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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Spring River Bunkhouse Weekend 10th – 12th March 2017

With a dry February and start of March we weren’t very optimistic on finding much water for our weekend of awesome river paddling. Thankfully storm Doris gave us a deluge the weekend before which probably saved the trip. Blair, Campbell, Derek, Graham and Grant set off for Aviemore on the Friday evening, not a particularly nice drive as drizzly rain fell for most of the journey. Reaching Aviemore we checked into the Youth Hostel which we could not praise higher, friendly staff, clean comfortable rooms and excellent communal lounge. Off to the local for some refreshments then back to hostel to prepare for Saturdays paddle, note: always take room key when you need to visit the wee boys’ room, corridor carpet not that comfy. Saturday morning we decide over breakfast that we will paddle the mighty Findhorn upper and mid-section 19km grade 2/3 with the odd grade 4 for a challenge. Off we set taking the B9007 over the Cairngorms with...
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Day 3 of Graham – The Seach for the Wind

  Day 3 of Graham's hunt for the wind took us on a trip down Loch Arachay in to Loch Venachar. After finding little wind and mirror flat water on our previous trips to Loch Lomond and Rhu , Graham was feeling optimistic on the back of Storm Doris. After a drive through the flooded Trossachs things were looking promising, we dragged the canoes through a flooded swamp and got onto the water. The put in was pretty sheltered and gave us time to warm up by practicing some of the skills we had learnt previously. We then headed down the Loch and true to form the Scottish winter failed to deliver the wind; however Graham kept us working by challenging us to think about what was happening during the catch and power phase of our strokes and to focus on the angle of the blade and what we were doing at each stage. As always I found that making fine adjustments has a noticeable difference on the...
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River Allan – 19.02.17 – Tristan Armstrong

Another planned day out by Sandy, making use of whatsapp to keep everyone up to date, and allowing myself, Derek, Chris, Leigh, and Campbell sign up for the day. An exciting river trip in the grade of 3+. We were all looking for a challenge, something to push us a little bit. Checking the river levels the night before confirmed my worries, very little rain around. Where would we go? We all meet up at Miller Street container and Sandy drops the bomb, Allan Water is his hope. My instant thoughts go back to my last paddle there....lots of swims. My chances of staying dry had just diminished. The back ups were the Teith and the Tay which will go in most levels. So off we went in hope with 4 kayaks and two open canoes, making use of the trailer to cut back on  cars at the get out. On arrival we checked the level, a little lower than we...
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Regular Beginners Trip, Regular Skills Sessions and Intermediate Sea Kayaking Series

We have just added 4 new sets of events which offer lots of chances to go paddling. - Beginners Trips (1st Weekedn of month) - Skills Sessions (3rd Weekend of month) - Intermediate sea kayaking (A series of trips/paddles through the summer - we are taking names for these as places are limited)) - Intro to moving water and currents (Wed evenings at Pinkston in March) Find out more about them on the calendar! ...
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Loch Lomond Sports Hub AGM

The Loch Lomond Watersports Hub project is progressing and the AGM is this Monday evening. If you are free and would like to know more, show you support or even ask about getting involved please come along. Visit: http://dckc.co.uk/event/loch-lomond-watersports-association-agm/ has info on the meeting or loch-lomond-watersports-hub.org.uk about the project....
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Firth of Forth Sea Kayak Training – 11th February 2017

Another Saturday morning where I’m up at the crack of dawn to pack up all my paddling gear and get my boat sorted. A quick pit-stop at the petrol station – the car is fuelled and I have the morning coffee in hand. As I’m driving through to Port Edgar Marina, South Queensferry I’m hit with rain…..howling winds…..heavier rain…..and then sleet. Then I think about Rab’s prediction of force 5-7 winds and that familiar thought pops into my head, why am I doing this again!?!?! When I arrive at Port Edgar the rain is off and Rab puts a smile all our faces by announcing the first task of the day is to have a brew and a warm breakfast. We then spent the next hour or so talking through the process for planning a trip and discussing the things we’d need to consider. I think we also challenged Rab to keep us all on point, it’s amazing how many things...
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Lomond Night Paddle. Fri. 10 Feb.

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...
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Drymen Bridge to Balmaha. 4 Feb.

Bev. in her shiny new boat, David MacD. , George , Chris and myself braved rain and wind. The forecast had been threatening, so I did a recce the day before. Water was high and the ground muddy. On the Saturday after more rain, the river was the highest I've seen it and fast flowing at the put-in. We set up the shuttle and launched our sea boats without incident. We thought we were in for an easy ride with the current for the eight miles or so. Just our luck, strong headwinds meant hard paddling. Muscles getting a bit tired , we broke for lunch on the sheltered bank of the creek on the right side of the river. Everyone was in good spirits, even Chris, the only one with a play boat. He had to work twice as hard as the rest of us. Resuming the paddle, we wondered what the SW winds would do to the mile so loch stretch....
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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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Call for missing photos!

If you have any digital images from club trips back in the day then we have space for them on the club's awesome Smugmug photo gallery! Just email graham (grahammswanson@gmail.com) with the name of the trip and year/month/date and he will get you an upload link. We have also started "tagging" some images for people folders... https://dckc.smugmug.com/People-Folders   Here is a photo album of the club's selfie king. ...
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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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Autumn Rivers

You may have seen on the calendar  that we have a number of river trips running between now and December. These are for anyone who wants to attend who has basic boat handing skills. There will also be the chance to train for and sit the three star assessment in white water kayak. The remainder of the dates are Saturday 8 October 2016 Saturday 5 November 2016 Sunday 6 November 2016 Saturday 12 November 2016 Saturday 10 December 2016 with an assessment  date on Sunday 11 December 2016 The plan is also to make these trips open to other paddlers who are not necessarily interested in obtaining their 3 star. This will provide the opportunity to get out on the river in not just kayaks but also canoes, whether tandem or solo. we will be paddling a range of rivers and I hope to include the Teith, the Awe, the Tay, the Nith, the Clyde and maybe some others if we can fit them in. If you are interested,...
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