Sunday, 1 April 2012

Alumni on a scrapey North Esk

Alumni weekend! This meant that there were five alumni and three students on the river, and since once you graduate you seem to automatically get worse at paddling (everyone says so), there was some swimming and portaging and none of it from the students! Hmmmm.
Anyway, the river was very, very low but still doable. Jamie discovered a large hole in his boat early on and Davey realised he'd forgotten his inhaler. So far the alumni weren't doing very well.

Rocks were the theme of the day.

Boat emptying. There was a lot of this!

We trundled down and there were a couple of portages and a swim at a rapid we decided was called "Big rock". The next excitement came at Shotgun where all the Alumni except me portaged. The top drop was mildly mean but the rest was really easy.

Boofing just below Shotgun.

Not far below a sneaky little bendy whirly holey bit capsized Kirsty and I almost ploughed into her, backpaddled, flipped in the hole and went for a dip. The water was surprisingly warm for March! Davey portaged witches step whilst Kirsty and I got back in on a very helpful shingle beach and slid down the fall... into a rock. Ouch. But all was ok and we paddled on down to Rocks of Solitude.

Who ate all the pies?

Davey decided to call it a day due to feeling nervous about an asthma attack and switched boats with Jamie so that there was less sinkage. The alumni put boats on shoulders and portaged happily, while the students bashed on down with no drama.

Rocks of Solitude.

We all met up at the bottom and paddled down through little rapids and gorges to Fishladder Falls.

Small drop in the gorge below RoS.

After a quick inspection by some of us, Kirsty and Rowan portaged and Jamie and I paddled down with the students who of course were not afraid of anything.

Fishladder Falls from above, during inspection.

Fishladder Falls from below, after paddling down.

We floated on down through the gorge to the take out at Gannochy bridge where Davey had managed to beat us to the end!

Kayak convoy down the dual carriageway.

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