Thursday, July 17, 2008

Scotland journey - 4: survival paddling in the Falls of Lora

It's about time to finish the series of reports of the Scotland-journey: meanwhile Scotland more than a month ago and the next vacation is coming in a few days... So here are the reports of the last two stages: first our morning-paddle in the Falls of Lora (Click on the link for detailed information about this marvellous playspot). Twice a day ebb and flood press the water of Loch Etive through the narrows under the Connel Bridge near Oban. At spring tides the tidal range is around 4 meters and roughly 45,000,000 cubic meters is finding it's way out. That's a lot of water with tremendous power.

The video of Nicampbell on Youtube shows more than words can. In Justine Curgenvens' video "This is the sea 3" you can admire some skilled seakayakers surfing on the Falls of Lora (the first shots of the TITS3-trailer are taken on the Falls of Lora, Axels' quote about his "wetted pants" refers to his wet exit in the falls). With this in mind the Falls of Lora were a must-do for us.
We timed the best ebb spring tide and went for it. It was absolutely awesome: the first two hours when the tide was full running. To be fair it was more "survival paddling" than "playing with the waves", but what a fun it was, surfing, bracing, rolling! It was a completely different experience than I am used to paddling in surf at sea. The water is salt and the sea is the scenery, but actually it's more white water-river paddling than seakayaking. Of the experiences I had in my kayaking career paddling the Dutch Water Dreams-track comes closest to it.
Govert is the more experienced WW-kayaker of the two of us. He dealt amazingly well with his Dawntrader-seakayak, but he swam also a bit more than I - because he pushed it more to the limit than I did. That's what a "re-entry and roll-self rescue" is good for... And thanks to Justines' video we know that we needn't to be ashamed with our wet-exits: when even Axel and Freya do -> we are in good company ;-) Nevertheless we both decided to pick up ww-kayaking and to make an appointment for the DWD-track this summer. There was nobody to take pictures or to film of our adventures in the Falls of Lora - I only managed to make some shots at the more tranquil moments. The Falls of Lora truly deserve the titel of seakayakers' Nirvana!
Falls of Lora

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