Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Explorer at sea!

Last month I finally got my Explorer back on the water. I bought her when I was getting an operation on my wrist, 2 years ago now. I think I was trying to persuade myself that the operation would be successful ...  it wasn't and she's only been on the water twice up until now which is extremely frustrating.

The local club were paddling from Cullen and I took the opportunity to get my boat back on the water as this was going to be a shortish paddle. As it turned out I did manage it - but I certainly couldn't have paddled any further (which is why I've paddled in the double since then). I was in a lot of pain the next day - but was also grinning hugely all day which mitigated the pain a bit!!

The highlight was definitely Bow Fiddle rock, just outside Portknockie. It was calm enough to paddle right through.

Some people took more adventurous routes through the rocks than others ...
(There is a paddler in the photo, but you might need to click on it to enlarge it to spot him!)

The evening sun lit up the rocks beautifully.

Big grin despite the pain!

Returning to Cullen in the evening light was lovely, with the railway bridges clearly visible. I think the line is now disused. It was part of the North of Scotland Railway. The local landowner, the Earl of Seafield, was a director of the Highland Railway (presumably a rival company, I don't know my railway history!) so he refused to allow the line to cross his land. Because of this around 1/4 of a mile of track has 3 viaducts and a bridge to carry it to Cullen.

As we loaded the kayaks and got changed after the paddle, we enjoyed the sunset.

It was *so* good to be out on the sea again, and in my own boat too.

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