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Thread: Loch Achray Meet

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Default Loch Achray Meet

    There's a problem with these meets! Most of the time I get away with blaming my tools and saying the Pack is too short or too fat or somesuch.
    Then I see other folk in it and realise that I'm just a numpty. Alan and Philip done it the last time but watching John Dixon making it dance and sing really brought it home, confidence comes with experience and there is absolutely no substitute for experience.

    Had a great time at the weekend. Was good to meet even more of you all, learned another couple of strokes(box stroke was getting practiced heavily so I spent a lot of time spinning in circles ), done some more poling(alloy poles get my thumbs-up), had a shot of Mike_B's and MK's Prospectors, enjoyed my first river trip down to Loch Venachar(not allowed to talk about the trip back as it involved both the K word(paddle) and the P word(carrying), took my 1* assessment(failed before I started due to having my wetsuit on back-to-front), having failed that I then failed once again to find a way back into the Pack(seems to get harder every shot, couldn't even empty it properly this time).
    John D took pity on after that fiasco and let me off with the wetsuit shambles so while I may still be a numpty I'm now a 1* numpty .

    Hardly took any pics, a panorama to the north....



    ....and one to the south.



    A snap of the site....



    ....and one of a passing Mike_B(or someone wearing a Mike_B suit and out joyriding).




    Josh
    Picture yourself in a boat on a river,

  2. #2
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    Sep 2006
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    Default

    Nice pictures. Wish I'd been there!

    Jim

  3. #3
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    It was a great meet ( a few people are still there ) and as you can see from Josh's pictures the water was perfect for paddling.

    I am about to head off for a couple of days but will post pictures when I come back but thanks to everyone who came and made it such a great event.
    John

  4. #4
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    Apr 2006
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    Well, what can I say? Another fantastic long weekend. Cameron and I had a wonderful time and we returned with batteries fully recharged.

    We were supposed to get up at three o'clock on wednesday morning. However, I didn't finish packing the van until nearly midnight, so when the alarm went off at three, I must have switched it off in my sleep and we actually woke at half seven. We were on the road for half eight and caught the rush hour traffic which put us back even later. Anyway, we had a nice drive up and arrived at Achray at lunch time on Thursday. There were already a couple there and I introduced Cameron to Wayland. Cameron whispered to me "Is that man wearing a wig?" I said "I don't know, lets ask him" and I shouted "Gary, Cameron wants to know if you're wearing a wig". I turned around and Cameron had legged it at a fast rate of knots back up the steps and was hiding red faced behind my van. (If you think dad's can be embarasing, you should try grandads).

    We started lugging all the kit down the steps and as usual everyone helped share the load. Once more I promised to bring only a backpack for the next trip, but I know it's a promise broken already.

    Cameron got straight on with fishing and hooked then promptly lost a mighty pike within a few casts. In fact a great deal of Cameron's time was either spent with a fishing rod in his hand fishing from the bank, or a fishing rod in his hand fishing from someone's canoe. He occasionaly stopped for something to eat, but mostly he fished.

    I didn't do much over the weekend, at least not my usual activities, but just pottered about doing a wee bit of this and that. My energy levels were not what they might have been. I did remember to take some photos on Saturday and Sunday though. Here's just a few of them........


    Twa hungry lasses.


    Twa lasses stuffin' their faces while Farquar makes a chair


    Now that's a nice picture.


    Gary getting the communal meal ready.


    Whit a gorgeous animal (an the dug's no bad lookin' either)


    Messin' aboot in a boat


    Blimey! I'd go round in circles if I tried it one handed.


    Three men in a boat...well three boats then


    Ooh err missus! What a long pole!


    Wayland the Viking. According to one young child he is thirty million, billion years old


    Scaring the kids in true Norse style


    Tales of days gone by.


    Lore and Saga (where have I heard that before?)


    The questions were coming thick and fast.


    "Hmmm... I'll have to think about that one."


    Now kids, map readin' an' navigation. This is where ye are...


    An' this is where ye hae tae get tae!.. wi' jist a match an' a piece o' string!

    We had to leave on Sunday and I left it as late as I could. We were giving young Nathan a lift back and he and Cameron were having a canny craik on the drive back. On the Edinburgh ring road the exhaust blew big time and we had to hobble the rest of the way (some 120 miles) with a noise like a pack of Harley's and very little compression on the uphill parts.

