Clyde October 2016

Paddlers: David, Matt, Damien, Colin, Innes and Geoff


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Weather: Hazy Sun. Calm

Report: Late interest and evening commitments led to a postponement of the Oban-Lismore paddle and the substitution of a clockwise Clyde route (the last identical circuit being anti-clockwise). This is thoroughly recommended as a strategy; it is really surprising how different the landscape looks.  The starting point was the beach just to the east of Kilcreggan by the gate posts on Fort Road. Whilst getting ready we met the factor of the estate that had flattened off the beach for easy launching. He was very encouraging and discussed plans for establishing the site for wind surfing dinghy sailing, paddle boards etc. We were naturally supportive.

The paddle across to Gourock was uneventful apart from the pod of 3 or 4 porpoises midway between Kilcreggan and Gourock. We then paddled along Gourock promenade, past the Royal Gourock Yacht Club and McInroys Point ferry terminal to the lighthouse at Cloch Point. Everybody was feeling good so we then struck across the Clyde again to the lighthouse at the Gantock Rocks.  These are just south of Dunoon Pier and were famously where the Waverley ran aground in 1977.

The Gantock Rocks just south of Dunoon Pier
The Gantock Rocks just south of Dunoon Pier

The short hop to the south beach of Dunoon concluded the first leg of the trip .


The beach cafe is recommended for the coffee and scones (as is the cafe at Kilcreggan). After a half hour lunch break we set off again north along the Dunoon promenade to Sandbanks and the ferry terminal at Hunters Quay where we crossed the mouth of the Holy Loch. It is worth noting that an intelligent teenager has no knowledge of the old US Base.

THe second stop was just short of the pier at Blairmore. The main reason was to establish if there was any ferry service from the pier but it is worth noting that there is a small pleasant cafe by the pier which sells ice cream!  For the record during the summer season the Waverley calls on a Tuesday and there is a boat from Greenock on a Wednesday.


The final leg took us across the mouth of Loch Long and along the promenade from Cove to Kilcreggan. particularly  interesting was Craigownie Castle in Cove, a massive structure that is normally not seen by the public.

We arrived back at the beach just before 15:30 having started at around 9:30. We covered around 20km at a leisurely, non taxing pace, in just under 5 hours of paddling. It was a lovely relaxing day.