CSCC Reports 2009: Dee - September 2009

I'd never paddled the river Dee. And I'd never paddled in Scotland. So an invitation to a week's holiday in a friend's holiday cottage in lovely Kincardine O'Neill Deeside presented the perfect opportunity.

Kincardineshire is also home to CSCC's most northerly ex-member, Will. This was handy providing a local paddling guide and access to Stonehaven canoe club's fleet. And also much appreciated assistance in drinking whisky on the Saturday night.

It was drizzling as we got onto the river on the Sunday. But it soon cleared up, and we had brilliant sunshine as we paddled from Kincardine to Banchory. We could see the results of the previous week's torrential rain that had led to floods and advice to boil the local water, but levels had subsided remarkably quickly.

This gentle stretch consisted of a few grade 3 drops and some ripply bits, as well as some flat. The scenery was gorgeous, and there were lots of herons. Most remarkable was the splash every couple of minutes as a fish leapt out of the water - never when a camera was pointed at them, though.

On the way down we met a raft with some very appreciative paddlers making very appreciative noises as they went down the rapids. I promised them I'd put the photos of them here, so here's a couple of pictures. More are at

Will on a rapid beginning with C.

In the nineteenth century Queen Victoria herself came here to practice her playboating.

Enthusiastic rafters.

First time I've seen an open boat as escort vessel!