First club paddle of the new year. Simple but enjoyable paddle round the islands in light winds and intermittent rain. As always, good to get out!
Launched from Luss. Brief stop on NE shore of Inchfad for a leg stretch and then a nosey into the canal/boat yard on the southern shore. Lunch stop at the NE end of Torrinch. Then rounded Eilanderroch and Inchgalbraith on route back to Luss.
Mark Bothy, Loch Long December 4th & 5th 2021 Wind forecast for Sat – NW F4 with strong gusts & overcast, Sun – N F1/2 and sunny Steve, Gordon, Edward
Last club trip of the year and a resurrection of an idea from the previous bothy trip in 2017 to Loch Awe.
The forecast though just allowing an outward and return trip from Helensburgh was revised for a more comfortable weekend, to a linear trip from Arrochar to Helensburgh.
Sat 4th Met at Arrochar Pier 1230 for on the water at 1300. One car parked near church. Pleasant paddle down the loch arriving to the bothy at 1500. Last of the daylight spent cutting wood. 3 other lads in the bothy. Good evening chatting, cooking and eating. The bothy nicely warming up as the evening progressed.
2 hours paddling and 12 km
Sun 5th One of the few great weather days in the past weeks and we get it again. Frosty morning and still dark as we prepared to depart the bothy after cutting some wood for the next residents. Brief stop prior to Loch Goil entrance to allow a reduction of insulation as the sun appears. Mid morning break on Finart Beach followed by a crossing from Gairletter Point to Knockderry. Lunch at Kilcreggan still in the sunshine, followed by a home run into Helensburgh for 1500.
Club Day Trip Steve, Geoff, Andy D, Edward, Zak, Andy R, Jessica & Chris Wind S / SW 9 – 11mph, Showers very occasional sun
A simple day in local waters essentially planned for newer paddlers but in the event supported by others with more experience.
Departed RNYC pier approx. 1030 with 6 paddlers. Chat with MOD rib crew about our plans and need to stay clear of soon to be departing submarine from Faslane. Off Robert Ness we met up with Geoff and Andy who had departed from Craigendoran. Continued around Rosneath Point moving from fully sheltered water into a gentle SW wind, the departing submarine passing us in the main channel.
Lunch taken on the beach E of Kilcreggan Pier in the only strong shower of the day! Bonus in seeing 3 dolphins heading up the Clyde.
On the return we were overtaken by an incoming US submarine and its support tugs in the channel off Rosneath Bay. Geoff, Andy and Edward having broken away to return directly to their home beaches. The following wind and rising tide made a lovely paddle back
Weather: Cloudy with occasional sun degenerating to light rain in late afternoon. Wind not perceptible and water flat calm.
Paddlers: Gordon, Steve, Andy, Zak and Hugh
This day paddle was put on to replace the scheduled Soay trip which had insufficient takers (one). Plan was to take in the islands at the N end followed by a bit of the Orchy and then Kilchurn castle while looking at potential camp sites for future use.
First stop barely a kilometer away from launch point was the island of Inishail which has a ruined church and graveyard with both ancient and relatively recent use. Main users appear to be the Campbell Dukes of Argyll and families. Here is a good campsite but like the NE shore of the loch is used by the fishing fraternity. The little island of Fraoch Eilean has substantial ruined castle to look round and is also a possible campsite.
Up the Orchy for about a k to look around then back to Kilchurn. Despite quite a few visitors it was shut and we could only walk round the outside. Disappointed, it was suggested we visit St Conans Kirk (on OS map) in Lochawe village which had the appearance of something rather more than a simple kirk when seen from the water. And so it proved with the 19th century design and architecture of particular interest. Access to the kirk can be made through a railway underpass about 300m to the N. So more of a sightseeing trip than a kayak trip but that was intended.
