Bute Camping Trip (or “The 19!”)

28-30 August 2021 Over Etrrick low tide sands,The 19 pack their crafts A three-day trip requires bulk: The 19 puff, stuff hatches stern and aft Then launch, once briefed and photographed Go west, go west and west a little more Just past Ardlamont point: a pause Unpack a spot of lunch An onshore opportunity to start and to recharge 19 friendships.  This group is just so large! Yet more west the 19 paddleFlotilla pattern, set to Roddy’s stampA course to Kintyre – the Skipness Castle strandBy sliver sands, set up the campRefreshing swims, meals and fire lights Next morning breaks damp, grey, a little windyAgainst the forecast waves do more than danceRethink the plan, Lochranza is abandoned Aim for the crowing Cock of ArranSofter seas, and eastwards to Inchmarnoch West coast, the island hosts a second night19 tents face Arran’s Sleeping Warrior *Tired but more confident A team of 19 chatter, banterLater turn to bed, and join the soldier. Unlike the warrior, 19 early...
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Beginner Paddle – Loch Lomond Islands – 7th August 2021

After collecting kit, boats and people at the Miller Street store, we all met up at Milarrochy Bay. There were 14 of us, and with nearly as many different weather forecasts - none of them very good, with many including thunder and lightning πŸ˜±β›ˆβš‘οΈ The day started bright enough as we launched our boats, some a with little trepidation. Would we be up to a full day out? Would we be able to keep up? What if the wind picks up? What happens if there is thunderstorm? Any misgivings were soon eased by the reassurance and support from Bev, Hannah and Janice. We started paddling gently north towards Strathcashell Point, then west to skirt around the north shore of Inchlonaig, before heading south through the beautiful channel between Inchtavannach and Inchconnachan. I had previously paddled through here in April and was amazed at what a difference a few months makes to the water temperature, flora and fauna. The water was warm, at the surface at least, the ospreys had just returned...
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The DCKC Awesome Sea Paddling Week 2018

What can we say? It was AWESOME. It was so awesome that this report can only really give you a flavour. Next time – be there! We went to Shetland. Only a few days earlier, with the weather forecast looking unfavourable with a large storm predicted followed two days later by another storm, a non-Shetland Plan C was in place. We delayed the final decision on where to go whilst the forecast twisted and changed, and changed again. As our departure date drew closer, the forecast became more certain and it became clear that the first storm would pass before we arrived, allowing two good paddling days before the next front swept in. Our awesome trip leaders, Misha and Graham, decided two good days in Shetland would be worth the journey. In fact, the DCKC awesome sea paddling week yielded seven days of Shetland paddling and it has taken me a good week to recover. We paddled the most northerly part of...
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Sea Kayak Leadership Training, aka 4 Star Training

Four of us (Alan, Bev, Colin and Danny) gathered at Tayvallich, more specifically The Tayvallich Inn, on the Friday night having duly parked vans or pitched tents, and nervously discussed weather forecasts and tides, in between sipping beer and eating excellent food – despite the lack of Beef Madras. Lori and Antje texted to say that they were heading straight to their luxury accommodation of a B&B and such was the quality of the internet connection that some of us received the text the following night and others on Sunday. An early night and off to bed, the campsite just a short walk through the rain on a cloudy night. Morning was dry, but overcast. Calum, our trainer for the weekend, arrived promptly at 9am just shortly after Lori and Antje had arrived, and we were straight into planning the trip for the day, and being quizzed on tides, forecasts, and options. A suitable plan was finally agreed upon and we...
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Bothy Adventures

Saturday dawned grey, but dry. Arriving first (or so they thought) Bev and Geri set out to search Plockton for coffee, only to see a sea kayak being carried down to the beach. Closer inspection revealed Leigh under the kayak, girl-handling it over the seaweed like a pro. Take-away coffees in hand, the three of us set about the mammoth task of trying to fit all the kit and food and more kit into the kayaks. There was some re-packing and some re-jigging of which kit was actually going and which had been brought along just to be stored in the car. In the midst of this chaos, Misha and Andy (Misha's pal, who lives on Skye) paddled into the bay. Finally, all kit was duly stowed, hatch covers battered down and boats slid (slowly) over the last bit of seaweed into the water. Only an hour or so late... We paddled out into Loch Carron from Plockton, aiming to cross...
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The River Teith – Mighty Again

With some trepidation I signed up to Leigh's River Teith trip - she helpfully texted me the night before to let me know the water would be "pretty cold" so we would need drysuits, warm clothes and soup. We met at the container to sort out what must surely be the smallest boat ever for me - and headed up in convoy to Callander. Snow was lying all around as we sorted the kit in the car park and I'm sure that it was just the frozen ground that was giving me cold feet! We warmed up by practising some ferry gliding near the car park, with Leigh and Bernie offering encouragement and I soon found out the the smallest boat ever had a mind of its own and turned at right angles even if I so much as thought of putting the paddle in. Heading off down the river, careful to avoid the fishermen, we practised breaking in and...
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