Monday, 11 July 2011


There were several paddlers who didn't have much experience in surf (although they had a lot more than me!) - and certainly not in a sea kayak. Watching from the shore was certainly an eye opener - that's the first time I've seen a vertical sea kayak!! (Being Shaun, he just rolled straight back up. Well, he is a coach from Glenmore Lodge....  and funnily enough, I was to end up paddling in Arran less than a week later, led by a guide who had just been coached by him at Glenmore Lodge. Small world.)

The guys in the double started off well, closely watched by Alan, our coach.

Iain was another one who made it look very easy. He came in safely straight up the river, while all the drama was going on behind him...

 2 kayaks had capsized and Alan and Shaun were immediately to the rescue. Not that rescues in surf look at all easy as you have to watch not to have a kayak surfed straight into you! We're very lucky to have such experienced paddlers willing to paddle with us less experienced folk and pass on their skills and knowledge to us (and that's not just Alan and Shaun, but several others too that I'm referring to here) - and to fish us out when necessary...

I didn't take any photos for quite a while after this point, as I waited to make sure everyone was safe before taking any more photos! Ian returned at this point - having missed most of the fun - so at least we were able to help out by carrying gear up the beach, etc. I was really pleased that, despite my wrists and the morning's paddling, I was still able to help carry kayaks up the beach. A big improvement!

 Alan to the rescue

 Shaun heads back out to the rescue

 Paddlers safely ashore, much to the relief of the 'boys in blue' who came by to see that everything was ok! By that time, everyone was safely ashore and Alan was just back out trying to rescue all the remaining equipment.

Alan headed out again to rescue the final kayak in an impressive display of paddling skill.

At the end of the day everyone was safely ashore and the only losses were my suncream and hat and (if I'm remembering right) 2 pairs of sunglasses and another hat. Not bad really in the conditions! And a good time was had by all.

I think I might have to pluck up my courage and attend a couple of surf kayaking sessions though... not that I plan to be landing in that sort of surf (no way!) but on this exposed coastline it seems sensible to be prepared.

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