    We stopped soon after it blew in a layby so I could have a look underneath as it sounded as if the whole damn exhaust had fallen off and was horrified to realise that I had forgotten to secure the poles from the baker tent to the roofrack. They had slewed around a bit but were all still there, and that's after bombing down the road at seventy. Anyway, we tied them down and proceeded, but we didn't manage to get more than thirty five MPH the rest of the way back. Most times it was close to twenty and down to ten on steep hills. I kept checking behind me and when I thought there were a hundred cars or so behind, I pulled into a layby and let them all pass.

    We arrived home at nine o'clock on Sunday night and Cameron's mum was a bit worried because we were so late. My mobile battery had packed in just after we left Achray when I phoned to say we were on our way.

    Anyway, we got back safe and I have a new exhaust which was done today. The van's unloaded and the house stinks of smoke from all the kit I dumped in the living room as I unpacked, but it's all being washed, dried and put away till the next time.

    Thanks to everyone who made it the event it was. The singing round the campfire was great. Just a pity more people didn't join in.

    Eric

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    31

    Default Sally and I had a great time....

    When we finally arrived very late Friday!

    I thought Sally's Mum would be quite pleased ;-) that I'd brought her into the woods late at night with about 15 guys carrying knives and axes and playing with fire ...

    Seriously, we had a really good time. Thanks very much, esp to Warthog for helping us set up our camp, and to Wayland for a really delicious meal...

    We learned how to light fires without lighter or matches ( didn't quite succeed ourselves, but we get the idea...), and quite a lot about vikings too...

    Can't wait for the next meet, even cancelled some upcoming hols so I have the time to spend!

    Thanks everyone, great to meet you all, again or for the first time...

    Jac

  6. #6
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    Feb 2006
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    Glasgowish
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    Wow, what a weekend!

    Great to get out into the woods and onto the water with new people - and what a friendly bunch you all were!



    There were plenty of canoes to choose from in the parking lot:



    And I really thought I was onto something on Sunday morning when I spotted a stag through the mist:



    I didn't want to get much closer, what with it being the rutting season, but Magikelly spurred me on. Like most bushcrafters he proved to be an expert at animal tracking, so up the hill we crept, closer and closer.....



    Wow - he doesn't seem a bit bothered by us - hasn't even turned round yet!...........I tell you, this deer stalking is easy!!





    OOPS!!

    All in all, a great weekend. Thanks to John and Philip for their excellent canoe coaching, Doc for sharpening my knife, and everyone else for making it such a great meet. Must do it again soon (once I've had chance to recover that is........)



    Blutack.
    The Canoeist's prayer: "Lord grant me the serenity to walk the portages I must, The courage to run the rapids I can, And the wisdom to know the difference".

    John Muir Trust - Wild Places for Nature & People.

  7. #7
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    Dec 2005
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    Hunter Lake, Minnesota, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric_Methven View Post
    Thanks to everyone who made it the event it was. The singing round the campfire was great. Just a pity more people didn't join in.

    Eric
    Uhh, sorry, had other obligations. Maybe next time.

    (Looks like a fine time!)

    PG

  8. #8
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    Jun 2006
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    Smile

    aye it was a great time, good fun had by all ,looking forward to the next one to Jac your very welcome anytime.I could try and bring my spare hammock and tarp next time if you wanted ?

  9. #9
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    Feb 2006
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    Wakefield West Yorks.
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    What a fantastic meet
    David B and myself arrived wednesday and set up our Tammoch's (new phrase after trying to say hammocks and tarps after too many fine malts)we soon had to revert to being ground dwellers after the camp rapidly filled with some people having to camp across the other side of the stream.the evenings saw plenty of singing round the campfire with Narc in especially fine voice.
    The Viking talk By Wayland and the Magikelly magic show had the children and us captivated,Eric showed us how to carve spoons and in return we took Cameron out fishing from the canoe lots!(boy is he fanatical bout his fishing). Big thanks to Warthog for passing on some of his skills nothing was too much trouble a very skillfull bushcrafter but when are you going to get a canoe?.
    All in all a great time was had by all with old friends caught up with and new friends made can't wait till the next one.
    Cheers to all there and all those that made it happen Mike B...
    You only have the one life so live it

  10. #10
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    Default Spoonz!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike B View Post
    Eric showed us how to carve spoons.......
    We want to see the spoon pics!!

    Blutack.
    The Canoeist's prayer: "Lord grant me the serenity to walk the portages I must, The courage to run the rapids I can, And the wisdom to know the difference".

