Colonsay July 9 – 11, 2021 Circumnavigation Scalasaig to Scalasaig Clockwise

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 12 – 13th June 2021

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
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.

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

Loch Lomond 6th Dec 2020

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

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.

Distance 25Km
HW 0510, LW 1106
Start from Coulport 0930, Finish 1500
Wildlife seen: seals

Loch Sween 6th Nov 2020

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 – 26th October 2020

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.

Arduaine, Torsa, Shuna, Craobh Haven – 11th October 2020

Club Paddle – Steve, Vonna, Damien, David.
F2 from NW backing WNW, high cloud with sunny intervals.

2nd Club Trip run under Covid Restrictions, Central Belt now having additional requirements. All participants on this trip from within Argyll & Bute as also the travel and the on water trip.
10:30 all ready at Arduaine Jetty, departed 11:00. Arrived off Torsa N.end 12:30, ebb stream just started but little resistance to paddling and from opposite Cuan Sound running in our favour.
13:15 lunch at Ardinamir Bay. Followed Luing coast to Toberonochy before crossing Shuna Sound and SW & SE coast of Shuna. Crossed to Croabh Haven and made final stop for tea before heading up to Arduaine for 17:00.

Total distance 23Km

The trip had been billed as ideal for less experience paddlers unfortunately none had been available. The journey as well as being very enjoyable for us all confirmed its suitability for future beginners trips in good conditions.

Wildlife seen otter, porpoise & seal

Sound of Arisaig 18th-20th September, 2020

Participants: Steve, Hugh, Geoff & Innes

Due to the Covid restrictions this is our first Club Trip since January. Originally billed for Colonsay we rescheduled to Arisaig to avoid ferry travel and possible contacts with the small island community.
The key Covid requirements for running the trip were: that it is fully planned, is classed as organised sport with a governing body (SCA), everyone has the NHS Scotland contact app. and that a trained and nominated Covid Officer advises.

Following a previous period of unsettled weather the weekend forecast was light F1/2 winds and sunshine. Tides were Equinoctial Springs.

Having driven up in separate vehicles the team met at the Western end of the Arisaig South Channel for a 1730 departure. A short 3Km paddle brought us to a delightful beach at Port nam Murrach. Dinner and a beach fire followed.

Saturday morning saw us crossing the Sound of Arisaig via Eilean an t-Snidhe to Samalaman Island for late morning coffee on the beach. Another brief stop was made at the beach inside Eilean Coille before continuing for lunch at a wonderfully sheltered bay on the South West corner of Eilean Shona.

The afternoon was spent reconnoitring potential campsites at Artoe for future trips and to look for any remaining signs of a TV production called Eden : Paradise Lost, circa 2017 and set in the dunes to the North of the village. We did not find anything other than agreement on what a marvellous location for a ‘reality’ show it was.

The day finished with a paddle on the start of the ingoing stream through Loch Moidart’s South Channel by the fantastic ruins of Tioram Castle to the small Islet North East of Riska Island. Two open canoeists from the North East were already established but there was plenty of room for us. The quietude and greenness of the scenery in the loch is in wonderful contrast to the openness of the Sound and must be one of the very best places to spend a night. Plentiful supplies of wood gave us a nice campfire and setting for dinner.

Sunday morning and another 0900 hrs on the water start had us heading through the North Channel with high water past and the outgoing stream running. The coast was followed up past the Smirisary settlements and a re-crossing of the Sound to Eilean a’ Ghaill. The views from the top, among the barely visible remains of a fort gave a wonderful outline of our journey. We lunched on the beach opposite the island and confirmed it as another great camping location with streams for water.

The trip concluded with a short 5Km paddle back to the start point and a bit of a haul with equipment due to low water. Hugh & Innes departing first with Geoff and Steve taking a look at the skerries and hopefully delaying departure to avoid the Loch Lomond traffic. It turned out that the traffic was free for us all.

Next year should see us in the area again as part of an Oban to Mallaig trip. We can only hope for a repeat such ideal conditions.