The Doon:If you’re not swimming you’re not learning!

John scribbles…

Last minute texts and a bit of family negotiation and it was game-on for The Doon on a cold Sunday morning.

Not an official EEKCC trip but three brave and hardy souls – StevieB, StevieJ and and yours truly-gathered at the ungodly hour of 8am (note to AndyD- that’s very early in the morning!) at the Riverside Inn get-in. The mist was still rising off the river and the ice only starting to melt on the fences. Sun shining on a beautiful morning.

We took the decision to leave our gear by the river while we did the shuttle, confident no one would be interested in stealing three kayaks at that time in the morning (8am Andy if I didn’t say before ). Shuttle over -or so we thought – we got ready for the plunge. Until StevieJ realised he had left his spray deck at the get-out. Shuttle take 2


Then off we went down the Doon. Most of the old play areas at the top end of the river have been washed out or dumber-down significantly as the fishing pools are rotated. Wasted it a bit for kayakers but it was a nice way to warm up until we reached the first real wave where we could all have a go at surfing. We spent a good 20 minutes playing and with some great advice from Stevie B we were surfing like pros….almost!

Onwards through a few other small rapids and a bit of rock scraping until we found a football..think it was named Brian by StevieB…and had a little bit of a play. Brian the ball followed us over the weir unscathed but got stuck in a strainer and even StevieB thought twice about going in for him. We said bye bye to Brian and headed to the next surf spot at the broken weir. That was where I thought it was about time to test my dry suit in cold water. Trying to surf, I am not sure what happened, but I ended up balanced on my blade trying to save face. Amazing how you forget all about your hip flick when the pressure goes on. In I went for a wee dip. Didn’t even think about a roll but this time I kept hold of my new paddle. No way was I losing this one! Both Stevie’s did a grand job with the rescue and taping me up. Can’t believe how much StevieB carries for safety and rescue in his kayak. Want a star!

Pretty uneventful after that as the tide was in by the time we got to the last drop which was all but washed out. Stevie executed a couple of nice rolls but regretted the second one as his head seemed to freeze in the cold water.

Great way to spend a Sunday morning with good company on the water and back home by lunch to keep the better half happy