20th April, 2009 – Paddle from Cramond out in to the Firth of Forth

Gavin and I met at Cramond about 12:30 then headed out from the slip way stopping first at Cramond Island then Inchmickery where we landed briefly on the eastern side for a quick drink and bite to eat without getting a chance to explore as birds were nesting there.

Next, we headed west towards the coast where two big ‘houses’ and one small cottage sit in a vast, wooded area alone; quite the contrast from the adjacent crammed, urban landscapes of Edinburgh and South Queensferry. Continuing on to the rail bridge, we worked hard against the ebbing tide but it was worth it to see the bridge close up and paddle beneath it. Even though the bridge is in a phase of maintenance and partly shrouded in covering, it is still an impressive sight, in fact, even the scaffolding covering it is pretty impressive in itself. The structure was crawling with Doozer like workers who help to give it scale and it seems like they don’t get many paddlers beneath them given how much notice they took of us.

We didn’t linger long at the bridge as it had been hard graft getting there and refreshments were on our mind so we started back towards Cramond with the tide’s assistance drawing us there with less effort required but not enough help for my tired arms. The sting in the tail was yet to come though, the receding waters exposed large shallows close to Cramond which we ended up scraping then walking and towing and finally carrying the boats over towards the river which itself soon became too shallow to paddle short of the slipway. A slippy walk ensued through what is hopefully just mud but I have my doubts.

An absolutely gorgeous paddle with still conditions and great weather; suntan lotion and sunnies put to good use and the finishing beer was well worth all the labour at the end.

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