To celebrate 15 years of HCC, we had a get together at Carrick Farm courtesy of Vonna and Jai. We paddled over from Finnart on Saturday with a BBQ and very pleasant evening round the fire. Steve assembeld his Klepper for the occasion. Those who camped over got the opportunity to try SUPs. Huge thanks again to Vonna and Jai for hosting us, providing wonderful facilities and the SUPs.
Arisaig to Oban Club Trip August 27th to September 2nd
Distance 82 Km, winds mainly from the North and light
Steve Wheaton Geoff Riddington Gordon Smith Robert Steele Robbie MacLachlan
The route was initially planned as a South to North continuation of the Helensburgh to Oban trip completed in May 2019. Late North going tides and Northerly winds, though light, combined to make a North to South trip easier.
Friday 27th Drove up to Back of Keppoch campsite, dinner in Arisaig Hotel. Two cars left at site.
Sat 28th 0900 start down through skerries, around Rubh’ Arisaig for morning stop on unnamed beach N of Eilean an t-Snidhe. Crossed Sound of Arisaig to Smirisary. Lunch at bay on mainland E of Eilean Coille. PM – S by Eilean Shona to Ardtoe and final stop of the day at bay just N of Camas an Lighe. Dinner and campfire.
Sun 29th N wind picked up during night and left choppy sea along the N Arnamurchan coast. Stop S of Ockle Point and lunch at Fascadale Bay. Evening paddle into Sanna Bay and camp on beach between Sanna and Portuairk. Walk over the hill to Portuairk but forewent the hotel for the fantastic beach for dinner and a glowing sunset and black night sky.
Mon 30th Light winds from the N / NE and a perfect day for rounding the Point of Ardnamurchan. All wanted to visit the light. Tried the beach just to the E but steep and rocky. Found shelter and sand just to the S and an easy walk up to the light. Coffee and cake from the shop. Sheltered paddle S & E to Rubhan a’ Chall for lunch. Onto Sron Bneag and departure for crossing to Ardmore Point and run down coast to Tobermoray and Calve Island for the night. Spoke with an incumbent of the farm house and told to enjoy the island, recommending the breezier N end for a chance to avoid the midges. Into town for supplies, dinner and a pint at the Mishnish.
Tue 31st The high pressure system continues to hold and the winds though very light remain in our favour from the N. Staying on the Mull shore headed S to Rubh’ a’ Ghlaisich for a morning stop and later a rendezvous with Robbie at the Airstrip. Robbie had paddled up from the Craignure that morning. Crossed the Sound and followed the Morven coast past Lochaline to Ardtornish Bay for the night camp. Dinner and a beach bonfire.
Wed 1st Last full paddling day. Re crossed sound via islands at the S entrance, waiting inside Sgeir nan Gobhar for a ferry to pass before continuing to Craignure Bay for a stop. Lunch below Duart Castle. Remainder of the afternoon down to Eilean a’ Mhadaidh and crossing the Firth of Lorn to Kerrera and Slatrach Bay for the night. Campfire and another great sunset.
Thu 2nd Only 6Km to Ganavan Bay with a fare morning tide from the South. Boats beached and drivers Geoff & Gordon relayed back to Arisaig by Robbie.
The HCC Scottish odyssey is now 2 weeks out from Helensburgh, next year Ullapool ? We can only hope for a repeat of such fine weather.
Club Weekend Camping Trip Steve, Gordon, Hugh, Innes, Lorna, David, Damien SE & S F3 – F2, Bright & Sunny, Total distance 48 Km Wildlife seen: sea eagle, otter, seals, various other raptors, guillemots. Friday Jul 9th
1430 met at Oban ferry terminal after travelling in individual cars (Covid advice), unloaded and cars driven to McQueens yard. Taxis back to terminal and all aboard with Kayaks on trolleys for 1620 sailing. As well as us the ferry carried a group of Honda C50/90 enthusiasts on a rally and 3 x cyclists towing paddle boards on trailers. A technical issue had delayed departure but a good dinner aboard and only a little late into Scalasaig at 1900. Quickly off the ferry, most trolleys left at the terminal, some carried in boats. Trip briefing and paddling South along coast looking for a campsite. Good camping for a large group would be West of Rubha Dubh 2 Km down from Scalasaig, but we pressed onto to North East Oronsay on the Dunes, facing East and found superb camping on flat ground. A fire, refreshments and a late evening.
