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Night Paddle 28th Sept

Paddlers; Geoff and Steve W

Weather; Damp; Wind SE F3 with gusts

Route: Craigendoran, Rhu Marina and return

Report: An uneventful paddle. Why? The quiet, the exercise and experience in handling a kayak in the dark.

Club Programme Autumn 2017

Helensburgh Canoe Club

Programme Autumn 2017



Sun 24th  Sea Kayak Paddle to Ailsa Craig

This is very dependent on the weather and for experienced sea paddlers only

Thurs 28th  Night Paddle

Very weather dependent. Contact if interested

Sat 30th Beginners Paddle, Luss 10am.

Open to all. Contact if interested



Sat 14th Beginners Canoeing. RCYNC 10am.

Restricted numbers. Contact

Sat ?   River Trip.

Contact to register interest

Sea Kayak Trips including Minch are planned but need weather window. Register your interest with Hugh

Thurs 26th. Club Evening; Videos   John St 8pm

Sat 28th Beginners Sea Paddle. Finnart 10am




Weekends 18th and 25th  L1 Coach Course

River and Sea Kayak Trips

Thurs 23rd Club Evening

Sun 25th? Pinkston Evening

Contact to register interest



Weekend  2nd/3rd Sea Kayak Bothy Trip

Thurs 14th Club Meal












River Teith Sat 26th Sept

Adele, Bella, Chris, Gordon, Holly, Jamie, John, Kerry, Rosie, Sam, Steve and Stuart went down the River Teith on Saturday 26 August.  Beautiful sunny day with the river level at 1.0m.
We launched at Callandar and made our way down to the exit point about half way to Doune on the A84 where there is a convenient lay-by.
General coaching of ferry gliding and breaking in and out of eddies with some of the more confident paddlers playing in the waves.
For those interested in such things, Chris, Gordon and Stuart all went for a swim.

Lynn of Lorn 23/08/17

Paddlers: Dave and Geoff

Weather: Sunny and Breezy (F3) from SW.


Report: With the previous weekend trip cancelled because of the wind the possibility of a day trip in reasonable weather was welcome, albeit in a limited time frame. The location was flexible but the sea and swell was preferred and a planned trip out of Ganavan (Oban) north was resurrected. However high spring tides generated by the solar eclipse were expected to generate a strong southerly tide (2.5knots) just as we would have been heading north so we decided to head to the same area from the north.

As we came across the mountains the weather was terrible and the mountains stayed covered for the rest of the day. We headed for South Shian on Loch Creran which provided an excellent launch point

Cloud on the mountains around Loch Creran

Launch Point

The entrance to Loch Creran was characterised by a series of tide races that shot us on southwards, albeit with some excitement as the boat was tossed around in the swirls. On the open sea the strong tide was met by a strong breeze (top end of F3) that led to a relatively bumpy ride, with frequent white horses.

Swirls (looking south)

Midway down stands an island, Eilean Dubh (small black island), which looks impregnable from a distance. As we got near however we could see a small beach and decided to visit.

Eilean Dubh looking north

Landing on Eilean Dubh

The island itself is covered with impenetrable undergrowth. Only kayakers could land and very few would want to! So after lunch we headed on down south towards Camas Nathais, an attractive inlet topped by a lovely sand bay. For reference there is also a lovely camp site here.

Camas Nathais

The Beach looking south to Oban

The tide had now turned so, after another break, we had a fast passage back up towards Loch Creran, stopping only to investigate the passage between Isle Eriskay and the mainland. We had hoped to use this but the channel , although past mid water was simply not deep enough. It should be runnable at high tide.

Instead we shot round into Loch Creran with an exciting run on the flow at the end of the islets Sgurr Caileach. We arrived back at the launch point having covered around 28km tide assisted in less than 6.5hrs with about 1.5 hrs lazing onshore. A good day’s paddle.


Wednesday Evenings 26th Sept, 2nd August and 9th August

Paddlers: Geoff, Steve, Damien, Lee and Tam (and a couple more)

Report: August 2017 was a windy and wet month but still provided good local kayaking. Our first trip sent us to Kilcreggan for a pint of excellent Guiness with a new local paddler picked up at Craigendoran beach. Our second evening outing saw us at Lomond Shores for a paddle to Inchmurrin. Not wonderful weather it was still an excellent evening with good coffee in the Pub on the island.

The 9th was presented as a trip to the Sugar Boat and on to Greenock. There was a strongish wind (F4) from the west/north west which resulted in rather uncomfortable paddling with biggish waves coming on sideways. Since we were unsure of the landing/refreshment on the other side we decided to head instead into the wind and make for the sailing club. Another excellent Guiness then back to Craigendoran in an increasing gloom. Another excellent evening.

Ardentinny and No Beer: 18/7/17

Paddlers: Allan, Dave, Lee, Geoff, Douglas, Steve W., Gordon, Adam and Paul

Weather: Glorious but a stiff easterly (F4) out of the shelter of the hills


Report: The broad intention was to paddle across Loch Long for a convivial drink at the newly re-opened Ardentinny Inn, thereby adding Sea Kayakers to the list of valued clients. Pushed along by the wind (literally for the lone kayak sailor) we crossed in no time and climbed the steps on to a lovely new patio with splendid chairs. The doors to the bar were open but the pub itself would have done Marie Celeste proud. Investigation by Steve brought forth the owner who informed us they were closed on Tuesdays so no coffee and no beer. So, after a short period sampling the comfort of the armchairs (excellent), we set off back. This was a much stiffer proposition but we were still far too early to stop so a paddle along the shore was proposed and accepted. The evening and sunset was marvelous.

