After several weeks of intense work on our upcoming DVD, Mark and I took a road trip to Scotland to work on logistics for the 7th UK Storm Gathering, which takes place in Oban on November 9 to 11, followed by BCU Week. We left England in the afternoon and drove for a large part of the night before falling asleep in the back of the camper van.
In the morning we opened the van door to an incredible view of the surrounding mountains. It really did feel like we had crossed into a different place.
Throughout the next few days we explored the area by both land and kayak. The air was crisp and calm, with an occasional gentle breeze winding its way around the islands. The potential for rough seas was there though, and this felt like the calm before the Storm Gathering.
We spent some time chatting with local paddlers, playing around town and tasting some of the local cuisine. An afternoon was spent touring a distillery, followed by an evening paddle from the Kilbowie Outdoor Centre, which will serve as this year’s home base. We got back just after the sun had set and enjoyed some tasty local seafood at one of the many restaurants in town. We also checked out the Falls of Lora, which will no doubt be a popular rough water feature during the event.
Our overall impression was that this venue really does have everything that the Storm Gathering requires, lots of exposed water, currents, tides, waves, an enthusiastic paddling community, tasty food, even tastier whiskey, and most importantly, it has a special vibe to it that confirms that this year’s Storm Gathering will be absolutely incredible.
Logistics are falling into place, and registration will open soon. So wherever you live on this watery planet, we hope you’ll consider joining us in Scotland.