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canoeing, kayaking and other adventures

canoeing and kayaking adventures born in the Southeastern U.S. and now centered in Scotland...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Aborted Awe Weekender - River Tay at Stanley - 14/6/2008-15/6/2008

Derek organised the EKC River Awe weekender and got everything right except the finicky power company not supplying the water. Camping in Oban was lovely -- I'm not sure it ever got really dark. Sadly, we arrived a day late for Amy and tequila, but not too late for Amy in the campground antics. We had a big fire on the barbecue that night.

The River Tay at Stanley became the new paddling venue. At low water, it was almost like seeing a whole new river.

Brian didn't have such a good day. He didn't take to the Inazone 240 so well and got really freaked out. He swapped for my Kendo, which helped. Sort of. While others played and jumped off the rock near Campsie Linn, we spent some time paddling around the less swift current and practicing skills like ferrygliding.

Though he could have bailed, Brian decided to go ahead with running the river. We rafted through the broken weir along with Derek and Kieran. Brian did well navigating the next few rapids mostly following me, though I could tell he was in survival mode.

The first big bend in the river after Stanley saw him in the drink, which took away the confidence he was building. He had no real difficulties with any rapids that followed and he did take some of the harder lines, like the one straight through the hole rather than around it. His nerves and I decided that rafting the last rapids would be good and it was. As a makeshift barge, we blew through the biggest waves with barely a totter.

Though I am sad that my reservations about introducing Brian to Stanley were confirmed, I think he will have another go at it in a few months after some practice on other rivers.

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