Thursday, 12 April 2012

Day 4 - Trans Scotland canoe challenge

Just a short update today as I am so tired I can barely keep awake.

55Km completed, 45Km to go.

After making brilliant progress yesterday - today was hard work. Our target was 26Km - from Loch Oich to a point around 15Km along Loch Ness. The morning paddle went really well - the sun was shining and the loch was calm. We arrived in Fort Augustus at the head of Loch Ness bang on time for lunch.

But by this time the weather had changed - the wind had got up and it was raining. It's amazing how quickly everything can change. We carried the canoe down the series of locks to the shore - I took one look at how rough it was to make me throw up! To say I was nervous and daunted is an understatement.

We gave it a go, but paddling into a strong head wind made it near impossible. I'm not one to give up lightly and had it been a physical thing I'd have battled on and found a way to get there. But it was getting dangerous. The waves were around 2ft which when you are in an inflatable canoe is pretty big. Loch Ness is huge, and no matter how hard we tried to stay close to the shore, there are often corners that you need to cut off, so you can find yourself further than you feel comfortable with away from the banks.

All the way along, my in-laws kept an eye on us, but at around 7Km along Loch Ness we called it a day. There were points where we were struggling to even stay still - even the very act of paddling created too much wind resistance.

I'm really disappointed - with the time we've got it's unlikely that we will make the whole distance now. We gave it one hell of a go, but sometimes the elements thwart you. We were hoping that the South Westerly prevailing wind would help us out, unfortunately we got a North Easterly!

No Nessie sightings either, but we did have our photo taken a lot by tourists on Nessie hunting boats!

I didn't take my camera onto Loch Ness because it was just too rough - but here are a couple of snaps from today (top of Loch Oich and deciding whether to go out on Loch Ness - the picture doesn't really do the size of the waves justice). Tomorrow - we might try and tackle Loch Ness from the opposite direction to take advantage of the wind and see how close we can finish to where we got out today .... but we'll do whatever is sensible.

Thanks for all your messages and support xx


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