Canoeing The Spey With Kevin, Ray & Justine part 12 – Battle To The Sea

by Paul Kirtley

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Canoeist on choppy water on a windy day

The final day on the Spey was a battle to the end… Image courtesy of Kevin Callan

The River Spey remains interesting right until its end. From Grantown it’s a relatively steep river. Rather than running into an extensive estuary like many rivers do, the river flows abruptly into tidal waters about 700m before it reaches the open sea.

From the last road bridge at Fochabers down to Spey Bay, where the river meets the sea, the Spey becomes unconstrained and, in places unchannelised, reminiscent of an outwash plain, with the river braiding. This means the river changes over time, from one year to the next and even between trips. In addition, this is an area where flood debris, such as trees, from further up the river are deposited. So, the last section is no easy final day yahoo to the ocean. It’s one where you have to keep your wits about you.

On our last night in camp, following the campfire whisky tasting, it rained heavily overnight. The river had come up significantly and was moving with pace. We expected a quick run down to the sea at Spey Bay but there was also a headwind. This slowed us somewhat initially but in the last stages, as we became more exposed, it provided a real challenge, with us having to fight every inch of the last few miles to the end…

Scotland’s Spey River Paddle & Whisky Tour – Part 12 – Paddle To The Sea

Click on the box bottom right for full screen view. This video is available in full HD. Click on gear/cog symbol to choose the quality level you want to stream.

I hope you enjoyed the above film. Let me know what you think below. Episode 12 is the last episode in this series but if you’ve missed any of the previous installments, they are all linked below. Thanks for watching!

Previous Sections Of This Series

Watch part 1 here: Watch Canoeing The River Spey With Kevin, Ray & Justine Curgenven – part 1

Watch part 2 here: Canoeing The Spey With Kevin, Ray & Justine part 2 – A Few Campfire Tricks

Watch part 3 here: Canoeing The Spey With Kevin, Ray & Justine part 3 – River Safety

Watch part 4 here: Canoeing The Spey With Kevin, Ray & Justine part 4 – Setting Camp In The Dark

Watch parts 5 and 6 here: Canoeing The Spey With Kevin, Ray & Justine parts 5 and 6 – Where Does The Whisky Come From?

Watch part 7 here: Canoeing The Spey With Kevin, Ray & Justine part 7 – More Whisky, Little Water

Watch part 8 here: Canoeing The Spey With Kevin, Ray & Justine part 8 – The Washing Machine

Watch part 9 here: Canoeing The Spey With Kevin, Ray & Justine part 9 – Teaching Kevin To Make Campfire Coffee

Watch part 10 here: Canoeing The Spey With Kevin, Ray & Justine part 10 – Special Guests Come To Our Wild Camp

Watch part 11 here: Canoeing The Spey With Kevin, Ray & Justine part 11 – The Final Day Starts With Poignant Reflection

Related Material On Paul Kirtley’s Blog

PK Podcast 019: Post-Trip Post-Script With Kevin Callan, Justine Curgenven and Ray Goodwin

PK Podcast 003: Kevin Callan, The Happy Camper

PK Podcast 013: Ray Goodwin On Continually Evolving Adventures By Canoe

PK Podcast 005: Justine Curgenven And An Aleutian Adventure

White Water Safety & Rescue Training Provides Useful Survival Skills

Six Men, Three Boats and The Bloodvein: Canoeing A Wilderness River

Wild Wanderings 6 – River Spey Canoe Journey

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Paul Kirtley is an award-winning professional bushcraft instructor. He is passionate about nature and wilderness travel. In addition to writing this blog Paul owns and runs Frontier Bushcraft, a wilderness bushcraft school, offering bushcraft courses and wilderness expeditions.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Phil Robinson

Possibly the most entertaining set of films I’ve seen. Awesome.

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Alan

Some good entertainment in that series. Any chance you and Ray might make paddle and whiskey trips down the Spey a regular event? I have a friend who may be quite interested in that.

Alan

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Ronald Gall

Very refreshing and entertaining films. Was there a potential threat of being carried out to sea, at the juncture where the Spey flowed into the sea.
Overall, very enjoyable films.

Warm regards,

Ronald

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