During the summer holidays our whole family went to visit our grandparents in the
Highlands of Scotland. They live within walking distance of a small Loch with its
own water sports centre.
One morning we decided to spend a day sailing there. Unfortunately the wind was too
light for a good sail in the morning. So it was decided that the adults would take
out Canadian canoes and Imogen and I would take out kayaks. Loch Insh is actually
part of a river. When it is not too overgrown you can canoe or kayak up the creek
leading into the river. Our Gran says that it is something out of Swallows and Amazons.
There is an island when the water is high, which you can kayak or canoe around.
In the afternoon the wind picked up. We took two Picos out which were beached near
the water sports centre with their dagger boards and rudders up. We paddled out from
the shallow waters.
There was hardly any traffic on the water, apart from wind-surfers. On the water
we could continue for a good length of time in almost any direction. I sailed with
(and ahead of because I was so much faster) my Aunty Carol - who was in a kayak.
Sailing with the quiet ripples and the gently swaying trees was very different from
the hustle and bustle of the Thames, though less challenging.
If you ever get a chance to visit, Loch Insh Water-sports Centre has accommodation,
a nice cafe and a good shop selling sailing equipment and gifts. There are also buoyancy
aids and everything you need for hire. My mother recommends the Canadian canoes to
anyone who doesn't like to get wet. Don't forget to visit the Highland Wildlife Park
with its wolves and bears or the Strathspey Steam railway - because our granddad
is a train guard on it.