Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Sub Zero Training Run - St Andrew's Day

It started with a beautiful walk to the shore, down John Street in Largs, wrapped up cosy treading crisply down the snowy road listening to the crunch of the trolley's wheels behind me.

By the time I got off the top-end of Cumbrae the wind felt exactly as forecast, a gentle 3 out the North (NNW). Brrrrrrrrrrr, Bertie Baltic. I was smiling more when I got out past my mark and turned to run downwind. There was enough sea to get some lift off the waves.

The view around the north end of the Clyde was stunning, with the hills all caked in the last week's snowfall. The only way to keep warm, keep paddling.

However, one important lesson learned for the big journey; the fleecey lined pogies work well when they're on, but get sodden in anything other than flat calm and become too much hassle to take on and off. Next time I'll revert to the foil lined fluorescent pair I've had since 1989........they don't make 'em like they used to!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Ordnance Survey Bingo

I've just compiled a list of OS Maps I'm going to need for the journey to Stornoway;

63 Firth of Clyde
69 Isle of Arran
68 South Kintyre & Campeltown
62 North Kintyre & Tarbet
55 Lochgilphead & Loch Awe
49 Oban & East Mull
47 Tobermory & East Mull
40 Mallaig & Glenfinnan
39 Rum, Eigg, Muck & Canna
33 Loch Alsh, Glenshiel & Loch Hourn
32 South Skye & Cuillin Hills
23 North Skye
22 Benbecula & Sout Uist
18 Sound of Harris, North Uist, Taransay & St Kilda (don't worry I'm not going there.....this time)
14 Tarbet & Loch Seaforth
08 Stornoway & North Lewis

The greyed out ones I've already got so that just leaves 9 OS Landranger maps. This is purely for detail of the coastline, I also need to tackle the Admiralty Charts to get my nautical info.

I think I'll register online with OS and get printing exactly what I need, otherwise I'll have no room in my kayak for food.

109 days till I leave Largs........

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Its good to walk

In three days of paddling, this constriction on the Lyon in Perthshire is the only thing we've walked. Shame though, the rapid leading up to it looks a lot of fun.

The bit of wood that reappeared periodically in the borehole river left of the constriction reminded me that sometimes, 'it's good to walk'.