Saturday, 18 September 2010

The River Garry

Friday the 17th September 2010 Dan and Myself headed across to Fort William on the West Coast of Scotland for our very first WWPF (West West Paddle Fest) where Kayakers from all over come to meat in the area of Fort William to paddle some of the surrounding rivers.

Saturday which is the first day of the event is Based on the river Garry.

This was described as a good grade 3 trip and was suitable for all abilities..
Was a great start to the day got to the shinty club where the event started from which was also at the bottom of the stretch we were paddling. Once arrived here and getting our bearings we found out that we can demo any of the boats that where at the event for free... so not missing out on this chance I jumped at it and took one of the new Burn Kayaks... A Medium white water boat but a stable boat.

Dan and myslef got al kitted up ready for the trip to the top but as we looked around we saw a lot of folk wearing their dry suits... as we stood there in our shorts we wondered what we were about to get ourselves into.
Never the Less we got the kayaks along to the buss and loaded up. The Bus took us about 2 miles up the road to the Dam on the river Garry where it dropped us off and we all hopped into our boats and set off.

At the dam there was a fairly powerful rapid enough to give you a wee taster of what the rest of the river had to offer... never the less we set off with some of the guys we had got speaking to on the bus and headed into this rapid to have a wee play and to warm up.

We swiftly moved on to our first decent just 100 meters down stream of the dam. We followed a few experienced guys who had paddled the Garry a few times down this first drop where I got a surprise as to just what I was getting myself into. Down this first drop... To the camera this doesn't look like a big deal but when you are in the boat and you are coming down this and your faced by a huge wall of white... all of a sudden the addrenaline starts to pump....
Down and through the stopper and the bottom... a piece of cake... so we carry on down the next wee stretch faced by a few rocks here and there then forced down the path into a standing wave... Fantastic wave to surf and play on. However the first time down we didn't stick around.

So again we head of down the next stretch over some high rapids then stop to look at this huge drop that lay before you.
Heaps of white water with Rocks sticking up here and there... a tricky bit of water as once you start on this wee stretch of white water your committed to the rollover and a, once again other huge stopper and the bottom... as you paddle down, we try to take the line to the right of the massive boulder in the water which the water is just rolling over but to watch you don't get caught in the stopper... I went down the first time straight into the stopper side ways.. it flipped me... tossed me... and then spat me out. Was lucky to have a few guys close by who helped save me and the Kayak before heading down to the next drop.

Emptied the Kayak shook off the freezing water then jumped back in.... carried on down to the final Hole in this stretch of the river. We paddled down the first 10 meters and paddle hard and quick to get into the eddie just to the left of the river to scout out and line your self up for the next drop into the next series of stopper waves... Head on down there with plenty momentum and crash through the stopper and its fine. Then chance to relax... job done...

First time down was a stomach churner... but the other 1... 2... 3... runs.... just fantastic.. easier each time and each time the sun got brighter and brighter... Turned into a Great day.

Fantastic experience and looking forward to giving the Garry an other shot some time hopefully in the not too distant future!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Could this be the start??

Tonight was... I feel... the start of something new....

Myself and Dan had planned to go for a wee paddle in the Don, just next to my parents house here in Kemnay. We thought it would be a good idea to introduce some of our friends to Kayaking and so we headed out with a few kayaks and the newbies to the clam piece of water next to the house... once we were there and getting ready to have a splash and let the newbies have a shot along came my dad.... Former Canoe instructor and founder of the Tweed Bank Canoe Club. :) I was well over the moon when I saw him coming with his Kayak as I have been hoping he would come out and show me how it's done since this new hobbie started.

And right enough he fell straight into the instructor roll and taught the new guys the basics and then once I got into the kayak I got a bit of one to one too :D was Fab. after having a wee paddle it was time for trying some bracing... and then some rolls... and of course Dad showed us all how it was done... It's been like 20 years since he was last in the kayak but he knew exactly what he was doing...... He still has it :P

After we had a shot at rolling it was time to get the newbies in the water again and show them what it was like to roll and we got them in the water rolling under the water and then helping them up just so they could get an idea of how it felt under the cold water and also how to get out of the Kayak if you can't roll back to the surface.

We had drawn a wee crowd by this point with my mum, sister and brother in law watching and a few other passer-bys It really was fab.. but after being in the cold water every one headed back to my parents house for a quick shower and a nice hot cup of hot coco. Its was really fab :D

I have a funny feeling... but could this... maybe... possibly..... be the very, very early days of Kemnay Canoe Club?

I don't know if it will be but only time will tell...

But having an other night like this will be for sure!

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

It's been a while...

So it has been a fair while since the last time I Posted...
But I am certain I am going to try harder and post more often. I had the excuse that I didn't have much to blog about Lately but recently there has been a lot happening. For Example it was Laura's 18th Just on Friday, Laura just got her exam results though the post and she got her grades to get into Uni. Not only did she pass her exams... she aced them!! :D But she got the grades to get into uni so she is starting her midwifery course on the 20th September. I'm sure that will be something else to blog about im sure :D I'm so proud of her :D

Also I have taken on a new hobby since I last posted a comment...

This is really all thanks to my Dad. As some of you may know my Dad started up the 'Tweed Bank Canoe Club' in the boarders of Scotland. In his younger days when he was a Canoe instructor he would paddle many rivers at the weekends teaching young people how it's done....

