Saturday, February 07, 2015

Return to the North Sea...anticipation, excitement, and getting paddles in the water.

The glassy surface of a "highland cathedral".
A high pressure weather system has stalled over Ireland - and that's very good news! It means cold, dry air...and lots of sunshine here in Scotland. We'd been looking very carefully at both the MWIS forecast and the local (wind, wave, and weather) marine forecast for over a week. There was going be a significant window for getting back on the North Sea. Yes!

In the meantime, the mountain weather forecast suggested excellent conditions on our favourite highland loch, Loch Tay. It would be another opportunity to "warm up", and get the paddles in the water.

As promised, conditions were mirror-like. It was good "thinking time", and as paddle eddies swirled behind the boats, an opportunity to live in each moment.

We're passionate about sea kayaking and like most who paddle narrow boats, we love to talk about it, share experiences about it, and most especially, ask questions of those who have greater expertise and knowledge. We treasure the wisdom they have accumulated. In terms of improving skills, however, nothing beats...getting the paddles in the water.

Paddling between two "mountains".
A week or so ago, I gave a talk on the subject of "compassion" and how it goes so far beyond both sympathy and empathy. Sympathy is when we feel for someone. Granted, it's a beginning. Empathy, takes the next step and is when we actually feel with and have a sense of another person's discomfort, even pain. It creates a meaningful connection and brings us closer to being able to offer encouragement and practical support.

Compassion, however, takes that connection to a whole new level. Having felt their struggle, compassion compels us to do something about it. It gets us beyond the "talk" and enables us to find strategies to work together to help make the world a better place for all people. In terms of expressing care and concern for others, it's "putting the paddles in the water."

This was a crisp, cold, absolutely cracking day to be in the highlands. Paddle strokes on the water, of course, work up an appetite.

The magic and mystery of a Scottish loch - where PFDs grow on trees.
Joan quickly got the stove going, and in no time, a warm meal was restoring both flagging energies and body temperature.

Cooking up a storm? Well, maybe a "tempest in a chili pot".
With only a couple of hours of remaining light, it would soon be time to return to the beach at Kenmore. While we sustained our strength in the charming, magical, little shoreline forest, the Valley Etain and the Scorpio LV waited patiently on the pebble beach. They seemed to be whispering together, with anticipation and excitement, about their next adventure.

Somehow, they seemed to know that soon, they would be back on their beloved North Sea.

Our two Scottish pals, lovin' the loch, but ready to go back to the Sea.
Their every wish was about to come true - and much more. :)


  1. Replies
    1. Hi Sarah, thank you for that. It's just "point and shoot", everything in front of the camera just acts..."naturally". :) Warm wishes to you. Duncan.

  2. Wow Duncan! I love the photos and the water so amazingly calm. Even I could have paddled across it! Love the beach pics. Reminds me of another beach n time.

    1. Hi Linda, yes, you would have loved being on the water. It was like that day we paddled over to Salt Spring. Even the little pebble beach was similar - just fewer trees! :) We'll do it again when we're back. Thank you for your comment and warm wishes. Duncan.