The Paddler magazine Issue 58 early Spring 2021 - Page 98

Following on from Sarah Webster ’ s article on the River Spey , I thought it would be appropriate to share with readers the fantastic experiences we had from camp sites ’ staff , shuttle owner , riparian landowners and estate staff on a great open boat trip on the River Spey , in October 2020 . By Mike Sunderland Cumbria Canoeists Coaching / Leader Rep and Chair
The trip was a formal ‘ Cumbria canoeists ’ guided event , initially with 12 paddlers . Due to Covid-19 issues and new commitments for some participants , we decided to run with a group of seven paddlers .
The shuttle is often an issue on the Spey , but I was introduced to the relatively new shuttle transport business – Highland Yaks – run by a Kiwi called Alexander Kelty , better known in Speyside as Kelty !
The plan was to camp at the Spey Bay Golf course , now set up with the full facility of a caravan and camping park , right on the ocean ’ s edge and five minutes walk from the River Spey . Also , at no extra cost , we were able to leave our vehicles in the spacious and secure car park , planning to return four days later – what a slick service !
At 0730 – ahead of time - a minibus arrived in the campground , with a spacious trailer for our open boats and kit for the four-day trip we had planned . Some of the early birds helped load the canoes , while Kelty greeted the team and provided quality straps for trailer loading and directing the trailer loading . All I had to do was show up for 0800 , throw my kit in the back and climb in the minibus – the front seat saved for the leader / organiser .