Oban weekend, falls of Lora, Saturday 23rd September

Oban weekend, falls of Lora, Saturday 23rd September

On the Saturday of the Oban weekend, I joined Ken’s trip to the Falls of Lora, despite Ken and Sarah describing it as a ‘wall of white’ the day before, saying they’d never seen it so big…

I arrived a little late, to a car park full of people arguing about crashed cars – fortunately none of us kayakers were involved. We got ourselves on the water pronto and found that it was flat calm – in fact the tide hadn’t even turned yet. This gave us plenty of time to warm up, so we cruised around, had a chat about the features, and one or two of us (not me) even went for a roll or two.

The flow built remarkably quickly and was soon providing good fun and some challenge. All of us enjoyed a surf on the wave behind the North stanchion – Crayston even managed a helicopter with his paddle (and a well executed roll shortly afterward…). And we all avoided bashing boats too badly on the bridge when we were spat off the wave.

Soon the main flow was tearing out, and it was lumpy, white and foamy. All of us got out in the rough stuff, with varying degrees of success (I certainly went down it forwards, backwards, sideways and upside down…), and we took turns at being rescued, and doing some rescuing. If I remember correctly Paul was the only one of us who didn’t get wet at all, and Ken and Crayston were the only folk who managed to roll before the whirlpools ripped them out of their boats. By the time we called it a day we were all knackered – it’s amazing how hard paddling nowhere can be.

Swim of the day goes to Lori who had come out of his boat, and was minding his own business awaiting a rescue when he was sucked under by a whirlpool, only reappearing a good few seconds later some distance from his boat. Apparently all went dark and it was only Neptunes pointy stick that persuaded him back to the surface.

Thanks very much to Ken for running the session, it was great fun to wash away the cobwebs, and it was good to do it in a friendly environment.