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Monday, 7 May 2012

Upside down in Loch Faskally

Ana and I decided to start a new hobby which is sea kayaking. The only problem with that hobby is that the sports instrument is over 5 m long and does not fit inside our flat. In the Brookbank catalogue I noted a Trak T1600 folding kayak for a rather steep £2600 and soon after a T1600 appeared on Ebay. Without much thinking I put a maximal bid in and by Sunday I was the proud owner of a nearly new T1600 for a very good price. It arrived on a Wednesday in a large roller bag weighing 29 kg. Here is how it is assembled: I practiced it once in Ana's corridor (not recommended) and put it together in less than 15 min on the shores of Loch Faskally. Surprisingly slick. Especially the hydraulic jacks that tension the hull are great engineering. A Brompton for the water. Here it is...
 ... and here are Giulio and Ana sharing the other paddle in the inflatable Costa Dundonia. I came up with that tasteless name after too much wine at a dinner party.
Here I am paddling the Trak. I can not compare it to other Kayaks other than the Costa Dundonia but it seems fast and seems serious. After paddling upstream to see the bungee jumping and down the Loch I practised edging up to the point where I found myself upside down in the waters of Loch Faskallie, staring a perplexed trout right in the eye.
As I had not practised any Eskimo manoeuvres I got out of the kayak and managed to get in relatively quickly helped by Ana and Giulio. The bilge pump, purchased just hours previously, did a good job and soon I was paddling back looking somewhat sheepish. We packed it all up - again no problem - and went for a soup and apple pie to the Moulin Hotel, one of the best places in Scotland to have food and a pint after the great outdoors.

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