Well, we actually got the canoe into some water today! I'd nipped up to Stirling on Thursday after work and finally bought us paddles, which all the experts agree are pretty much essential.
Marion wasn't starting work until 6 tonight, so Andy came over and we strapped "Julia" - that's his idea - onto the Defender and we all headed off to a stretch of the Forth & Clyde canal at Dullatur.
The first bonus from the day was that the new straps for tying-to-the-roofrack-purposes are an awful lot easier to use, and the canoe was pretty stable on the way over. I reckon another couple for the front will do the trick to stop any sideways movement, and it has to be less faff than tying knots every time.
There's a handy wee metal jetty just across the road from the carpark, and we got the boat into the canal, and then ourselves - well me & Andy at first - into the boat without any hassle. Paddling up and down quite the thing, so we were. Molly had a wee swim alongside us for a while, and even cautiously came on board at one point. I think she might take to this! The Wee Black Dug was having none of it though - she wouldn't even set paw on the jetty.
Marion swapped with Andy and had a wee shot, and it was rather good fun all told.
Buy buoyancy aids. (Not lifejackets!)
Buy a big knife ('cos the websites say you need one to cut tangly ropes in emergencies. And big knives are mental.)
Learn to steer the fecking thing.