About Me

Sarah Thomson, Och Aye Canoe Ltd Director, in kayak with sunset in background

I'm Sarah, the owner and operator of Och Aye Canoe Ltd.  I have paddled for many years and find that being on the water is such a switch off from the stresses of everyday life.  I featured in a local newspaper in 2024 which gives my background.

I started Och Aye Canoe because I wanted to share my passion for watersports with others.  I want to focus on getting complete beginners out on the water - there is no need to have any of your own gear, I'll provide everything you need to get started.  My group sizes are small, and sessions are friendly, with no pressure, for you to have fun and progress at your own pace.

I run most of my sessions at either Lochore Meadows in Fife, or on the Union Canal at Linlithgow, near Edinburgh. I pride myself in being able to keep each and every tour personal, unique and custom.

I am an accredited first aid trainer, I can run any course required - contact me to arrange.  I am also a RYA Powerboat instructor, RYA First Aid instructor and RYA VHF radio instructor / assessor, available on a freelance basis.

I have the following qualifications:-

  • British Canoe Union Paddlesport Leader
  • British Canoe Union (BCU) UKCC Level 2 (canoe) Coach
  • British Canoe Union Foundation Safety & Rescue course
  • Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Powerboat Instructor
  • RYA Safety Boat Instructor
  • RYA SRC Instructor & Assessor
  • RYA & HSE (Accredited) First Aid Instructor
  • RYA Advanced Powerboat Exam
  • RYA Commercially Endorsed Powerboat Licence
  • RYA International Certificate of Competence (ICC)
  • Leave No Trace Accredited Trainer
  • BCU Paddle Awards Provider
  • RYA Personal Water Craft Proficiency
  • Safeguarding & Protecting Children
  • BCU Coastal Navigation & Tidal Planning
  • BCU Multi-Day Touring Award
  • RYA Level 2 Powerboat Certificate
  • RYA Intermediate Powerboat
  • RYA Advanced Powerboat
  • RYA VHF/SRC Radio Licence
  • RYA Essential Navigation & Seamanship
  • RYA Dayskipper Theory
  • RYA Yachtmaster Theory
  • RYA Practical Motor Cruising Day Skipper
  • RYA Sea Survival
  • RYA Teaching in the Classroom
  • RYA Radar
  • RYA Diesel Engine Maintenance 
  • RYA Professional Practices & Responsibilities
  • Level 3 Award in Education & Training
  • British Sign Language Level 1
  • BCU Introduction to Paddle-ability CPD
  • Deaf Awareness in Aquatic Sport CPD
  • Disability in Sport CPD (Foundation)
  • Disability Awareness CPD (Foundation)
  • Mental Health Awareness for Sport and Physical Activity CPD
  • Coaching the Mind CPD (Intermediate)
  • Fitness in Paddlesport CPD (Foundation)

I am always looking for ways to develop myself professionally and remain up-to-date with any changes, I regularly attend courses to do this.  Future goals include becoming an advanced powerboat instructor and getting my yachtmaster practical.

In my very little spare time I enjoy coastal rowing, scuba diving (qualified to PADI advanced open water diver & wreck speciality level), relaxation, listening to music, and socialising with friends.