Goodbye to Bartlett

We have sold Bartlett the open canoe. She was named after Bartlett Lodge on Cache Lake in the Algonquin Park, Ontario where we first went out in a canoe together (in the summer of 2005, on our honeymoon).

We’ve loved Bartlett for four years but for various reasons we have only been able to take her out at most a few times each year. Canoeing in Scotland is not like canoeing in Canada. Our grand plans for day trips were often scuppered by wind and rain and we never managed any of the longer canoe-camping expeditions we had planned. We had some lovely trips on the Caledonian Canal, mostly on Loch Oich and Loch Dochfour, but even there we have twice had to abandon ship on account of a sudden squall into the teeth of which it was impossible to paddle. Paradoxically, our most threatening experience was thanks to an RNLI lifeboat tanking up Loch Oich at great speed and almost knocking us out of the canoe with the force of its wake.

Memorable moments include the time the mother mallard brought her brood of 12 or so ducklings for us to feed with the RSPB-approved duck food she had tasted and pronounced suitable for her offspring. An osprey circled over us for ages one beautifully sunny day at the top end of Loch Ness. The view down Loch Ness when you emerge from Loch Dochfour at water level is breathtaking. We enjoyed many delicious lunches on the island in Loch Oich (and bizarrely found a clutch of golf balls there on day).

Owning Bartlett has taught us lots of things, not least the value of developing upper body strength for hoisting things on and off a car roof.

She only had to sit in the doorway of Brookbank Canoes in Perth for less than 48 hours before someone snapped her up with all her accountrements. Hopefully her new owner will take her out for lots more days and weeks on the rivers and lochs than we managed. We’ve kept our fabulous beaver-tail paddles from Huntsville (oh and the Tilley hats of course) and have every intention of paddling again some day soon, somewhere nice.

This entry was posted in Archive, Master plans. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.