24 April 2008

Back on a river

24th March, 08

I had time back today. That means I’ve basically been working to many hours so I was owed enough to take the whole day off. It turned out that another person who’s a kayaker had the day off so we headed to river. The river in question was the Blackwater, which drains the Cairngorms and isn’t to far from Blairgowrie. A few words can be used to sum up the run: low, fun and annoying.


There just wasn’t really enough water to make the trip as good as the guidebook makes out. In between Milton Falls, the put-in, and Ashmore Gorge, somewhere near the end, there was a lot of scraping and rock bashing.

At the bottom of Milton Falls.


The aforementioned spots were good little sections of low-end grade 4. Each of the sections could be characterised by lots of small narrow drops in a contained gorge.

Somewhere in Ashmore Gorge.


I broke two items of kit on the run. One I’m not that fussed about as it’s just a hole in my Nookie deck so it can be repaired with Aquaseal and be as good as new. However the other one is the one which really annoys me. I split the hull of my Rocker. It’s a lovely straight, three-and-a-half inch gash somewhere around my right calf muscle. I’m hoping it can be welded. Add to this broken kit the dry suit that really needs to be sent away to Palm for repair I’ve got a fair bit of spending to do and a pile of kit that is slowly being worn away with use.

Anyway I’m back at work tomorrow for three days before I pack up for two days and head south for Cumbria and the inquest into everything that happened on New Years Eve. Hopefully that can all come to an end and some sort of closure can be found by everyone involved. I know it is easy to say such a thing, but in practice I am unsure as to whether that will be the case. As now, nearly three months after that horrible day, I still think, when heading to the river, of my Dad. I suppose kayaking is something that will help me to remember him by, but at the same time it brings his death to the forefront of my memory when it’s probably not the most fitting time to start thinking of such things when your about to enter such an environment like that of a river.

Good lines, stay safe and see you on the wet stuff...

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