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The Tummel

Things can go wrong very, very quickly on a river.  Nearing the end of the run I split the group into two groups of three, the eddies above the Linn are few and far between at this level, I don't want the group arriving as a six, all fighting for for space.

I drop down leading the second group of three, an enormous hole appears in front of me, that wasn't there yesterday, levels and features change.  I reach over the pile as I hit it and pull myself through, the Jefe has no problems, I immediatley fear for Jo in the S7, she just won't have the speed in the smaller boat, I spin round and see Jo stop dead, she's going for a surf, as I head for an eddy I see her fighting to get out, she flips and washes through, attempting the role, she misses and her head pops up next to the boat, this is bad, this is not a place for a swim, one more hole a short section then the Linn, a BIG ass drop.

Jo is through the hole and a line shoots out from the bank and hits her, ( our other group on the river are insepcting from river left and are witnessing this as it unfolds ) she grabs the rope and slows her progress giving Rob time to drop down, she is never going to be able to hold the rope mid rapid.

I pass Rob and Jo and head for the eddy, Rob is next to Jo and I give him the space to work, looking over my shoulder rehersing the line over the Linn, if she swims it do I drop it blind?  Jo is on the front of Rob's boat, I am relieved for her and for me, at least I get to inspect the Linn.

Becky tells me Sarah has gone, looking round for Sarah, "where?"

"Over there" as Becky point to the Linn, "run, make sure she is ok" again I consider dropping the Linn blind but I am half out of my boat already , so I run too, almost immediatley we see Jon and get the thumbs up that Sarah is ok.

Heading back to the boats, Jo is out of the water and the other group have her sorted on the bank, Becky heads after Sarah, Rob and I wait on the bank for the others to appear.

We are on the Tummel in Scotland.  Work on the turbines means the dam has been releasing every day since the beginning of June, one of the raft guides tells us it's three times the normal summer release to keep the water levels low, allowing work to continue.

The river is almost out of its banks, it's flowing through the trees and is way above what we would normally see, most of the features are washed out, holes and stoppers replace the usual lines, the water is warm and it's mid summer and we are getting a big water paddle in, brilliant!

Sarah doesn't normally swear but when I asked he what happened she her statement of  "I couldnt see a F****n thing caught me by surprise, followed by "daily contact lenses are s***", dropping through the hole above the Linn she caught a face full of water and blinking frantically to clear her vision she missed the eddy and dropped the Linn backwards!

This is the view from the bank that prompted Sarah's outburst, looking downstream to the horizon line formed by the Linn.

Jon dropping the Linn




Sarah's backwards line would have been on the right of this picture, river left.

Zambezi Rob


Looking back upstream to the Linn

If you haven't paddled the Tummel, go do it, if you have, go do it again while the big releases last.

We stayed here,, just a short drive from Killin and the Falls of Dochart