Dog Paddle

We got a new double sit-on-top kayak to give us a bit more flexibility for taking guests out on the water. We tried it out with Betty the dog and she seemed to enjoy a short trip around the bay. Here’re Gabrielle and Betty, all suited up and ready to set off.
Ready to Paddle

Betty seemed to settle down quite well in the middle of the kayak as we took a trip around Kirkandrews Bay.
Out in the Bay

Safely back to the shore and having much more fun playing with a stick.
Betty and the new kayak

Feb 2016

Hestan Island
One of our Wednesday morning walks was along the coast road from Auchencairn to Balcary Bay. It gave us a good view of Hestan Island and the posts that used to support fishing nets. The coastline at the far right is the edge of the Lake District in Cumbria on the far side of the Solway Firth.

Betty and the Coo Palace
Betty enjoying a walk along the coast on a sunny day with the tower of the Corseyard “Coo Palace” in the background.

The round house at Balloch Woods
There is a good network of paths through Balloch Woods near Creetown featuring some interesting sculpture and other items such as the Roundhouse at the Garrochar Wildlife Ponds. It is used as an interpretation centre and meeting point for groups visiting the area.

Sunset across Wigtown Bay
Yet another sunset picture. This one is looking across Wigtown Bay from the coast road near the Coo Palace.

Wood Carving at Cragside
We had a weekend trip over to Newcastle and spent a day up in Northumberland visiting William Armstrong’s Victorian estate at Cragside. There are some very interesting walks around the extensive gardens and grounds visiting innovative features such as the hydro electric power house and a very early iron bridge. We were very impressed with the carvings that had been made on tree stumps and this one on the trunk of a tree that had been felled.

Trying out the new kayak
We have now acquired a two-seater sit-on-top kayak which we hope will be useful for taking people out on trips along the coast. This is its maiden voyage – a quick trip around the bay to check it out. We discovered that the front seat can get a bit wet through the self-baling holes but we have now installed a little platform to raise the seat above the high water mark to minimise the chance of wet bottoms.

January 2016

After the storms of Christmas and the New Year we’ve had a fairly mild, quiet January with some memorable sunsets. Here’s a random set of pictures through the month so far.

The sun setting over Burrow Head at the end of the Whithorn peninsula.
Burrow Head

Looking up the estuary towards Kippford on a misty afternoon.
Kippford

The sun setting across the bay from Castle Haven.
Castle Haven Sunset

Our crow sculpture getting its first taste of snow.
Snowy Crow

A dramatic sunrise over Kirkandrews.
Kirkandrews Sunrise

Betty on the beach
Betty on the beach

Sunday Times

It’s a long story – but the Sunday Times wanted to feature us in a small article about people who had discovered forgotten pension funds. A reporter phoned Gabrielle to talk about recovering a pension from when she used to work in local government back in the 1980s. We were asked to send in a photograph and we sent one of Gabrielle and Betty the dog taken on Christmas day (see Winter Walks post below). A few minutes later we had a call back from the Sunday Times, asking if they could send a photographer over to take some more pictures. We can only assume that they saw the possibility of some cute dog photographs. Mark Pinder, the photographer, arrived a few hours later and had us posing down in the garden and on the beach for some pictures just before it went dark. Here are some of the results. The first photo is the one that was used in the article on the front page of the Sunday Time “Money” section. All photographs © Mark Pinder
Sunday Times 1. Photo © Mark Pinder
Sunday Times 2. Photo © Mark Pinder
Sunday Times 3. Photo © Mark Pinder

Pup Update

The pup is growing rapidly and generally behaving very well. Around 10 p.m. each evening she takes herself to bed and sleeps through until around 8 o’ clock in the morning, usually allowing us to have a peaceful, uninterrupted breakfast.
Betty on the garden bench
Here she is testing out our new garden bench.
Betty watching the kayaking action
Watching the activity going on down on the beach.
Betty in the kayak
First foray out on the water in a kayak – only a few feet from the shore. We now know that she can swim very well but we have borrowed a doggy buoyancy aid for her if she wants to go on any future expeditions.