Elterwater Lake District River Weekend

Having undertaken extensive research Graham was able to identify a suitable Hostel in Elterwater which was cheap, had both male and female sleeping areas, a dry room, a full English breakfast, close to a pub, and central to a wide range of rivers. The last criteria obviously being the most important! Travel arrangements in place we headed down to the Lake District as we experienced the tail of Storm Freya. Sandy’s wee van did well to make it up a 25% gradient hill fully laden and Sandy did well manoeuvring all the tight corners in the dark. Having dumped our kit in the prison…..sorry hostel….we headed down to the pub to wait on Graham and Campbell.   After a good nights sleep (in the ladies dorm) and a noisy sleep in the boys room we stocked up on energy reserves with a very tasty cooked breakfast. Following a most excellent exercise in skilful (tandem) navigation we arrived at our put-in point on the...
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GlenIsla trip 10th and 11th November 2018

This year was an alternating year when the Lochawe weekend goes on tour. After phoning just about every village hall in Scotland we went to the GlenIsla village hall near Kirriemuir. A great hall with showers, a fantastic kitchen and a pub 300m away. It also brought a new area with new rivers and sea trips, but more later. After some ins and outs the group ended up as 12 people, with a mix of river and sea participants. A game of paper-scissors-stone on Saturday morning gave Misha a sea day followed by a river day, whereas Graham had a river day then a sea day. Rain overnight had meant that a debate of West Water (Grade 3 / 4) or South Esk (Grade 2/3). The group (Graham, Derek, Gianni, Marcus and Sam) stopped for a look as we crossed the South Esk and it looked big and brown and seemed a good choice. The gauge when we got a phone...
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Sound of Luing trip report 08.09.2018

Rab, Leigh, Sandy, Hannah, Pat This trip was carefully named to reflect the difficulty of predicating where you might end up depending on the tides and wind conditions in this area. We had hoped for Garvellachs but it became apparent as the week progressed that we would get there but couldn’t be sure whether we would get off the island anytime soon. We settled for Belnahua, an island at the north end of the Sound of Luing where we would camp and set off early the next day to escape the worst of the weather. We launched from near Craignish point, west of Ardfern. It was F2 and we were slow to make progress across Dorus Mor against a 2 mph tidal stream to Dearg Sgeir which lay 1 ½ km off shore. We then headed for Scarba with the Corryvreckan opening up to the west. As we got closer, we could hear the roar of the body of water passing through...
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Glenuig Weekend May 2018

Keywords: settee, swim, perfect calm, view of Small Isles, 'someone's taken my kayak', otter, 'how much for a go in your canoe Mister' Who was there: Janice, Anne, Bev, Marcus, Alan, Pat Special guests: Morven who brought her parents Jo and Michael, and Liz (sister of Janice) Conditions each day Weather: perfect calm Sea state: perfect calm Views: fabulous over to Small Isles, Skye, Coll Friday night we were down at the settee on the shore watching one of several fabulous sunsets Saturday Loch Moidart 25km Put in Samalaman by Glenuig with carry out over sand. Paddled out round Smirisary to first stop at Silver Sands. Then on to lagoon formed by low tide at SW corner of Eilean Shona for lunch. Continued on through South Channel to explore Castle Tioram then through North Channel to arrive back at Samalaman. On the way, a few of us gals went swimming from Eilean Shona beach - it was Baltic but don't let that put you off. It was a lovely spot...
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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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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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