A Chilly Lower Findhorn

So, this morning I checked Where’s the Water; dry across the country!

Only thing for it was to headfor the Lower Findhorn to catch the only drops about…it’s always a good paddle though…

When we arrived, the sun had only just started shining into the gorge, and with frost of the ground (first this year), it was a mite chilly. Made me glad to have my new Sweet Rocker, without dount the warmest helmet on the market these days!

After a false start below Randolph’s, where Jo decided to test the water temperature, we headed off (upright) down the river. It was low, but not as much of a scrape as SEPA’s guages suggested.

After a good bit of messing about and setting the world to rights with our water-based chat, we arrived at Tripple Steps. Dave Y and me decided just to read and run; nice for a change, while Jo and Paul got out to check the lines. We hung about at the bottom in case we needed to collect swimmers…

Jo and Paul both had good lines down the first step, but Jo managed to catch an edge on the middle step and ended up rolling up into a rock, which was bad luck, and pulled the deck…the water was still cold apparently!

Next, onto Corkscrew. This rapid was really pretty boney today. The right line would land you on a rock, the centre line would land you on a couple of rock and, to get the left line, you had to get over a couple of rocks; some choice!

I decided to go first and trid the river left line. Nice wee ferry glide across the top of the feature, however thinking I’d had to bump over a wee rooster tail, I put on too much pressure, missed an eddy and ended up running the entire thing backwards (no point turning on Corkscre as you’ll just get pinned). Dave Y did much the same with the river left line, albeit upside down!

Paul decided to go for the middle line and dropped the first bit with style, only to get pinned sideways on a semi-submerged rock. This resulted in a roll, an ice cream headache and a bimble to the finish line. Jo, perhaps having the most sense, took the best line; portage!

After walking round The Slot, which looked fairly knarly given the low levels, we had a nice peaceful paddle out of the gorge and into the (by now) warm sunlight. A wee play on the last feature, then the long walk out – or in my case, a 1km jog to get the car…

All topped off with a nice coffee and cake at Logie Steading…posh kayaking, huh?!

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