Thursday, November 15, 2012

A letter home, from the Falls of Lora...where the whirlpools truly suck.

I imagined it was us, dear Spartan...together again.
A letter home, to my very special kayak...

My dear SpartanVI,

Not a day goes by that I don't think about you. This afternoon, however, I felt an especially deep pang of longing. We were driving on our way to Oban and we had reached a little place called Connel, just 10 kilometres from our destination. Suddenly, to our right, a most impressive cantilever bridge, caught our eye. This magnificent structure spans Loch Etive - it is simply marvellous. It wasn't the bridge, however, that took our breath away, it was what was under the bridge - the Falls of Lora!

And in the midst of the moving water, there they were...two kayakers in their narrow boats. Oh Spartan, they looked just like you with your elegant British lines, rising at both bow and stern looking for all the world like a "smile". Yes, my dear friend and faithful companion on the water, they had exactly your smile. You would have recognized them, they were "Romanys" - indeed, you have so much in common. I felt that oh-so-familiar "tug". My eyes misted. Joan knew exactly what I was feeling and how I have missed you. She put her arm around my shoulders and gave me a squeeze. She is always so understanding and so reassuring. I don't know what I'd do without her.

Although they were relatively quiet when we stopped to admire them, the Falls of Lora are truly spectacular. They would have made your strong, Kevlar fibres twitch with excitement and anticipation!

When the tide in the Firth of Lorn ebbs and the water drops below the level of Loch Etive, the water rushes out. Spartan, it is quite incredible. I will be honest, however, dear friend. I am not up to these challenging currents. There is a warning which reads: "This is no place for anyone other than expert paddlers or intermediates with big lungs and strong nerves!" I think when they made an additional reference to the "spectacularly sucky whirlpools", that eventually "spit up buoyant objects", I knew that these waters would be beyond my comfort level.

I do know, my sleek friend, that with a more accomplished paddler in your cockpit, you would truly be living your dream - a true warrior on the water! Perhaps I should have practised more, when I was younger.

But I understand very well that, in life, regrets are never helpful. I will not go there. As they say, that's "water under the bridge".

The Falls of Lora
under the Connel Bridge...relatively quiet, for the moment.
My dear Spartan, eventually we will return home again. I will tell you all about Scotland. Perhaps we can find a way to parcel you up so that you too can discover these waters for yourself. Of course, I would need to be there with you. :)

But for now, we will just allow our imaginations to run wild. Soon, we must all re-invent our lives and find some good works to do but whatever is to come...there will be "water" in the mix. That's a promise.

Missing you a lot.

From Scotland's west coast, your special friend and paddler,



  1. Too funny D, Just read this after sending you an email. You may have to join me on the fourth. LOL