- A Journey with Kayak Bute
A Journey with Kayak Bute
Posted on 16th Jul 12
Last week I had the fantastic opportunity to join Roddy McDowell at Kayak Bute and two friends, Aidan and Kate, on a day paddle around the Kyles of Bute. I'd always wanted to try sea kayaking after doing a bit of river paddling when I was a teenager and was looking forward to my day out on the water.
As with much of the weather of late, I woke up to a very grey and overcast morning which for once didn't bother me as I knew we'd be out on the water all day anyway. Upon our arrival Roddy kitted us out with our kayak and paddle, as well as a kag top and spray deck to keep us warm and dry. We headed up to Rhubodach to launch the kayaks and paddled up the Kyles as Roddy gave us some lessons on paddling technique and how to turn and stop safely. I felt very much in control and felt I was in very capable hands under Roddy's guidance.
We paddled on past the Burnt Islands, hugging the coastline tightly where we spotted Deer, Heron and many other sea birds, and down towards Tighnabruich where we stopped in a lovely Bistro for coffee and cake. Moving on we paddled back up towards the Burnt Islands which are so named (thanks to Roddy's impeccable local knowledge) because this is where the Viking settlers burned their dead after they invaded the West coast of Scotland. We stopped for lunch here before making a rather windy crossing to the other side of the Kyles which proved a bit more challenging across the choppy waters.
Pausing again in the Balnakailly Burn for photos and a bit of seal spotting we then made our final journey back to Rhubodach, past the ferry and into land, surfing on the rather large waves which I was convinced were going to through me over! Thankfully, after having a day of Roddy’s patient guidance and also thanks to the exceptional Tiderace Kayaks used by Kayak Bute, I managed to paddle my way into land safely with little more than wet feet after climbing out.
Sea kayaking around the coast of Bute is a fantastic way to see the vast range of the wildlife and explore parts of the island and further-a-field in a new way, taking your time to go round hidden coves and points whilst keeping an eye out for the odd seal popping up near you! It was an unforgettable day out and I urge everyone, be they tourists or locals, to get out on the water to see this island from a rather different perspective.
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