This time under clear skies and a huge full moon, seven of us, Rab, Iain, Jim Edmonds, Katy, Dave Ross, Alan and Danny, set off from Balmaha on one of Rab’s now famous night paddles. Ten minutes on the water before our night vision took over, then to the right of Inchcaillach and a paddle over to the northern string of islands and back down through the Narrows. No owls calling on this one, unlike on the previous trip.
Most of the way was eerily calm and it is always a little disconcerting how different familiar stretches look in the dark. Dave had passed around little cyalume sticks for the boats, but it was still easy to lose sight of each other – except for Alan who seemed to be reading War and Peace by red light, although I’m sure he’ll claim he was only checking the map!
The upper reaches of Ben Lomond and the hills to north and west were snow covered and glowing in reflected moonlight. Beautiful!
After lots of chit chat and a chocolate break, we paddled back, arriving to the minute at Rab’s predicted get-off time. Within seconds of coming ashore , the water on the boats froze solid on the decks and my splits were ice welded in place. Even Katy’s wet hair froze!
For those of you who haven’t done a night paddle, you don’t know what you are missing. Rab will be leading another Lomond one on March 13 and a more challenging sea one Lunderston to Dunoon on April 10. Pencil them in now.