Monday, May 26, 2008

The bonnie banks

Yesterday I had my second ever kayaking trip out on actual open water (the first one was a couple of months back on a river called the Orchy, where we went down the relatively easy lower section [it was a beginners trip], but I neglected to blog about it.) The plan had originally been to get on a river and see some white water, but due to safety constraints we ended up on the rather more sedate waters of Loch Lomond. The trip was also my first time driving the GUSA minibus since taking the test at the end of last year. During my test I managed to stall the bus a considerable number of times and getting going yesterday was a similar experience with multiple stalls just reversing out of the parking space. After getting out on the open road I did improve and the stalls became far rarer as I gained a bit more control and experience of the clutch (although when they did happen it was generally only when I had a police car sitting behind me!)

The kayaking was enjoyable and we just paddled round the Loch for a few hours, stopping off for lunch on a beach, and generally enjoying the nice weather. It was occasionally a bit gusty and choppy out in the middle of the loch, but for the most part it was warm and calm. It wasn't the most taxing or exciting of paddles, but was still good experience of being out in a boat for an extended period. I ended up in the water a couple of times: the first time after my boat filled up with water and sank when we were playing a game involving two people swapping kayaks; and the second after I capsized when practising a high brace and couldn't manage to roll myself upright (this was just after I'd purposely done a roll and managed it fine.) The water was pretty chilly, but was bearable for a shortish period. I just have to live down the fact that I swam on flat water!

Next weekend we'll be out on another trip with me driving again - this time camping for the entire weekend and going on a river (the Etive). I expect I'll be in the water far more when there.