Kayak Testing

We had a trip up to Kari-Tek at Trabboch in Ayrshire to try out some sea kayaks. There is a small loch, which they call ‘Trabboch Ocean’ close to Kari-Tek’s facilities so we were able to take out a couple of kayaks for a test paddle. We were particularly interested in trying the P&H Delphin as it seems to be very well suited to the type of paddling that we normally do. For comparison, we also tried out a Rockpool Alaw Bach which is a more traditional sea kayak. Here’s Gabrielle in the Alaw Bach. A nice looking boat but it requires a bit of technique to get it to turn.
Alaw Bach
The Delphin was very different to paddle and much more manoeuvrable than the Alaw Bach. Gabrielle is adjusting the foot rests here prior to launching out into the loch. We were very impressed with the Delphin and have ordered a pair of them. It will be good to try them out in around the Borgue coastline.
Adjusting the foot rests in the Delphin
On the way home we called off for a scramble down to the coast at Sawney Bean’s cave, near Ballantrae. There were some good views over to Ailsa Craig from the beach.
Ailsa Craig
This is the entrance to the cave, needing a bit of a scramble over a big boulder.
Sawney Bean's Cave

Borgue Flower Show

Last weekend was the occasion of the Borgue Flower Show. This is just about as exciting as it gets out here in the sticks when all of the local residents compete for big prize money in categories ranging from “Four Pompom Dahlias” to “Three Decorated Cupcakes”. We didn’t have our fruit and vegetable production up and running this year but Gabrielle entered four items in the Home Industries categories. The entry fee is 10 pence per item plus £1 for membership of the Horticultural Society so we had an investment of £1.40 in this venture.


This is the scene in Borgue Church where the vegetables, preserves and home baking were displayed. There are some big onions on display up there!

Gabrielle scooped first prizes for her cookies and marmalade. You can email her privately and ask how many entries there were in each class. She also was awarded prizes for her bread and blackcurrant jam.


Here’s Gabrielle picking up her £2.70 prize money. (That’s around $4.00 to our U.S. friends). She immediately cashed in the proceedings on buying some items from the plant sales.



Susan and Mark

In early August we had a visit from Susan and Mark who live out in Magnolia, Texas, just north of Houston. They had been experiencing 100 degree Fahrenheit weather over there and were looking forward to cooler conditions over in Scotland. Unfortunately after a warm, sunny July, the weather turned unseasonably cool for the first part of August. Nevertheless we had a good time visiting a number of the local gardens and historical sights. Here’s a windy afternoon at Threave Castle, near Castle Douglas.
Threave Castle
We had a trip across to border to England to see Hadrian’s Wall and had a fine sunny day to stroll along it and soak up a bit of the history.
Hadrian's Wall
After the walk, we were ready for some refreshments at the local pub.
Pub time
We went over to Logan Botanic gardens at the far south-west tip of Sctland, where the Gulf Stream brings in a milder climate and enables them to grow some lush tropical vegetation. Here are Susan and Mark negotiating the ferns and Gunneras.