Erskine Bridge to Paisley Centre 8th March 2019

Paddlers: Damien, Thomas, Colin H, Geoff

Weather: Cold, Very Wet with blustery wind from South

Route: Boden Boo Beach (Erskine Bridge)-Clydebank Leisure Centre-Paisley Centre

Report: The original plan had been to kayak North Loch Awe on theThursday but last weeks mishap (3 kayakers rescued at Greenock with helicopter and lifeboat summoned) , led to hesitation when the wind forecast was F5 with F7 gusts. Instead, given shelter from the expected wind and a high tide at 1.30 we decided on the trip up the White Cart to to Paisley Centre through the Gilmore St. tunnels.

The launch point was the beach just to the east of Erskine Bridge by the old southerly ferry slip. There is an excellent parking spot here and an even better beach. Although it was raining heavily (as it had been from 9am) the paddle up the Clyde with the tide was surprisingly pleasant. There is no other outdoor sport where the rain makes so little difference.

From Clydebank we headed south up the White Cart. The river is reminiscent of the Leven before being cleaned up with collapsing wharves, oozing litter covered banks and industrial buildings. There is only one place to stop even if you wanted to (which you will not). The one place is a slip by a small green with a new housing development behind, marked on the map with a purple triangle.. It is dirty and covered with dog excrement but there is no other, so there we had lunch (about 12.30).

The next section takes you between high walls and to the tunnel under the town centre. Be Warned; The tunnels are only passable 30 minutes each side of high tide. Our timings were perfect and we were quickly through the tunnels into the old part of the city just beneath the Abbey.

The southern end of the twin tunnels with Gilmour Shopping Centre above and the town hall on the right.

The next section is undoubtedly the highlight of the trip ending in the mill pool beneath a wide attractive natural weir/waterfall.

Damien and Thomas risking the briny foam
Colin relaxes in the middle of Paisley

We turned back from the mill pool at about 1.30 with the tide, wind and current all in our favour. None were strong enough to worry and in a relativelt short time we were at the mouth of the river where, for the first time, there was substantial wind. As we turned down the Clyde (past the new Leisure Centre where there is now a pontoon where one could enter/exit the Clyde in a kayak) and were back at the beach just after 3, 1. hours for over 10km.

In summary, despite the cold and frequent soakings from the rain, it was an excellent and recommended trip.