When it came, it was stunning. High pressure and dry, clear days have been distinctly lacking on the west coast of Scotland since last October but this weekend reminded us why we enjoy living here so much.
Friday saw us paddling on Loch Ailort, sticking our noses out from the shelter of the loch into the larger seas. The residual swell was being encouraged by a west wind and we had to remember how to handle the boats after several months enforced lay-off. I was hit by a boomer which seemed to come from nowhere but stayed upright despite the wave breaking on me.
Saturday was glass calm and we managed to get into the car by 7.30 (that's good for us!) and on the water in Oban harbour at 09.30 to head off around Kerrera. The photos speak for themselves.
On our way back up the Sound of Kerrera we met two paddlers, Colin McWilliamson and Jill (sorry, didn't catch the surname Jill) who told us a new kayak club has just started in Oban and promised to send details. We also met Tony of Sea Freedom Kayak by the side of the road, loading up after taking two people out for a paddle.
Sunday brought things crashing back to normality. Liz was rinsing our dry-suits in the bath when I realised we had a small flood outside the cottage. We spend the next five hours with drain rods, trowels and buckets un-blocking the drain to our septic tank. I've just washed my hands in water laced with detol and they still stink. But it can't spoil the first great paddle of 2007. If there are more like that, this will be a good year.
Oh, and it looks like Douglas has been having a pretty good time too. That man takes a damn fine photo! (Hear how he does it in his podcast)