I might have been spending a bit too much money recently. 

First up, a new camera - replacing my old no-longer-entirely-waterproof with an Olympus TG-620.

Then I went to the canoe shop, and it got really expensive...  I came home with a brand shiny new Dagger Mamba, size medium in lime green.

This is what the hull looks like.  I'm loving the attention to detail, even though it's obviously just going to get scratched:

detail of mamba's hull

Just in time for Easter weekend in Scotland!  Distinct lack of water anywhere, but we found enough things to do to keep ourselves amused.

I finally manned up and got myself on the Spean Gorge... then apparently tried to save my new boat from getting scratched by running various bits of the river upside down.  Not a recommended technique! (especially not in Constriction, which is the most horrible swim I've had in some time :()

Despite that, I'm loving the boat so far. It's such a bright colour, which is going to take a bit of getting used to - having the water droplets on my glasses reflect neon green is very strange.

I still need to sort various bits of outfitting out to get it properly comfy - mostly the lack of footplate foam, but I also gained a nice bruise from the left thigh brace digging into my leg.  This wasn't helped by Dagger's adjustment instructions being very wrong - for reference, they need an 8mm spanner rather than 10mm, and yes you do have to fully undo the front bolt!  Sorted now though.

first outing in my new kayak
just below Headbanger on the Spean Gorge.  photo by Steve

And no, despite what the photo could suggest, I didn't run Headbanger.  Don't be silly.  Seeing the siphon in real life didn't make me feel as panicky as seeing a certain photo of it, so maybe that's a good thing?

Other rivers included the Etive (which I thought I was well up for, but my brain disagreed at the last minute), the Allt a'Chaorainn (which looks like SO MUCH FUN!), the scary grade 5 Leven, and a few did the Coe Gorge on the way home.

I'm now thinking that my next Scotland trip needs to be for more than just a long weekend, and involve more than one day's paddling.  hmm.  Oh, and a bit more water might be nice...

Continuous shooting mode on the new camera is a lot quicker than the old one, so I ended up taking a lot of photos.  A week of editing later, and I've cut that down to 'only' 96, which can be found here.


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