Thursday, 14 June 2018

Tues 12th June Loch Lochy

Tues 12th June Loch Lochy
A lovely evening, fine, sunny and enough breeze to keep the midges away. Seven paddlers, Paul, Ken Barry, Tony, Jess, Morgan, Sara, & Fiona took to the water. We followed the shore down to Bunarkaig Bay and had brief excursion under the road bridge into the river Arkaig. Then we headed across the loch to Glenfintaig House and back.

Beutiful views of Ben Nevis and the Grey Corries



Glenfintaig House

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

5th June Loch Ailort

Tuesday Eve 5th June paddle from Forsay, Loch Ailort
Port an t-Sluichd
A group of five Paul, Tracey, Ken & Liz, and Elizabeth took to the water from Forsay - easy parking and a short carry down a wooded bank and across shingle pursued by midges. Conditions were calm and a bit cloudy but excellent for paddling. We crossed the loch via Goat Island and Eilean a'Chaolais and then on round to Port an t-Sluichd. Returned via the islands and Roshven House.

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

2/3 June 2018 Loch Hourn

2/3 June 2018 Loch Hourn

Launching at Kinlochhourn
This was the second of Ian's organised weekend trips this year and he got the perfect weather yet again though with one or two added features for interest. Eight members met at 1200 Kinlochhourn ready for the launch. The new? gravel slip made parking and launching easy though it might have been more challenging in the bottom half of the tide. We travelled down the loch with the outgoing tide balancing the incoming gentle breeze and admiring the significant ups and downs of the lochside footpath.
Lunch at Runival Ladhar Bheinn back left.
 The late lunch stop was at the old school house at Runival. As we came into Barriesdale Bay we made a last minute decision to head for Inbhir Dhorrcail rather than up the river channel and mud flats to Barriesdale bothy.
Camp at Inbhir Dhorrchail, Beinn Sgritheall across behind Arnisdale
Across the bay we were pursued by a developing thunder storm, we landed, pitched in rapid order and in the nick of time took cover from the rain and midges. No one was struck by lightning. Two hours later we emerged to a fine evening with the friendly midges being detered by an open fire.
Inbhir Dhorrchail
Day 2, Ron & Paul headed for the hills. First paddling to the west end of the Barriesdale Bay and then heading up the Creag Bheithe ridge to Stob Chearcaill and then back down by Mam Barriesdale.
Paddlers crossing to Corran
When we returned to the kayaks 6 hours later the tide had retreated to leave a long carry and wade to relaunch. Then it was back up the loch with a good following wind. The rest of the party had a leisurely breakfast, then paddled acrosss to Corran to visit Sheena's Tea Hut before returning to Kinlochhourn.
The long launch across Barriesdale Bay
We arrived at Kinlochhourn almost at low tide so there was a bit of carrying to get back onto the slipway. A brilliant weekend, a bit hot (can't complain!) and enough breeze most of the time to keep the midges away.

Tues 29th May Callert & Glencoe





Tues 29th May Callert & Glencoe
Launching from layby at Callert

The first Tuesday evening outing for the 2018 season saw a good turnout of 9 members. Excellent weather with a force 2 breeze to keep the midges away. We paddled across to Glencoe and with the benefit of a spring tide all the way up the Coe river to the rocky gorge. Then along past the Glencoe boat Club to the Isles of Glencoe hotel (we didn't stop) and then we finished going back across the loch past Eilean Munde.



Glencoe gorge
Isles of Glencoe hotel
Eilean Munde

Friday, 1 June 2018

Kayaking and Wildlife
The eerie yodelling sound of a black-throated diver (BTD) echoing across a still, misty loch in the first light of day is enough to send a tingle down the spine.  This is one of our most beautiful breeding birds. In the summer it sports a striking black and white chequered back, slate grey head, black throat and striped neck. The BTD is also one of our rarest breeders. Only around 200 pairs nest in the British Isles, all in Scotland, and north of highland Perthshire. They prefer large freshwater lochs, preferably with islands and most of the breeding sites have been designated as Special Protection Areas – lochs in the Lochaber area are Sheil, Garry, Poulary & Blair but they also nest on other lochs, such as Arienas and Eilt.
Unfortunately their breeding success has declined over the past few years and one reason has been disturbance which causes the birds to abandon the nest and the eggs are then vulnerable to predation or cooling. The breeding period of May to June also happens to coincide with the best time for paddlers to be on the water. To try to help minimise disturbance there may be signs erected to alert loch users as to which areas to avoid. As a schedule one bird it is an offence to deliberately disturb these birds so it is best to heed these. It is particularly important to avoid landing on islands where divers may be breeding, no matter how tempting.
It's a wonderful experience paddling on a beautiful highland loch and listening to that haunting call so no one would want to feel that they might be responsible for hastening that becoming another lost sound. However paddling and BTD's needn't be incompatible and the Scottish Canoe Association have produced some very helpful guidelines http://canoescotland.org/where-go/protecting-environment

Friday, 18 August 2017

Pre Christmas Meet - Glenbrittle

Last December some members of the club had a very enjoyable pre-Christmas meet in the well equipped BMC hut in Glenbrittle.  A range of activities; kayaking, walking, cycling, surf practice, eating, drinking and socialising were packed into the weekend.   It was so successful that we thought we'd repeat it again this year and also thought that friends and family of members might enjoy it as well.  The hut sleeps 18/20 in 3 x 6 bedded dorms.  Liz Stevenson (esteve123@btinternet.com) has made a provisional booking for the weekend of the 8th & 9th December 2017 and will be in touch again in a few weeks time, to see who's interested and, to ask for the hut fee of £15 per person per night.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Loch Lochy Evening Paddle 1 Aug 2017

Loch Lochy Evening Paddle 1 Aug 2017
Put in at Bunarkaig

The put in point was Bunarkaig – just before the bridge over the River Arkaig. Just a shorter carry to the water. Grid Ref NN186877. Tracey, Alan, Brian, Steve, Liz and Ken enjoyed a very pleasant paddle on Loch Lochy – despite the rain showers. We paddled to Gairlochy and back then had a quick play in the outfall of the River Arkaig to round off the evening.


A blink of sunshine over Loch Lochy