Sticky Post – Club Members Passwords etc

October 20th, 2015 • By: graham Uncategorized

Please ask for the password to access club member page / coaches pages / committee pages as approriate. If you don’t have the password email

We are working on a forum option but meanwhile like us on facebook or join the whatsapp groups for sea paddling or river kayaking.

Your email address will normally be added to our monthly newsletter mailing list. If you don’t seem to be getting yours let us know on

Beginners Trip – Loch Lubnaig – Sunday 7th May

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.


Safety Kayakers – Great Scottish Swim – 26 August 2017

April 6th, 2017 • By: Sandy Johnston Uncategorized

Great Scottish Swim – Safety Kayakers wanted for Club Fundraising Opportunity

Hi everyone,
Last year we made about £2000 for the club funds by providing safety kayakers for the Great Scottish Swim. This year we have the opportunity to do this again and hopefully raise another £2000.
The event is taking place on Saturday the 26th of August at Loch Lomond.  
 The requirements are similar to last year. To be considered for the team kayakers must have at least one of the following qualifications OR previous Great Swim event experience:
Swim Event Safety Award (SESA)
BCU 2 star
BCU Coach Level 1+
Foundation Safety and Rescue Training (FSRT)
On behalf of the club I have offered to provide 20 kayakers. If you are available on 26 August and want to help out with a bit of fundraising please contact Sandy
I will be running FS&RT training courses on Sunday 9 July and also on Sunday 13 August. These dates will provide training opportunities for those that need them, but this is not required if you have attended this event before. However its a great course to do and provides some valuable safety experience for both kayakers and canoeists!
I hope that you can help out. …….. Sandy

Foundation Safety and Rescue Training

We will be running two courses this year and these will be free to club members (apart from certificate fee) for the volunteers who are attending as rescue kayakers at the Great Scottish Swim on Saturday 26 August 2017. Otherwise the fee for club members for this course is £30.


This course is the British Canoe Union Safety course that all other safety courses are built on and is often a prerequisite for future development.

The two Courses will be taking place on Loch Lomond on Sunday 9 July 2017 and Sunday 13 August 2017.

There are only six places available on each course. This small class size allows easy learning and skills practice.

This course is designed for all paddlers irrespective of craft. The objective is to teach simple and safe skills that can be applied appropriately across a variety of paddlesport craft including kayaks and canoes.  These skills will then form the basis of all safety and rescue training throughout the BCU Scheme.

The course aims to provide the student with the key safety and rescue skills required to operate safely in a sheltered water environment and to be able to deal with common emergencies.

The course content is as follows:

1. General theory and planning a. Safety b. Rescue protocols

2. Bank-based rescues a. Coach a swimmer to shore b. Rescue a swimmer with a rigid aid c. Rescue a swimmer using a throw line

3. Boat-based rescues a. Rescue a swimmer from the water b. Rescue a capsized paddler using a deep water rescue c. Rescue an unconscious or entrapped paddler from their boat d. Use of towlines e. Self-rescue f. All-in rescue

4. Scenarios

This is a get wet course. A certificate is provided and this course will make you a safer paddler!


R. Tay 03.05.09

2017 Dam Releases in Scotland

March 29th, 2017 • By: graham River Trips

The SEPA freshnet schedule is show on make it easier to read / plan I have added them all to a google calendar but please check the SCA page before travelling:


Club (and Peer) river trips over the summer may include some of these dates!

Sandy on the River Awe









The original SEPA document is at document: 2017 Freshnets

Day 4 – The Search for Wind – Loch Eck, March 2017

March 29th, 2017 • By: Leigh Murray Canadian Canoe trips, Trip Reports

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 when Graham later asked us all to cover off what skills from the previous sessions we were practicing – busted! “Eh….power starts, J-strokes, and bow turns”.

Graham then had us all perfecting our technique for maintaining a relatively effortless cruising speed using a Canadian-J (or Indian-J). Sadly it wasn’t effortless for me, the boat kept veering to the left when it was meant to be “effortlessly” tracking in a straight line. As Graham was giving the guys some tips I summoned the guru (Sandy) who explained my strokes were in 3 parts and I needed to have a more fluid stroke. I also had to employ correction throughout the stroke, rather than just at the end. This is when Graham’s previous advice popped back into my head – think of an aeroplane wing as it’s landing. Graham then came over to build on Sandy’s advice. We did a bit more practice on this and by the end it was starting to feel like a Canadian J – if perfected you should be able to cruise in a straight line, without a sound.

Graham then introduced us to pitch and 45° paddle angles to make a tight turn at the bow – OMG. There was a lot of power transfer, a lot of pushing water, a lot of leaning forward, a lot of heeling (and balancing), a lot of straight arms, a lot of twisting of paddles (not twisting of wrists), and a few “no keep the paddle vertical……pitch Leigh, pitch”. Yip Graham was very firmly in that coaching throne and my head was starting to hurt again. But I think I finally nailed it! It is definitely a very effective technique which enables you to keep in better control of the boat and turn more effectively in wind. As Graham explained the sweep stroke will give you a wider turn but as it glides, you will lose power and speed.

Sandy pointed out a perfect lunch spot so our next task, set by Graham, was to paddle in a straight line only using pitch and paddling only at the bow. Really not as easy as you’d think!

After lunch Graham got back into the theory with the sand as his black-board……..head was hurting again. After lunch it was rescue time. We talked through X-rescue, the Curl, the Scoop, self-rescue, and all in rescue. We paired off and started practicing them, with speed and sliding being key themes. There may also have been a moment I nearly wiped Graham out, which Sandy kindly caught on camera. I blame the bucket!

Graham then demo’d some self-rescues, with and without the bucket. Then it was our turn – it’s amazing how long it takes to bail out a full boat. Graham then helpfully pointed out if someone has a full boat, it’s quicker if the team help to bail the person out. However every time I helped with the bailing, water seemed to be bailed into my boat. There was definitely something wrong with that scenario. And at one point Graham usefully employed that ****** bucket to launch water all over me – that bailer came in handy.

I can’t remember what we were doing but Ross and I found ourselves in the green room (under an upturned OC), counting to three, pushing the OC up into the air then trying to right it with the least amount of water inside. What I do remember is that the water was cold and it wasn’t really working for us. Graham’s top tip of rocking, and breaking the seal before pushing up, resulted in more water inside the boat and me saying hello to the fishes.

After all our cold water fun Sandy whipped out his pole and sail to effortlessly demo how you sail an open boat. Graham R. admirably stepped up to the sailing challenge and got a very sharp turn under his belt – it was impressive to watch. Ross and I had a go too, under a fair bit of instruction from Graham. Sailing was a lot of fun but I think we all need a wee bit more practice to have any hope of trying to out maneuver Sandy.

It was definitely not a superficial session, lacking substance. It was a brilliant day and final session that definitely packed a technical punch. 😉
We’re all a little sad it’s finished but who knows, there might be a “Return of the OC” coming to a river near you.

Thanks for all your top tips Graham and putting me (and the guys) through our paces. Did you hear the army’s recruiting? No seriously, it’s been brilliant.