Friday 30 May 2014

Rescue Remedy

There she is! Just where we left her. Unable to turn her against the strong current and wind to paddle home. See previous post.
A grumpy toad. Unhappy at being shifted out of his cosy upturned canoe house.
In this wilderness we met another pair of canoeists. "Just use a line" they said "like they do with narrow boats on canals" "Ok" we said
 They didn't tell us what to do when the line got tangled up in trees
 So Jo (who came up for a few days 'Holiday') and her Dad paddled the canoe
out of the straight and into the loch. We had borrowed a boat with an outboard motor, so we could tow the canoe back.
But first
as silly as ever we decided we should climb Suilven
 It's not that it's the highest mountain, but it has very steep sides!
 We reached the saddle. Bizarrely there is a wall that runs over it. I cannot imagine how they managed to hold on to the edge and build a wall at the same time or why they would even want to
Jo, looking as if she is out for an afternoon stroll
We had meant to walk up there and onto the summit  Caisteal Liath 
But, I felt uneasy. It was already late and a long walk back to the canoe. The cloud was moving in below us. We decided to come back down and call it a day
Back out to civilisation!
And yes, I've noticed we are not wearing buoyancy aids. We were halfway back up the loch when we realised. They were in the bottom of the dry sack in the bottom of the boat. And I'm afraid we left them there. We were cold and tired. The loch was very calm and we sat very still. We do normally wear them when out in the canoe so please don't follow this bad example. Suilven looked so beautiful in the setting sun. We must go back and reach the summit. We'll take a tent next time and do it in easier stages!

Tuesday 13 May 2014

The morale of the story is....

......take care when canoeing! Yesterday we learned that the bodies of three missing kayakers had been found in a river in Northumberland.
We set off from home a few weeks back on what was quite a windy day. After much faffing and fiddling, we hauled the canoe onto the car and set off for loch Veyatie a little north of Ullapool, and, according to locals, a good starting point for climbing Suilven. As soon as we entered the loch it was choppy, quite windy and the canoe travelled at some speed! We pulled off onto the opposite shore for lunch and at that point the sensible thing would have been to turn back. But Suilven looked so close and we wanted to see if we could get to the start of the climb.
How silly we were!
We started off again only to conclude almost at once, that we needed to abandon ship! I lost a paddle (later retrieved) and in our efforts to turn the canoe into the wind and struggle against the strong current to reach the shore we nearly capsized.
We reached the bank and dragged the canoe out of the water. We had come some distance and although out of the water and quite safe we had a long trek back to the car. No tracks to follow other than those made by deer, often unreliable and seemingly leading nowhere! There were an awful lot of ups and downs and boggy bits and it was almost dark by the time we reached the car. The canoe is still (we hope) where we left it and on a suitable day (absolutely not a breath of wind) we must go back and retrieve it!
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