The weather has been glorious over the last few days and that was no exception this Sunday when Sandy, Paul, Alison, Ellen, Jim, Connor, Paul, David, Clive, me (Geri) and Matthew met at the Miller Street container for what looked like a positive start to the day. It was a fairly straight forward drive up to the Loch although it was fairly clear that traffic might be an issue at some point in the day. Significantly smaller than the major lakes of the area, but easily accessible along the A84, Loch Lubnaig is popular with picnicker, walkers and cyclists. There are two car parks providing easy access to the southern end of the loch, both close to pleasant beaches. A parking fee applied of £4 for the day but the new pound coin didn’t work, neither apparently did a card, so for some, parking was free.
In all we were 11 paddlers (with two junior kayakers joining us). It was the first time I had seen the double sea kayak being used. Alison and her daughter Ellen enjoyed the experience of using the craft which is an excellent idea for those of you taking along younger paddlers. In fact I think Matthew had his eye on it as a possible solution for his kayak obsessed daughter Megan. A sail was added on the return journey but wind was scarce so it appeared that Ellen spent a lot of time under the sail holding it up with her arms. The new P&H Delphin was taken out on its maiden voyage (I think) by Sandy and I hope to get a chance to use it at some point too, as looks like a perfect solution to my storage limitation problem. Shorter than the other kayaks, it definitely looked impressive in action and in discussion with Sandy it appears to handle well and is responsive and easily manoeuvrable. If anyone knows of one for sale, I may well be interested.
As was hoped on a beginner’s trip it was an excellent paddle with no dramas. There was a tail back of traffic coming out of Calendar at the end of the day, but, that’s to be expected on days like this. Just a perfect paddle in calm conditions – what more do you want as a beginner. Occasionally, the wind got up but nothing to write home about, all in all a positive experience. The A84 which runs alongside the loch was noisy but the warm sun and scenic beauty certainly compensated. Hot sunny days do bring out the bikers and soft top sports cars, so lots of traffic and noise bouncing around the hills. However, looked like a nice cycle route on the other side of the loch, might check that out on another day. A perfect beginner’s trip. Thanks to all for their company and a big thank you to Sandy for leading and keeping us informed and relaxed.