Saturday 10th 0900 start and through the Strand with a good meter of water over the causeway (HW +2.5 hours). Port na Luinege to leave boats and explore priory. Afternoon spent exploring West coast. Lunch in Port Lobh, stop at Port Mor and camp on Traigh Ban Dune above Kiloran Bay. Party to the top of Carnan Eoin. Dinner on the beach by a fire.
Sunday 11th Forecast was for F4 from SE so expecting a bumpy run down the East Coast, in the event very little wind F3 – 2. 0900 start and paddle to Rubh a Geodha for stop before easy run back to Scalasaig. Noted several possible camp sites on this coast not obvious from the map. Scalasaig for midday leaving plenty of time to walk via Beinn nan Gudairean to Kiloran House. The sensible ones just did the hill and retired to the hotel. On board the ferry we compared notes with the Honda gang and the paddle boarders and concluded all had had a good time on the island.
This trip was originally proposed and largely planned by Geoff Riddington who was unfortunately unable to participate but who is undoubtedly going to do the trip soon.
An overnight trip from Resipole Campsite (OS 723 639) into Loch Teacius. We left the cars at the campsite by prior arrangement (and small fee) and paddled West along the South Shore of Loch Sunart, crossing over to Dun Ghallain (OS 648 600) for lunch – a recommended spot. We carried on into Loch Teacius to the East of Carna and explored round the Southern end of Carna and into Loch ne Droma Buidhe via drying channel at Doirlinn we only just got through, suggesting that you need at least 3m of tide.
We tried a new camping spot on the beach (OS 623 568), a quiet spot but when the wind died, the midges were pretty intolerable. On previous trips we’d camped at OS 625 582, a grassier spot but overlooked by the cottages on Carna.
On Sunday, we had a leisurely paddle back along the South Shore of Loch Sunart and were treated to a display of at least three otters, including some cubs jumping clear of the water.
A short daytrip from RNCYC to Kilcreggan where we had lunch. Back via Kidston for an ice cream.
Some transit practice while crossing the tide between bouys – photo below gives and idea angle required to keep a straight line over the ground, and how far you drop down if you just point at the bouy.
Lismore June 12-13, 2021 Club Weekend Camping Trip Steve, Gordon, Harry & Edward W, SW & S F4 – F2, Overcast, Springs, 48Km
Circumnavigation of Lismore from Lay by Opposite N End of Shuna Saturday With wind for Saturday forecast from the West we decided on a clockwise route gaining shelter from the island. Paddling by 1030 we were into the 2nd hour of the ebb tide. Lunch stop at Achnacroish Pier. Last of the tide down to the small unnamed bay just East of the Southern tip of the island and the campsite of the previous Lismore trip. With the wind having backed to the South we also took advantage of the flood tide and continued up the West coast to Achadun Bay for camping. Dinner followed by exploration of Achadun Castle.
Sunday 1100 start on the water with the sun occasionally showing. Explored several shallow caves and An Sailean before lunching at Castle Coeffin. Midges also joined us so departed to see if we could find the remains of the Fort shown just to the North of the castle, a lovely walk but little could be seen of the fort. The afternoon took in a loop of the large bay at the top of the island and an attempt at finding some tidal streams expected around the islands East of the ferry jetty though these proved to be very tame. Crossed to Castle Stalker and back to the layby just ahead of the rain forecast for the evening. Despite the South enjoying temperatures in the high 20s and ourselves seeing around 16 this was a very pleasant start to our monthly camping expeditions.
Wild life seen; eagle, heron, unnamed raptors, geese and ducks, seals