I never really had the chance to get into kayaking as we moved up to Kemnay just before I was born and since then just never really had the opportunity but in May this year (2010) I made a purchase of my first Kayak ... A 'Pirouette'.
One of my close friends Is also into Kayaking and has a bit more knowledge than myself when it comes to Kayaking but we are both new to this and we are loving our adventures and kayaking trips.

Like I said we are both new to this and and hoping for many many more trips but here is a few photos from our first proper trip on the River Dee.. Starting at Potarch Bridge down to Invercalichie At Banchory.

Like i Say I hope to post many more photos and stories about our trips.

Anyway for more photos on this trip please click here....

Thanks for Reading.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Cooking dinner

Well... I havn't had a lot to blogg about the past few days... but to day I had my day off and after a productive day getting caught up with jobs around the house and getting a hair cut I decided to make tea for me and my mother.

on the menu was.....

Beef olives with Lovely roasted tatties smothered in English mustard, Stuffing, Carrots and Yorkshire puddings...

Was a real treat! Here are some photos...

Wish you could smell it :)

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Yet again MORE SNOW!!!

Ok.... so this is just getting ridiculous.
Its been 3 weeks since the snow started and its never shifted yet!
Today at Jim Reid Vehicle Sales the agenda for the day was to move ALL the cars out of the yard as we had the diggers coming in to clear the whole yard....

here are photos from the day.....

This sounds like an easy day doesn't it.... but ill tell you it was no picnic!

First thing was to try and clear off the foot of snow that covered the cars, only problem was that the first layer of snow they fell on the 3rd of January was just a nice thick layer of thick ice! which was hard to get off the cars...

Second then we had to scrape the windows so we could then see the number of the car which then allows us to match the key car with the key.

Third get the keys and open the cars row by row to get them started.... while we did this it was about -5... and the cars had be covered in snow for a few days now.. some of the doors were frozen shut which then meant we had to get warm water to pout round the doors to get them open!

Fourth, Once the cars had been running for a short period of time we then attempted to get the snow or should i say Ice that fell on the 3rd of January off the cars... now the heat from the inside of the car had warmed up the body of the car the ice was slightly easier to get off!

Fifth, we had to then dig the car out of the snow which surrounded each car which was well over 10 inches and even more in some places.

Sixth, Eventually we manage to pull each car, one at a time, out from the yard while one of us drove and the the other 2 pushed and then parked them in to the customer car park.

That was the cars now clear of snow and deiced. The digger driver then cleared all the snow from the yard and piled it up round the side of the yard... the piles of snow will last till August I reckon! ha ha

By this time it was about 12:30 noon. so time for a quick lunch. By the time we had taken care of some phone calls and sold a car we then headed out to move the cars back into the yard and guess what!
Yip you got it more snow and in the time it took us to move the majority of cars back to the yard the was about a fresh 2 inches fallen! By the time we had got allt he cars back in the yard, Lined up and all the keys back in and job finished it was about 4PM

so I was a crazy day and all the hard work we had done felt like it had all been undone when that lot of snow came again!
I just hope that this is it finished now!

Hope you enjoy the photos!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

A walk with Hollie in the snow...

Well today has been crazy.
Today at aprox 11AM I moved one of the cars that had been sitting under the canopy all night and was totaly cleared of snow out into the car park. Shortly after I had done this the snow came on.
by about 1PM There was 3 Inches of snow lying on the car....
And yet it carried on to snow!

I tell you it was madness...

This evening I went for a walk with Hollie as she is staying here for a couple of days while the snow is bad so Fi and Rich don't have to try and journey back to Kemnay when the roads are as bad as they are.
Anyway, this walk.... we went out the gate and headed through the car park, I think this was a challenge in it's self for even wee Hollie here is a photo in the car park.

So we headed round towards the river and landed up in snow that came up to MY knees! so that would be a good foot of snow for sure! here is the photo of Hollie Bull dosing her way through the snow.

It was rather hard work, so we quickly made our way to the nearest path that was cleared... and to give you an idea of how deep the snow is off the path.....

The snow too the right had been piled of by a snow plough that had obviously passed in the morning but the snow was the same depth as that at the other side of the of the pile... like I said... It came up to my knees!


Hope you are all keeping safe on the roads!

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Another day with more snow....

Soo another day.... back to reality after the long break off work at new year...
But I stand corrected, Turned up at work this morning just before 8AM to firstly drive the car in through the gates in to about a good 8 inches or so of fresh snow! This snow came up above the bottom of the car so the front bumper was acting as a bit of a snow plough and as you could guess the car didn't last long and I landed up stuck in the middle of the carpark.

First job of the morning was to start to clear the snow which was hard going, a very good work out! was starting to think I was going to turn into the hulk and burst out my shirt and Jacket!

Here is a video from First thing this morning....

but after having a good go at it Jim ran into the digger driver from D&E Macky contractors from round the corner from us and he came to clear the yard for us! was amazing that what took us like an hour he did in like 2 minuets. It's Crazy!

He is a wee Vid Liam Took....

So that is work...
I was on my way home to then get stuck on the entrance into the car park at the house in Kemnay, so once again i was out the car and shuffling more snow. I got the car into the middle of the carpark then decided to just abandon it and go for tea... I then went out to clear the carpark after tea so i could get the car in to find that everyone else on tge street must have thought it was a good idea too and tried getting their cars out.. so I spent more time helping them get their cars out and cleared of snow!

Here are some photos of Kembhill Park!