or another amount here
and without the comments
And in the morning we saw some of the things we failed to hit on our way up – but no worries Katie is tough enough to bounce off most of them
we cast off with the first of the flood and let the incoming tide sweep us up the earn – bouncing and scraping our way along the river bed.
This little stretch of water, the earn, is the jewel in the crown of scottish east coast rivers. We spent an utterly magical morning drifting up this sparkling little waterway towards the bridge at the top –
I count my blessings for the day I found Jill. Her father was in the navy so she came fully trained in all things nautical, how to hold a course, row a dinghy, cook in a tiny space, drive a landrover – tow a big trailer – and she also seems perfectly accepting of a husband who disappears on a boat for weeks or months on end. What more could I ask.
Drifting on a calm summers day up a new to me estuary on a tide with a bit of spring about it is one of my real pleasures. Katie I foot draft with her centre plate up and rudder almost raised there are not many underwater obstructions that can do us much damage. I do no more than use the incoming current to sweep us inland – using a bit of genoa to keep us out of the shallows and away from the mast snagging overhanging trees – if I fail with the sail then I apply a few strokes with the paddle to get her pointing towards the deeper water and the best of the current.
. The earn meanders in every direction of the compass so the gentle wind is all over the shop. There ahead in the water you can see where the incoming tide is changing the surface of the water.
If she starts running backwards then that is all part of the fun – as long as the plate and rudder up kept out of the way.
. After an hour or two of this cruising nirvana I start to get a real feel for this enchanting little waterway.
It is along these a semi-tidal stretches of the Tay system that the pure peaty fresh water from the mountains and glens of scotland meets, mingles and then blends with the crystal clear northern latitude salt laden sea water that comes surging up here with every tide.
It is to here, to this shallow boulder strewn riverbed where the brachish semi salted , yet still clear water, is always on the move,
that the salmon come.
They linger for days on the downcurrent side of the boulders which are strewn across the riverbed. These semi-pellagic sea fish have to undertake the ticklishly challenging physioligical trick of transitioning from wide ranging salt water fish to one that can exist in the shallow fresh water tinkling streams of Scotland where they come to spawn.
This is where the rich blokes. who pay £5,000 a rod, will try to temp the all but comatose salmon who are not a bit interested in eating to snatch at cunningly contrived artifical flies made of bird feather, ocelot hair and verdigrease.
And finally to the Bridge of earn. I would have liked to have gone further up in the dinghy…. maybe another day, another year, another life.
our dawdling up the earn had meant that we were in an unseemly rush to get through the unpredictable shallows and banks of the mini bar formed where the earn drains into the tay
And the worst sound Katie ever makes is when the single 6 hp cylinder of the tohatsu is being tortured in an effort to meet a tidal gate.
So, the journey was completed with the help of a pair of noise cancelling headphones. Which miraculously transformed this ungodly racket – into this.