The Mighty Teith – June 17th 2017

On a calm overcast morning, 4 of us set off from Miller St all kitted up – Leigh (our trip leader), Marcus, Clive and myself. We met up with Graham Roy at Callander car park with his open boat. After leaving some cars at the Torrie lay-by some miles downriver, Leigh gave us an excellent pre-trip brief of the day ahead of us, safety checks, signals, etc. and we all showed off our individual kayak experience (or lack of). It was a busy car park. It looked like we were sharing the river Teith with a big group of kayakers from the Stirling Kayak Club. To get us warmed up we went upriver a bit to practice ferry gliding and breaking in and out of the current, which allowed the Stirling group to go on ahead. Leigh went to the front of the group to show us the correct lines, with Graham bringing up the rear in...
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Day 4 – The Search for Wind – Loch Eck, March 2017

The last day of Graham’s killer canoeing sessions and he couldn’t have booked a better day, if he had a hotline to the big man himself! The sun was splitting the skies, predictions of 18°, and apparently no wind. So I cast off my old faithful dry-suit and didn’t bother bringing my pop-up sail. I was totally up for a nice leisurely paddle on Loch Eck and shades were at the ready. The scenery didn’t fail, it was picture perfect as we were kitting out our Open Boats. Having passed around the 5L bottle of screen wash Graham R. kindly helped me carve my very own bailer. Graham S then declared we were going to get wet – great, the one day I didn’t bring my dry suit! Fortunately you can always count on Sandy to save the day, he only had a spare dry-suit. On the water we did a warm-up. Stupidly I thought it was genuinely “warm-up” and got caught out...
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Snow-capped mountains of Arran, a deserted lighthouse and dolphins.

An impromptu ‘WhatsApp’ trip planned at short notice, the original idea was to paddle from Portencross to Kilchattan Bay on Bute and back via Little Cumbrae. Getting up nice and early on a crisp January morning we were greeted by a wonderful sunrise over the snowy hills en route to the start point, the full moon low in a litmus pink dawn sky. On arrival at Portencross the sea state was a little too choppy to launch from the rocky shore and no one wanted to incur the wrath of the grumpy castle keeper by using the slipway there, so we decided to pop up to Largs Marina and launch from there instead. By then the wind had dropped a bit and the five of us (Tony, Grant, Dennis, Pat and Alan) set off across to the North end of Little Cumbrae. Unfortunately, time was now against continuing over to Kilchattan Bay (sunset was at 4pm) so we decided to go to the...
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Roybridge Weekend

FRIDAY NIGHT. DCKC arrived at the Roybridge village hall, after the group had been fed and watered we all got our heads down reasonably early except one young river kayaker who decided in the middle of the night to to do some gymnastics with his sleeping mat "YOU NO WHO YOU ARE BOY" what a racket. SATURDAY MORNING. myself, Ian,Tom, David, and Tony had arranged to join two kayakers, Ian and Victoria, from the Ben Nevis kayak club at the Glenfinnan monument car park at 9.15am. Being keen, we arrived 40 minutes early, this gave Tom and Tony A opportunity to take some photos of the monument and surrounding area, it was stunning on such a frosty, sunny morning. Ian and Victoria arrived bang on time and we were on our way. TRIP REPORT.  We left the slipway at Inverailot in overcast conditions and paddled down a very calm Loch Ailort on the ebbing tide enduring a light shower, by the time we got to Rubha Chaolais, the western point of the...
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River Teith 02/10/2016

Here is a trip report from one of our younger club members..............Connor McCLuskey. The River Teith  It takes about an hour to get to Callander from the Clydebank area. To get into the river it is probably better to seal launch because of the upstream current in the eddy at the entry point. During the time I was there, the water was near its highest point so it got to grade 3 water at some points and was really fast flowing, especially near the end at a rapid called Torrie.  The good thing about this river is that in between the rapids there was slower and calmer water which gave you time to have a break in a near by eddy. Something to watch out for is the height of the waves and the amount of reasonable sized rocks in the middle of the river. As a group because of the amount of rocks, we had to basically navigate a route through some,...
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Across Scotland by Open Canoe (almost)

