunity to have a play with North Berwick lifeboat, allowing them the chance to practise rescuing paddlers from their boats. We finished off the day with a wee surf playtime before heading onto the beach for a BBQ.
Mike looking smug at the mayhem he caused Hubby dear (in the background!)
Happy to have survived
The next week it was time for a wee trip up to St Andrews as the surf report was looking great. We arrived to find 2" "waves". The swell kind of picked up for a short spell, well long enough for me to catch the wave of the day, which was a reasonable size - big enough to trash one of the fins on my boat!
More Wheeeeee!
Next day was another trip with LSKC. This time we were taking our OCs over to Loch Lomond.
Leaving Balmaha

The wee blue sweetie bags makes another appearance
Ice cream stop at Luss
Looking up the loch
Nick looking a bit worried, that thing really zoomed!
Getting some wind assistance
  As it was, we were the only two with OC's, the rest being in seakayaks. Why is it any time I have an OC out on Loch Lomond it seems to be blowing a hooley? This day was no exception! The good thing about tying the boats back on the car that day was that we were ready for our trip the next day.
Checking out the Linn of Tummel
This day was with FCAG and their family fun day held up at Loch Faskally. The sun managed to disappear most of the day, but a good time was still had by all who attended with trips down the loch, others running the Tummel and another group playing on the Garry dodging the bungee jumpers overhead!
Hard work all this paddling

The final weekend in June saw me leading a group along the coast to Lower Largo with FSKC. The weather going out to Elie was beautiful, but started picking up on our return which was fine as it helped to blow us back home.
Cave keeking

Checking out the chain walk

Passing East Vows

Looking out to a far away Bass Rock from the other side