Teith, Sunday 13th Oct

2019's reports
Binky
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Teith, Sunday 13th Oct

Post by Binky »

Quack!

Duck.jpg

Guess who swam! Due to my refreshing and totally purposeful dunk I have the dubious honour of trip report and dashing rubber duck. He's sat enjoying my bathroom windowsill until the next person swims. This may be a wee bit sparse of details as I was too busy making sure of the river, my boat and not falling in twice; if anyone wants to fill in the blanks that would be cracking. As this is a family friendly forum, please allow for text adaptations from actual events.

Attendees; Fearless river leader lumped on Andrew B. Len, Paul, Andy D, Joan, John P, Me.

Any consensus on the river level and I'll edit to add, I heard three different numbers. Higher Than Last Time By Quite A Bit.

We met in a splishy splashy Callander at the reasonable hour of 10.30, as a reassuring start the river level was high enough to flood the far away car park. Everyone kitted up and went to sort cars at the getout, leaving Joan and I with ducks and swans wishing I'd brought the frozen peas. Think we were on the river about 11.30ish, had a nice dry start from the sky despite the clouds. John got up at the crack of dawn to meet us then zoomed off again to somewhere far at the end, some dedicated paddler insanity for a few hours on the river.

My only other river experience was also the Teith but at a much lower level where rocks were the biggest issue. I remember wishing at the time there was a wee bit more water so we could float over them and not have to hug the rock. Oh Binky, you eedjit.

Bit of a warm up paddle in the flat start and we headed off to the first bridge. A wee bit ferrygliding back and forth for everyone who wasn't busy going oh wow this is high and bumpy and bumpy and high and why did I ever decide getting in a moulded piece of plastic against a ragey river WITH ONLY A STICK TO SAVE ME was a good idea.

I don't remember much in between this and 'oh dear this feels a bit too tippy, my giddy aunt I'm in the water, oh crikey it's cold, oh goodness me someone's shouting at me to swim'. Figuring it was good advice, I swam. Got to the bank, held on, poor Andrew got his introduction to me by preventing a sink backwards into the river while John sat looking back with a Concerned Face. Maybe that was wishful waterlogged thinking and it was more of an 'I traveled down here for this?!'. I still don't know who rescued my boat and paddle or brought it up the bank but thank you! Felt the paddle brush past my hand with a faint 'oh dear' under the water but the boat didn't even register. No wonder people lose their kit.

Got back in, got together with all the good souls who'd shoved me up the bank, bought up my kit or otherwise been very patient and we cracked on down the river. As before I don't have much to compare it to but you could have told me I was on a completely different river and I'd have believed you. Any landmark I'd remembered was sunk, a bunch of the eddies were gone, it was a heck of a lot faster. There were definitely certain showoffs doing rollypollys in the water and generally making the whole thing look disgustingly effortless. We bopped on down, practicing in and out of eddies. Joan kicked serious butt at these, can't say I'm in a position to comment on skill but she was certainly gliding in like a graceful purple swan to my eyes.

Stopped for lunch, Len brought out the famous Jelly Babies while Paul the Duracell Bunny bounced about in the water with an everlasting set of batteries. Is there a charger inside that boat or was it the joy of getting rid of the rubber duck? Of course as we got back in Andy and Andrew voted to carry/slide me into the water...anyone want to guess which end was dropped?

Back on the water to what must universally be the best bit. Fits and starts of choppy bumpy water, bit of effort to keep upright but mostly up and down over the waves feeling the wind, getting splashed in the face, that wee dip in your stomach only interrupted by someone shouting 'paddle paddle paddle!' followed by 'you're paddling like a man again!'. Being bad at slowing down I'm not sure what people were up to behind me, I was just grateful for Andrew and Len's nice bright boats in front. When we came to the fork we bumped off to the right to another fun rollercoater stretch, avoiding the choppy water under the trees before turning out into the quiet river for a group pic. Then we were off again to the Torry, though we missed out on the treat of Andy's caterwalling about the Torry quine. Completely unrecognisable as the pile of rocks we'd floated beside and plugged our ears was well and truly sunk.

