We went on our annual jaunt up to Loch Fyne a little earlier this year and were well rewarded with fine weather and few midgies.
Our rented cottage is right on the shore of the loch and it was a doddle to get the boat out, and I was on the water most days for a couple of hours.
There's little tidal flow in the loch, so it feels more like paddling on a big lake, and there are good trips in all directions, islands to explore and lots of wildlife and stunning scenery.
Plenty of jellyfish in the water this year..
At times it was like a mill pond...
Over the Bank Holiday weekend Kari-Tek held a demo day at Tayvallich on Loch Sween, which was only 20 miles away and a fabulous venue. It was very well attended with a full fleet of boats being tried out by paddlers of all standards. Some people took advantage of some coaching; £50 for 2 days..well worth it if you had never paddled a sea kayak before.
Strangely, I have never paddled a composite sea kayak before and took the opportunity to try out the Rockpool GT and Alaw, as well as the P&H Cetus and Scorpio.
I was very impressed with the handling of the Alaw straight away, it turns quickly, and fitted me so well I may buy one.The GT and Cetus are good fast boats, but I felt that my big cedar strip boat Tootega will do the same job for me at my pedestrian paddling pace.
The Scorpio felt much like my old Valley Aquanaut HV, but its spoiled by its thigh grips and the truly awful P&H skeg system that is a pig to operate.
Many thanks to Jeff and Ann for organising the event.
Some more pics:
And finally a picture of me in the new boat at last. It paddles well, and seems faster than Tootega and is certainly a lot easier to get on and off the car as it's a lot lighter.
As it's quite a low volume it wouldn't be suitable for say a weeks camping trip, but as a day boat its fine. The low slung bow tends to go through waves rather than riding over them and consequently a slightly wetter ride, but the Kajaksport hatches are fine. However it doesn't feel as manouverable as Tootega which I would prefer as my boat for open sea paddling.