You know you’re out of your comfort zone when a seal pops its head up beside your canoe and you don’t even think of taking a picture of it.
I was too busy bracing for the incoming waves from the North Sea. They were being blown in by Gale Force 7 winds. Adding to it was the last set of rapids I had to run, which emptied straight into the saltwater. It was epic! At least that’s what Ray Goodwin, head paddling coach of the U.K. and someone who had paddled the river 34 times, yelled out over the rough surf. I figured if he looked worried—I should be terrified.
Our last day on Scotland’s Spey River consisted of continual Grade I and II rapids. They were all doable runs, and the scenery had to be the best of the trip. The only problem was that the high winds were so wild, none of us could enjoy it.
We were just hoping to make it to the sea without mishap. I heard Justine Curgenven, a filmmaker who had logged hours-upon-hours on rough water, use profanity worse than a captain of a pirate ship. I was worse. I used a mixture of English, Welsh and Scottish curse-words to make my boat move down-current. The wind was so intense, however, it kept blowing our canoes back upstream, no matter what I threw back at it.
What was suppose to be a relaxing, pleasant ending to our journey down the Spey ended up being an adventure of a lifetime.
Catch the last video of my series to check it out. Nasty stuff—but well worth it to experience one of the best trips I’ve ever had.