Of course I sat back a wee bit and watched where everyone else went as the best route to go. Our first intrepid explorers zoomed away down the left hand side and set themselves in different eddies. Then Joan, complete madman, was away and off. Scooted away to the right, all I could hear was 'LEFT, LEFT' but no, this woman with a plan was off. Someone beside me announced ah no, she must be alright, there hasn't been a drop...famous last words. BOOFT and there it was, over an invisible edge and the impressive staying-in-the-boat moment of the day.

Credit to Paul who hoisted me up from the getout like a sack of soggy spuds. I'll lay off the cake for the future. Thank you to everyone who put up with wee panicky moments, stopped me from drowning, gave me a boat to follow, shouted instructions over a noisy river, dealt with my busted hip and as always, answered multiple beginner questions. Thanks Andy and Joan for taking me a boat, paddle and helmet and Len for dealing with a very chatty person in the car first thing in the morning. Brilliant day out.

Bonus, I didn't spend half the trip swearing at my boat for spinning in circles. I swore at it for tipping from side to side instead.


-------------


A serious note to any other newbies who are a wee bit worried at the thought of a river trip, cause I know I've spoken to a couple. Landing in the river was a big fear of mine. I'm never going to be the world's strongest swimmer and the moving water was a real concern. Definitely cacking it that I'd not make it to the bank and would float off downriver to be tangled upside down in a tree or end up in the Forth. Convinced I'd be stuck in the boat despite getting out fine many times in the pool. But in the event all I remember is feeling the boat tip too far and knowing I was going out, my hand was on the spray deck before I was properly over. Don't think I'd even got a substantial grip on the bank before there was a hold on my buoyancy aid and I knew I was alright. Scary, definitely takes your breath away but nowhere near as bad as I'd thought.

The guys are all shouting instructions to help out when your brain is rebooting from the sudden cold dunk and were great at making me feel safe without a big fuss. I really, really do not like being away from my metal legs because it makes me fully dependent on whichever poor sod is nearby. Lack of control is scary and in a moving river, you have very little control. I'd never met Andrew before this trip, ended up wheezing on the bank while he was holding onto the back of my BA with most of me still in the water. Still never felt in any danger from the river. The guys are great, they know their stuff, you will be fine. Honestly if someone with semi-functioning legs and organs can fall in, not drown and feel better for the rest of the trip you should be absolutely golden, so come on the next one!



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Len
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Re: Teith, Sunday 13th Oct

Post by Len »

Wow Binky, I thought you were doing a trip report - not a mini-series.
Great report and well done on only your second river trip.
The level was high and the rapids were big and bouncy. Great sport.
And well done to Joan for casting off convention and plotting her own way down Torry Rapids - brilliant.

For the records, the SEPA level was about 1.1
Far car park was flooded and water was over the footpath at the main car park
Both islands could be taken river right
Torry could be taken almost anywhere (ask Joan!)
We don't stop playing because we grow old
We grow old because we stop playing.
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Andy D
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Re: Teith, Sunday 13th Oct

Post by Andy D »

Haha, that was the longest trip report ever. What a good story, thanks Sarah Mary.

It's always gratifying to see newbie paddlers starting to come to grips with moving water. It doesn't take long to get the basics sorted out and the reward of running a bouncy wave train is a real buzz. The improvement in your paddling over the course of the day was striking. Sometimes a swim is just what's needed :)

Maybe next time we'll all have a go at the , now famous, "Joan's line" on Torrie. You were showing off some nice new eddying out skills too, Joan.

Thanks to all for their company. It was to good to paddle with you again Andrew B. Don't be a stranger. A special mention to John P for his super keen journey from the Isle of Bute.

For your diaries the next trip is 10th November. Do consider SM's words of encouragement. They are all true - honestly.

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Joan D
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Re: Teith, Sunday 13th Oct

Post by Joan D »

That's a great report, Binky, and a really good description of our day!

Nothing really to add to what's been said, except to congratulate Binky on another successful trip down the River Teith - and definitely at a competely different level from last time, when we spent our time rock-hopping. We hardly saw a rock all day! However.... if you want to see a big rock on your right and a big scary hole on your left, try taking the line down Torrie that I did - between 'the devil and the deep blue sea'! Next time I will stick to convention.....or maybe not!

I liked Binky's comments about other paddlers helping out. It's important for everyone to watch out for everyone else and that's just what happens. Personally, I find myself counting the number of paddlers over and over to make sure we're all in sight. I'm sure others do this too!

