Low, Low, Low, Lower Findhorn

Nice wee dash down the Lower Findhorn with Matt, Stewart, Victoria and Titch (plus a few intermittent others from ICC).

Really low, but it was the only water about…so much so, that half of the paddlers in Scotland seemed to be there and the car park was choc-a-block!

Randolph’s Leap was low, but four of us ran it and it went reasonably smoothly. Tripple Steps was a nice level, although a group there doing 5 Star Leader assessment (i.e. inspection over-kill) slowed our pace down and split our group for a while. Once the route was clear, our tail-end-Charlies headed down, with Titch pulling off a fairly awesome roll at the mid-point.

Oh, and talking of Tripple Steps, while I was taking pics of the middle step, one of 5 Star group (possibly an assessor actually) knicked my boat without asking to chase after one of their own boats after a swim – not cool, not cool at all – if it was a swmmer, fair enough, but a boat set loose due to poor safety cover is another thing (and it would just have got stuck in an eddy given the level was so low).

Anyhow, after getting over that minor irritation, we trooped down to Cork Screw. Again, low, but the left line went nicely enough. Matt did half of it backwards, I did half of it without my paddle after jamming it in a rock and John, who joined us momentarilty from the other ICC group, showed us all what a clear line looks like.

A nice few bimbly rapids later, Matt decided to run The Slot, while the rest of us portaged. One day I’ll give it a shot for sure, but didn’t look that nice today…I was more comfortable taking a photo!

After the torturous get-out, a quick change and then off to Logie Steading for coffee and cake; aaaaah, a perfect end to a day on the water!!

Lower Findhorn – An t-Uisge Eireann (Iosal)

Chasing water today, albeit virtually, not physically, thanks to Where’s the Water; the only drop about was on the Lower Findhorn.

Despite the sun and surprising warmth for a January day, down in the gorge it was freezing – literally!

Matt, Robert and me ran Randolph’s Leap, which turned out to be a wee bit pushier than expected, while Jo and Caz joined us just below. The river was a good level today, with all features running and not too many rocks on show. Some good waves too for fun and frolicks on the way down!

Highlight of the day had to be the ‘prawn crackers’, otherwise known as bizzare frozen circles of foam in an eddy just below the get-in. Not quite sure how they were formed, but they made excellent frisbies! Thanks to Matt for the photos…

A Sunny Scrape down the Lower Findhorn, in November?!

As you may have guessed from the post title, today’s Sunday paddle was a quick trip down the Lower Findhorn.

Rather than the cold (almost frozen) water, bitter wind and low temperatures that characterises the Findhorn at this time of year, it was sunny, the air was reasonably warm and the water was well above freezing; what’s going on?!

It’s December next week…I think someone forgot to tell the Gods!

Anyhow, not much to report, other than I ran Randolph’s in full for the first time in AGES, although I did screw up the run-in and ended up reversing out (not a good look); oh, and lest I forgot, Paul, Mick and Caz had a bit of a comedy pile-up on Corkscrew!

In short, Paul flipped and got stuck on a rock. Mick came over the drop and landed on Paul. Mick then flipped upstream and failed to roll. Then came Caz over the top to join the party, also flipping and getting momentarily pinned, before then joining the other two on their way down the river…

The rest of us could only watch from the bottom of the rapid, at first not knowing whether to chuckle or run to the bank and help. Luckily, it became apparent fairly quickly that all was ok, so we just chuckled and collected the flotsam!

After regaining out composure, Matt and Robert decided to run The Slot. It actually looked a good level for having a go, but by that stage I was feeling a bit knackered and my confidence of not swimming left me fairly quickly…not one you want to swim on really…

Anyhow, really hoping to get down to Lochaber sometime soon to get down the Etive and perhaps the Roy…fingers crossed!