We paddled up to Auchentower Point just north of Knockderry where there is an extremely expensive/luxurious property with an incredible glass window overlooking the sea. The partially clothed couple clearly did not expect to see nine sea kayakers looking in just as we did not expect to see them looking out. I have a feeling the beauty of sea kayaks exceeded the beauty of the human forms.

We got back well past bed time just as the light was finally dying (9.45?) after around 11km in a little over 2 hours. Fast loading and a clear road got us back just after 11pm; an excellent evening.

Inchfad and Other Islands

After paddling round the Loch Lomond islands something new comes as a bit of a surprise. This note relates to an island we never normally land on as we head for either Balmaha or Inchcailloch and its picnic benches and toilets but visited on a solo trip last Wednesday. Inchfad proved to be an interesting place. First along with Inchmurrin and Inchtavannach it is permanently populated. Inchcailloch and Inchcruin only have occasional summer visitors.

ll Islands

Secondly it has at least four excellent houses for rent at substantial sums and an extremely well kept pier. Thirdly it has a well hidden canal/harbour with concrete walls of the order 3m tall and a slip.

Inchfad This channel was apparently dug in the 1760’s to supply a distillery on the island,although there is nothing left now.

A herd of fallow deer can be found on the grassland that runs along the centre of the island and the pond is a haven for geese. Inchfad is worth visiting.


River Awe June 2017

Paddlers: Steve, John, Gordon and Jamie

Report: GOPR4791 GOPR4792

A somewhat damp day on the River Awe, not that we noticed!
We put in just below the Pass of Brander Barrage on the A85 and shuttled the cars to Taynault Pier at the end of the B845.
Steve led us down and we spent time practicing ferry gliding below the damn before entering the “Graveyard”!
En route we practiced breaking in and out of eddies, eddie hopping and trying to catch standing waves.
Gordon and Steve both managed to take involuntary swims but managed to roll back up (the water was lovely).  Jamie practiced popping his spraydeck and John declined to test the water.
We all survived “Magnetic Rock”,  the trickiest bit of the river.  It was so good we got out and did it again.
Tremendous fun and a big thanks to Steve for leading us and to John for all his tips.
Some video clips for your amusement:

Training: Loch Long June 22nd 2017

Paddlers: Tom, Mollie, Euan, Geoff, Colin, Gordon, Kerry, John, Sheila, Adam,Holly, Allan

Weather: Low Cloud but no wind. Occasionally damp.

Report: The midges hastened the rapid departure from Finnart on an overcast and almost windless evening. This was the last of the Young Beginners training paddles but sadly only 2 of the 5 on the course made it. A leisurely paddle over to Mark, a quick inspection of the bothy (everything OK) and then a paddle up to the mouth of Loch Goil. Three seals joined the cruise. Another leisurely paddle back to Finnart completing an attractive and relaxing evening.

Holly and Sheila with Colin in background

Holly and Sheila with Colin in background


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Upper Loch Fyne, 20th June

Paddlers: Geoff, David, Allan

Weather: Glorious, Sun and no Wind


Report: The trip was rescheduled to fit with the weather forecast, a decision wonderfully rewarded. The location was almost random; we were heading for Loch Eck but Loch Fyne looked good and we were passing easy launching and parking. Memories of a grey and boring trip were ditched; Upper Loch Fyne is worth canoeing.

Our launch site was St Catherines where there is a jetty , unloading straight on to the beach and parking. From there we headed north east towards the top of the Loch, our target being the Loch Fyne Oyster Bar. Being unprepared we had no idea of the distance. The paddle was beautifululf 002ulf 003

Our first stop was on the beach in front of Ardkinglas House. ulf 005ulf 006

The house was built for the Noble family in 1907 and is regarded as a masterpiece of Edwardian architecture. The gardens are open daily and tours of the house are available on Fridays ( see

After an early lunch and some sunbathing we pushed on up the loch past a new style fish farm to the head of the loch. The farm is now a bio-secure land based operation; the lice ridden open cages are no more. At the head of the loch we decided a slog over the beach to the oyster bar was not worth it and turned east down the Argyll shore.

Our next port of call was Dunderave Castle which was built in the 16th century for the Clan Macnaughton. (

Heading south west

Heading south west

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This is a classic small castle beautifully maintained with a number of superb bronze figures and animals around it.ulf 012

After our second lunch we headed for Inverary for our ice cream. By now the tide was well out but we found an excellent landing spot on a gravel bank at the head of the pier. Sadly the temporary fencing at the foot of the pier to prevent public entry also prevented exit, so we had to descend on to the beach and then climb a broken ladder to get into the village. The Orkney Ice Cream was delicious.

Inverary from St Catherines

Inverary from St Catherines

The final leg back over the loch was stunning and we arrived back at St Catherine’s just before 4pm having taken some 5hrs 30mins to cover the 25km with 3 stops. ulf 016

What a day.