Thanks to everyone for your company and craic, and special thanks to Paul for photos and video clips, and good to see Andrew with us again. Another great day out and hope this encourages more people out on the water!

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Len
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Re: Teith, Sunday 13th Oct

Post by Len »

Good point about the photos, Joan.
Any chance we can get them on the website, or at least post a link so that the rest of the club can see what they missed?
We don't stop playing because we grow old
We grow old because we stop playing.
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Re: Teith, Sunday 13th Oct

Post by Andy D »

I'll get some video up soon.

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Re: Teith, Sunday 13th Oct

Post by Binky »

You lot taking the mick, I swear John's was worse. It must be Teith water on the brain. Here, I'll try again;

---------

TL;DR - River was 1.1, Andrew B, Len, Paul, Andy D, Joan, John P in attendance and had fun, I swam.

Dignity - 0
Rubber duck - 1

End of trip report.

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Len
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Re: Teith, Sunday 13th Oct

Post by Len »

Naw - I prefer the first version.
And besides, we usually have an award form the best blogs/reporting of the year, so keep it going!
We don't stop playing because we grow old
We grow old because we stop playing.
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Better a rainy day in a kayak,
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Re: Teith, Sunday 13th Oct

Post by JohnP »

What a brilliant trip report. Thought I was a shoe-in for blogger of year but you blasted mine out the water Binky. My thumb has RSI from all the scrolling.

Seriously the day belonged to our two daredevil ladies. Binky you are truly an inspiration on the water and really enjoy paddling with you in the team. Fearless and mouthy ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚. You got out of the boat faster than anyone I have seen and yes a special mention to Andrew. Very calm under pressure and a great lead...even if Joan ignored his line on Torre! And to Joan, I know you may not believe it but I always look across when the water gets bumpy and your purple boat floating effortlessly through the rapids drives me forwards. Although the Torre falls line was brilliant, especially as SM said, when your head seemed to drop about 3 feet!! I have to say it was a fight to stay left on the falls.

Brilliant day as usual and nothing like being on a river with a good team of paddling buddies. I have said it before but I always feel safe when out with EEKCC.

Seeing Paul at the end helping Binky up the hill. Wow. Only five words ....โ€I want to be Paulโ€ ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

Thanks for the laughs Binky and keep swimming because the reports are worth it๐Ÿ‘. And I donโ€™t want the duck ๐Ÿ˜€

Newbies, get yourself out with the team. You wonโ€™t be disappointed.

Now I am off to soak my scrolling thumb! Till the November paddle.

J

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Re: Teith, Sunday 13th Oct

Post by Coodon »

So sad i was already booked to do something else on sunday. I really need to get more river time. A fab report and the river looked a lot higher than when i was on it in January scraping rocks thats not fun in my books! Lol

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Re: Teith, Sunday 13th Oct

Post by Cecilia1959 »

Sarah Mary what a fab report, sounds as if you really left your comfort zone behind, well done

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Re: Teith, Sunday 13th Oct

Post by Paul G »

Great trip report SM and what great progress after your swim, think it settled you - took the fear factor away !
Wee vid of the day I posted on FB, hopefully the link works.
ps you're not that heavy to carry just the bricks in your pfd need removed.

Looking forward to November !
(Hopefully I'll not get that duck back)


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Re: Teith, Sunday 13th Oct

Post by Binky »

John P

You got out of the boat faster than anyone I have seen
What a nice compliment. I'm a master of the wet exit not someone overprepared to fall out the boat.
Paul G

just the bricks in your pfd need removed.
I figured this out! My hat in the back pocket got soaked when I swam, it held an insane amount of water and was very heavy. I'd tried my pfd at home with the water bladder and it wasn't heavy, could not for the life of me figure where the weight came from. Hat has been demoted to dry land use only.

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Re: Teith, Sunday 13th Oct

Post by Andy D »

Remember that any water in your pdf doesn't actually weigh anything when you are swimming. It is only heavy when you get out of the river. To some extent it therefore matters more to your rescuers than it does to you.

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Re: Teith, Sunday 13th Oct

Post by Len »

Wet hat???? Are you sure it wasn't too many pork pies? (....sorry, bean pies!)
We don't stop playing because we grow old
We grow old because we stop playing.
-----------------------------------------------
Better a rainy day in a kayak,
Than a sunny day in the office.

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