Sunday, 30 May 2010

A Leisurely Day on Loch Linnhe

On our final day in Ardgour, we met up with Simon and Liz and their friend Kate - who is also taking her first steps in sea kayaking. Loch Linnhe was chosen for a short paddle in relative shelter; the views across the loch to the Glencoe hills and Beinn a'Bheithir were a bonus.

We set off down the loch at a leisurely pace. It was good to just be experiencing the simple pleasure of moving along the shoreline with no pre-determined goal.

The ebb was revealing skerries where we practised turns and paddle strokes. No formal instruction here; rather "try this and see what happens to the boat". Watching Kate and Dave relaxed and increasing in confidence added a lot to the day. As we were moving slowly, Common Seals came to investigate us at close quarters - another experience which we sometimes take for granted, but a novelty for Dave and Kate.

We stopped for lunch at a nicely situated beach inbetween rain showers. Out came various flasks and stoves for brews as well as a range of fruit, cakes and other treats. The advantage of a kayak for storage was clear!

With five different kayak models from four manufacturers in our small flotilla, there was a chance to try other boats. The P & H Cetus proved particularly popular with everyone who paddled it. Simon and Liz have done a big trip in Ceti, and really rate them as expedition boats. Dave was very enthusiastic about it's stability and comfort and I really enjoyed a short paddle in it. Very manoeuvrable for an expedition boat, and I felt that it edged very well.

All too soon we returned to the cars and started packing up; our ways home were fairly widely separated. It had been a really pleasant paddle, made all the better by the obvious enjoyment of our two new sea-kayakers.

The last paddle for me for quite a while as I'm now at work for several months, and this was a great way to round off.

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