In the olden days the rivers and lochs formed the main communication routes through the wild landscape.   As idyllic as this sound, I now celebrate the modern age!   Day 1 A drive up toward Glencoe seen us disembark at Rannoch Moore, where the river Ba flows into Loch Ba.    At this point Graham armed us all with saws and instructed us (me) in it’s use…….after being left to pack my boat, I cut myself on the saw!    Having filled the canoes full of all the kit we’d need for the next 5 days we launched the heavy boats into the loch.   Sandy paddled up the River Ba for his first of many photo opportunities and then with little appreciation of what we were going to face, we were off. With naive enthusiasm we paddled the across Loch Ba with a head wind.   When the wind changed to a cross-wind we took the opportunity to raft up in pairs and fire up the sail.  It took...
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River Awe 30.04.16

Saturday 30 April saw two club members journeying north to paddle the River Awe. The dam was releasing on one gate so water levels were medium/low but there was enough water to make the trip entertaining. After the shuttle we spent some time on ferry gliding on the rapid just below the dam and this then developed onto making use of water features to aid crossing the flow and this then developed onto wave surfing. Leigh caught her first wave closely followed by her first capsize and swim of the day and then, after some more practice at breaking in and out, we continued downstream to the graveyard section. This section has a number of large boulders which can be negotiated fairly easily as was shown by another group on the river who were paddling white water racers. We also paddled through the graveyard without mishap and the Leigh then took the lead for the next section down to Bridge of Awe. This was...
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OC Trip – River Spey 01-03.04.16

07.00 hrs on Friday 1 April 2016 saw Sandy, Leigh, Bernie, Derek and Graham Roy meeting at the Clubs Outdoor Store in Clydebank. Was this some elaborate April fool prank? No, we were meeting to start our three day open canoe descent of the River Spey. 3 hrs took us to our starting point at Kincraig on the north end of loch Insh where we unloaded the boats and then a further 3 hrs were needed to shuttle a car to Spey Bay and return to the start point. Eventually we were off! It was a fairly windy and wet day but we were thankful that the wind was coming from the south west so it was at our backs as we paddled north. 10 km of paddling took us to Aviemore, but no stops for us and a further 11 km took us to Boat of Garten. We then paddled on to our first campsite on an island which was...
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Finland Trip. May 2015

Trip report Finland. Arriving in Helsinki we were met by Eeva, Joachim and baby J who held aloft a paddle bearing a Scottish saltire to grab out attention. From our mini bus driven by Joachim we could see ten kayaks on a trailer being towed by Eeva who just for this trip sat and passed her trailer test, ( well done Eeva) we were now on our way to Cape Ally for our first taste of Finland. The Mokki was magnificent in the surrounding scenery too, on our first trip we set off enthusiastically in our new boats at a fair pace and in no time at all : / with help from the force five wind we landed on Seili. In the 16/17 hundreds it was used as a final resting place for people with leprosy and later a woman's mental institute and now owned by a University as a research facility. We met a group of visitors from...
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River Awe 26/07/15

For one reason or another only the two club kayakers, Sandy Johnston and Richard Lord,  met up with Graham Swanson in his open boat to take part in this classic river descent. There was a scheduled dam release on the River Awe and when we got there we found that all three gates were open on the dam releasing so much water that the top wave, normally found just below the dam, was completely washed out. There were plenty of other boaters about with parties from Glasgow Kayak Club, Stirling and Falkirk Canoe Club and Kyle Kayak Club all making the most of the excellent conditions on the river. A quick shuttle got one car and our dry clothes to the Taynuilt pier and then we set off on what proved to be an excellent trip in big volume warm(ish) water. The graveyard section provided the first test however it was nowhere near as technical as it is when there is less...
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Helensburgh to Cove and around sugar boat. 27/12/2014

A chilly start on Helensburgh pier with just about everything frozen solid!, myself. Barry, Donald, Janice, and Sandy set out for Cove and possible Adentinny  pending the daylight, with a really low tide we paddled with practically no wind or gusts making it easy to make good headway, With the sun in our face and a big smile on it we chatting most of the way and before we knew it had reached our destination we  pulled in at Cove for lunch, Sandy showing of his huge expensive camera and taking am sure some exceptional snaps whilst we tucked in to some warm tea to heat us up! On return  Barry popped up his sail in hope of wind (which there were none!) The wind you see when putting up a sail disappears almost like magic! (Barry will testify to this!) Onward we rounded the sugar boat with a debate on when it sunk! I said 1512 Janice said 1960 Sandy said 1950 Barry said 1972/79...
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