Kayaking and camping in the rain!

Well the last couple of days have not exactly been favourable in terms of the weather! I was out on the River Tay kayaking from there to Caputh over 2 days to gain my Multi-Day Touring Award.

The first job for the trip was getting all my stuff into drybags and making sure it would fit into the hatch area of my kayak! Whilst also remembering to take other items such as a spare paddle, helmet, etc.

Packing gear into waterproof bags to fit in hatch of kayak

We started at Grandtully (you have have heard of this place due to the rapids there!).

Grandtully rapids on the River Tay

The river has quite a fast flow in sections around here although it was good to get going. Whilst kayaking down the river I learnt about how to identify the best line to paddle through moving water. It’s important to know the best line as this often has the deepest water and helps you avoid getting stuck on rocks, etc. However you also need to look to see where the deepest water goes – it’s not the best line if it means there are lots of overhanging trees or obstacles in the water!

We kayaked down river and had a bouncy paddle across some water where the River Tummel joined the River Tay. It was interesting in this area as there were hundreds of seagulls flying around catching insects in the water. I’d never seen anything like it before!

Seagulls swooping down to the River Tay to catch insects in the water

The rain didn’t let up at all! The section of river between here and Dunkeld is pretty despite the A9 road running alongside – it is such a different view from the river! As we approached Dunkeld the bluebells looked beautiful in the woods there.

Bluebell woods at Dunkeld

We then kayaked straight past Dunkeld House Hotel and saw a little stone building hidden in the bank.

Kayaking past Dunkeld House Hotel
stone building at Dunkeld

Rather than follow the line of the deepest water under the bridge at Dunkeld we went under the middle bridge span to investigate the possibility of camping on one of the two island there. Not the best thing in my case as I ended up sideways through the rapids there and nearly capsized on atleast 4 occasions! After investigating the islands we decided they weren’t good enough for camping so we headed off back down the river.

kayaking to islands under Dunkeld bridge
Checking out the islands

We kayaked along past Birnam before identifying an area of flattish land where we could set up camp for the night. Once I’d stopped paddling I became very cold as I was soaked! I knew it was important to get a shelter set up and then get changed into some dry clothes. I had taken my tarp (a large piece of waterproof material) and set this up around some trees and tied to a boat, this gave us shelter to sort our bags out and to cook under.

campsite at Birnam River Tay

Having known ahead of the trip that the weather was to be poor I tried to think of things I could take that would help cheer me up. I thought a good meal would be the thing…. sirloin steaks (reduced items out the freezer!), smash and peppercorn sauce to the rescue!!! I also took one for the guy assessing me (nothing like bribery!).

steaks whilst camping and kayaking!

It poured with rain all night but thankfully I stayed dry under the tarp and in the tent. The following morning I was up early to be greeted by even more rain! Kayaks loaded and back on the water we headed further down stream, ending our trip at Caputh bridge.

Kayaks on River Tay Caputh bridge

Thankfully all the cold and wet was worth it as I know hold my Multi-Day Touring Award. If you would like to book a trip out on the water with me please email me at ochayecanoe@gmail.com or use this contact form.

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