Sunday, 12 June 2016

How to destress my way!

Well, I have to say, it's absolutely ages since I have visited my blog! There have been various reasons for this, mainly, since retiring I have very little time to myself now!
The last few months have been a bit stressfull. Amongst other things we were wanting to do some alterations on our house, so set about getting an architect, well one that would actually do the work! Easier said than done. The plans were eventually drawn up and put in to the council, planning permission wasn't too bad to get, however getting a building warrant was a different ball game. Change of architect (the one that actually wanted the work!) eventually the warrant came through.
To keep sane during all this time, we found that locking the door, packing the car and going off paddling was the best destress we could get and as we seemed to have had more than our fair share of hassle, we have managed to probably have more than our fair share of paddling!
Since Orkney, I've managed to fit in my 4* OC training, not sure I'll ever be up to scratch for the assessment!
OC rescue practise

Next was a special paddle. I took the Kayakey Kid for his first sea "trip" in his own boat. He was delighted to be visited by a seal. 
A very happy Kayakey Kid
We've had a wonderful weekend paddling from Easdale, battling the currents, through the Corryvreckan, battling the wind, through the Cuan sounds, generally a bumpy, refreshing, but great time weekend!
The bridge over the Atlantic

It was an exhausting trip!

A weekend up on Skye doing rescue scenarios ended up with me only having half a set of spare splits - not happy! Tried to contact Celtic paddles to see if I could buy a replacement half, didn't even get a reply!
Me 'n' He having fun

Then there was the Scottish open canoe symposium up at Glenmore - more paddling up at Knockando, great weekend!
More OC rescues

More fun

Next we were up at Ratagan with the Lothian club, out round by Plockton, then a play down at Kylerhea. Another excellent weekend!

After the, we needed a wee warm up off in Florida. We did manage out in the Everglades for some paddling, however, there had been a lot of rain just before we arrived, as a result there were masses of hungry mozzies. We also managed to get a bit of diving down on the Keys with Turtles, Nurse shark, Barracuda, lots more. Fantastic holiday.

A couple of our paddling companions

Coming back from the lovely heat of Florida, we went straight up to be final sweepers for the Tay Descent. I have decided this is about the most soul destroying job of the Descent. We left after everyone, including the racers. We paddle the full course of 23 miles to make sure no one has been left behind or injured and never saw any other paddlers at all.
Glad to have finished!

It didn't seem long before we were now into the New Year which of course meant our New Year's day paddle. It was certainly breezy enough to blow away even the most stubborn of cobwebs, but good to be out again.
Our New Year's day jaunt
Out again on the 2nd, Inchcolm this time.

Still January, up at St Andrews this time where I managed to have a battle with a barnacle covered rock, the rock won!

February was pretty much taken up with our son's wedding, there are certain times even we don't go paddling!

Not a drysuit in sight! With No.3 Grandchild

In March we had a beautiful days paddling on Loch Lomond, stopped for lunch on Inchconnachan, spotted a Wallaby, then on to Luss for what else, but icecream!
Loch Lomond Wallaby

The following weekend was a SSKEG trip up on the Moray coast with Zoe. Big and bumpy conditions meant we couldn't get close in to the shoreline. Day 2 saw us having a great time with a surf session.

Into April with another SSKEG trip, our one this time, out to the May Isle, unfortunately a bit too early for the Puffins to have landed.

Rounding the May

Next weekend we had fun under the Forth Bridge playing in the faster flows with "An introduction to moving water" session.
Even more rescue practise!

The following weekend, we were back up at Ratagan, seeing the Leopard man's bothy, then stopping at Eilean Donan for icecream, where they thoughtfully put up a "wet floor" sign behind us!
Inside the Leopard man's bothy

Eilean Donan for ice cream

Still in April, we were up at Glenmore again for the CVC, this time I took up my river kayak and ended up on the middle Findhorn, then had a fabulous surf session the next day up at Sandend.

Time to warm up again, so off to Tenerife, no paddling, but we did get out diving, lots of Turtles and rays.

Me 'n' he again 

Going up!

So as you can see, we've had an extremely stressful few months! However, now that the building warrant has come through, the real stress begins! House has to be cleared again, quite how we have managed to fill it with so much junk already, I'll never know - we're never at home! At the end of May, the builders were starting. First off, walls were getting knocked down, so what did we do? We went paddling! This time to the Jersey seakayak symposium!

Tuesday, 19 January 2016


Great fun on the loch playing Jenga, last year during warmer weather!