Sea kayaking around the Forth bridge in Edinburgh

by RainDefence

I recently had a trip with a few others, sea kayaking near Edinburgh as part of a stag weekend. This is what it was like!

Stag weekends often revolve around drinking, but it's nice to have a break from that in the day and do something that is relaxing and lets you recharge your batteries. I'd never been sea kayaking before, but it definitely did that.

There were 14 of us in all up in Edinburgh for the weekend. A couple of the lads had kayaked before, but most of us hadn't. We arrived at about noon at the foot of the Forth bridge, to meet our guide, whose name was George. Naturally we had been out for steaks, mussels and an enormous amount of beer and whisky the previous evening, so we were all feeling rough.

One of the party decided to get things off to a flying start by vomiting, he then decided he didn't want to go out on the water. The rest of us were ok, so we got strapped up in our waterproof jackets and went down to the beach where we had a lesson in how to control the kayaks. There really isn't much to it to be honest, paddle forward and backwards to go forward and backwards. Turning etc is all pretty straightforward even if you haven't done it before. The one thing I found a bit disconcerting was how easily the kayak rocked under me. It didn't feel in any way stable, although as the day went on I realised that it was actually ok. George gave us some advice before we started, which was if the kayak rocks, just make sure you keep your head above the centre line of the boat. With that info in mind, we set out onto the water.

 The Forth bridge is a pretty well known landmark, this was where we started and kayaking round the stanchions was the first thing we did. Incredibly no one fell in, or hit each other too hard. We were told not to aim the kayak at anyone as for some reason they've been designed so that the front of the kayak is the perfect height to slam straight into someone's ribs. You could probably have kayak jousting as a sport.

After this we headed out past the oil pumping stations, which is where the tankers are filled and found a nice beach. Of course as we were approaching the beach one of the lads in his excitement ended up falling out of his kayak, to the amusement of everyone else. He was then the one that had to stand on the beach in his pants, wringing his clothes dry. After a fairly quick stop, involving us drinking a bottle of good single malt whisky between us, kindly supplied by the kayaking guide and a bit of mankini antics by the stag, we headed back. The whole thing was a trip of several hours, but it was awesome. Very relaxing and calm out on the water and good fun too. After this we spent a couple of hours in the nearest jacuzzi and then powered up for the big night out.

I'd highly recommend it as a stag activity, it's a bit different from your usual activities involving drinking, karting, paintballing, or any of that stuff, which is all fun, but something that most men have done a million times already. It cost us £45 each which was pretty good I thought. If you do it, just make sure you take some warm clothes and some ridiculous pants.


The Forth bridge
The Forth bridge
Updated: 04/22/2012, RainDefence
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