Sunday, 1 April 2012

Paddling Upstream

Packing up ready to go.

It was a nice day but a little bit breezy, so Davey and I headed for Loch Faskally, which is usually sheltered at some point due to its orientation. When we got there we met some nice people in kayaks who told us that it was very windy down by Pitlochry, so we decided to stay up near the Linn of Tummel and have a paddle up the flat section of the Garry. Leaving the kayak on the car, we set off up to the Linn for a nosy then paddled slowly up the Garry till the current defeated us just downstream of the road bridge. However, there were people being very silly and bungee jumping off the bridge, which was amusing to watch for a while.

Just below the road bridge on the Garry.

Crazy people on bunjee ropes.

We then set about lining the boat up the fast bit until it was nice and flat again. The gorge above here was very pretty with interesting rock formations, hanging ivy and the remains of at least two bridges.

In the Garry gorge.

Finally though we were stopped by this small but powerful rapid:

So we headed downstream much quicker than we had paddled up! On the way back Davey coached me on solo paddling. We got back to the car and Davey got his kayak of the roof so that I could have a go by myself in the canoe.
Now, a word of caution: if you're a kayaker, learn to high brace properly. A number of years ago on a rather high lower Etive I did a very dodgy high brace on my left side, ripped a tendon in my shoulder and it never really healed properly. A few months later I did the same thing on the other side on the Orchy. Since then I have drilled myself in proper high brace and low brace technique and the only time I've come close to hurting my shoulder was bracing off a rock (bad idea).
Nowadays my shoulders don't bother me too much apart from the fact that I can't perform J stroke for more than about five minutes without lots of pain. So Davey has decided to teach me solo using the Goon stroke! It's not as efficient, but I can now get going and paddle around a bit on my own which is nice.

Gooning along.

Davey demonstrating using the kiddie paddle.

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