HCC Trip Report Bute Circumnavigation June 4th – 6th
Participants; Steve Wheaton (Ldr), Andy Rudden, Lorna Baker, Rem Fowler, Damien Theaker
After a spell of windy conditions and decisions whether to run clockwise or anticlockwise a settled forecast of light Easterlies and Southerlies appeared and the initial plan to go clockwise was confirmed.
Sat 4th 0930 Departed Colintraive Old Pier on last of S going tide. Bute shore held to avoid what was a weak N. going tide for most of day. Coffee stop at S. side of Kames Bay. Lunch off Mount Stewart and walk around grounds. Look at Kilchattan camping and despite proximity to a pub decided on the wonderful remoteness of Glencallum Bay. Enough firewood obtained from the beach, dinner and mercifully few midges. Approx. 30K, Wind E F2-3, sunny
Sun 5th 10:00 start and quiet rounding of Garroch Head. Coffee stop at Dunagoil Bay, lunch at Stravanan Bay, a look round Scalpsie Bay and onto Inchmarnock for the night. Camped on S. facing bay at the SE corner of the island. Walk up to the trig point via the abandoned steading called Midpark. Beach fire, dinner while as darkness fell, watched in the distance a returning submarine off Arran await its escort home. Approx. 15Km, Wind F1-2 S & E, sunny.
Mon 6th 10:00 start and run up the E side of Inchmarnoch to view from the water Mid & North Parks plus alternative camping at the top of the island. Many inquisitive seal families came to inspect us. Crossing to the mainland and stop at S. end of Blindman’s Bay. Lunch in the Kames Hotel. PM on up the W. Kyle crossing at Rubha Ban to the Bute shore and the Maids, S. of the Burnt Islands and back to Colintraive for 1630. Approx 21K, Wind Wind E F2-3, sunny.
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
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.
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
Geoff, Serena, Damien, Steve S F1/2, Sunny 1-4 degC This is the 6th club trip run under the Covid 19 rules for Organised Sport Activity. A bright clear sunny winter morning saw us meeting at Inveruglas for a trip briefing and Covid Rules check. We followed the Western shore to the head of the loch into the River Falloch. Though not on Geoff’s list of Argyle Lochs to be visited (have to be greater than 1Km in length), Damien found a passage through the reeds to Geal Loch. Lunch was had on the Eastern side of the lochan. The afternoon was spent cruising down to Island Vow for a look round the castle ruins before heading back across the loch where a short foray into the Inveruglas Water was made before finishing.
Distance 17Km Start & Finish from Inveruglas 0930 – 1430
Loch Long & Holy Loch 22nd Nov, 2020 Geoff, Vonna, Serena, Colin Gordon, Steve W / WSEW 3/4, overcast, occasional showers & sun
This is the 5th club trip run under the Covid 19 rules for Organised Sport Activity. After a week of avid forecast watching where different forecasts showed significant variations, Saturday evening finally indicated a reasonable consensus for Westerly F3s / 4s. The trip commenced and finished from 2 separate locations – Coulport Layby for the boys from Helensburgh and Gairletter Point for the girls from Carrickcastle. After a short crossing from Rosneath Penninsula we all met up below a double rainbow appearing from a squall moving across the loch. The Western Cowal shore provided protection down to Strone were a SW crossing was made to Hafton Park. After a quick exploration into the outflow of the River Eachaig we stopped for lunch below Kilmun Church under the magnificent bus and cycle shelter. A quick tour of the church, mausoleum and graveyard was made before setting out along the N shore thereafter retracing of our route from Strone.
Geoff, Vonna, Serena, Gordon, Steve SE F2, overcast, occasional sun
This is the 4th trip run under the Organised Sport Activity. Originally set up as a Peer Trip but converted to a Club Trip. After an early start and for those from Helensburgh an escorted drive up the Rest & be Thankful Military Rd we were ready on the water for 10.15. Starting with a lovely paddle through the narrows at the top of the loch amidst autumn colours we followed the East shore to Castle Sween for lunch. Only Serena managed to walk the castle grounds as the rest of us were too busy nattering and our lunch schedule too quickly used. The return was made via the West shore with a quick nose into Linne Mhuirich. We met a group from Glasgow University who were surveying the maerl beds by snorkel one of whom was a past HCC member. With a favourable tide we were back at our vehicles for 1600.
Total distance 28Km Wildlife seen: seals, brittle stars and unidentified raptor
Upper Loch Fyne Geoff, David, Damien, Robbie, Steve WNW F3 & F4, Overcast with drizzle at times
This is the 3rd trip run under the Organised Sport Activity. Originally planned for Sat 24th and moved to the 25th but eventually taking place on the 26th when finally we appeared to have a gap in the weather.
After meeting at St. Catherines Jetty we headed down the loch for a brief warm up before setting out across the loch to Inverarary. Despite the headwind the crossing was made in 30 mins. From the jail ramparts we moved around to the harbour and viewed the Vital Spark – currently for sale. A brief attempt was made to cross the weirs leading to the River Aray but not enough water to clear the sill. We were more successful in paddling our way into Dubh Loch. Our destination the crannog, however little of the crannog could be seen other than a knoll of grass above the water line. With the wind in assistance fast progress was made to Dundereave Castle for a lunch stop. Lunch over by 1400 we decided to shorten the original journey plan to the loch head and cross directly to the East shore. By 1500 we were back at the jetty.
With so much inclement weather just to our West it was lovely to catch a small window to be out on the water.