    John Muir Trust - Wild Places for Nature & People.

  11. #11
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    Jul 2006
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    Aberdeen
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    Blutac,

    I assume that the stag you photographed would be the natural prey of the timber wolf.

    Great meet, look forward to more pictures from everyone, I forgot to take any as I was having way too much fun.

    Ian

  12. #12
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    Dec 2005
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    West Lothian,Scotland.
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    Thumbs up Thanks all

    Due to a minor illness couldn't make this weekend.

    One of the great benefits of Song of the Paddle forum for me was reading all your Bloggs about the meet felt I hadn't missed out too much looking at the pics and Alan & Allan told me some of the goings on when they got back.
    Grooveski your brave no way would I put a digit in Magikelly's little guillotine.( Has he got public liability be careful when volunteering ). Ha ha.

    Thanks all for sharing your weekend.

    Maggie
    Maggie.

    ''One is always wiser after the event''

  13. #13
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    Dec 2005
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    "Do you have a least favorite finger?" is certainly one of those questions that makes you stop and think.
    At least blaming the shakes on the previous night's whisky seemed to go down ok.
    Picture yourself in a boat on a river,

  14. #14
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    Default Mike B

    like i say anytime im looking into getting one just waiting on some money im due

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mutineering Maggie View Post
    ( Has he got public liability be careful when volunteering ). Ha ha.
    Actually I do through my Equity membership but not sure it would be a huge consolation
    John

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blutack View Post
    We want to see the spoon pics!!

    Blutack.
    Well here goes



    Sorry about the flash bounce but it is in the oiling stage.
    Not bad eh to say it started as a paddle!!.Mike B...
    You only have the one life so live it

  17. #17
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    Apr 2006
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    Durham City
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    That's ended up a nice little spoon mate! Very good for a first timer.

    Eric

  18. #18
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    philpstoun ,west lothian
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    paddled over for a visit on sunday with alan everyone seemed to have a good time managed to get a few photos of the kids mucking about on the river
    when they say it can,t be done do it anyway

  19. #19
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    Jan 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by allan View Post
    managed to get a few photos of the kids mucking about on the river
    That wasn't mucking about, that was their first serious whitewater descent.

    It was great to meet everyone at the weekend, and we all had a thoroughly enjoyable time, especially the children. Loch Achray is an ideal place for the children to practice paddling on their own (especially with lots of other canoes on hand should anything go wrong), and Ross and Euan were paddling like old timers by Sunday afternoon. A big thank you must go to Wayland for the session he did with the children (and for feeding us all).

    By Monday afternoon nearly everyone had left, and the camp felt quite lonely. Those of left had no problems getting a seat close to the fire, and Stewart F made the most of his Chefs training to come up with some great recipes for our six course feast of whatever was left in everyones food boxes. Naan bread coated in whisky and sugar, then toasted over a campfire takes some beating.

    Hope to see everyone again next time.

    Paul

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagiKelly View Post
    It was a great meet ( a few people are still there )
    Yup. Just home.

    Well Ok we've spent the last few days down in the Lake District (en route ). just finished unpacking the car and 3x2mtrs of the living room floor is now covered with kit, and thats before I take ANY of it out of the rucsacs . I'll put up some photos when I've figured out where the camera is.

    We've come home with a leather bottle, wooden spoons, a reindeer and lots of ideas for little projects. The last night had to be the best, partly due to the menu which included hot chocolate in your whisky!

    It was great to see everyone, or atleast notice people in passing on Sat/Sunday as there was so much going on. tried out various bows on the Saturday, and even hit the target a few times, big thank you to Wayland for keeping us all facinated with Viking tales.

    I only wish there had been more time to chat with everyone. Maybe next time (hopefully soon)

    By the way if you ever need a good Bow paddler I'd recommend taking a Warthog. Very adaptable and useful to know .
    'There is no wealth but life itself.'

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silvergirl View Post
    We've come home with a leather bottle, wooden spoons, a reindeer
    A reindeer I thought the kids were not allowed pets
    John

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagiKelly View Post
    A reindeer I thought the kids were not allowed pets
    Fortunately the reindeer in question is a much smaller cousin to the stag that Blutack successfully stalked , and as such doesn't require much feeding or attention .

    Anyway, found the camera so heres some photos.


    Wayland gives Euan an axe to play with.


    What is going on in the background here?


    Mini Viking


    Swinging in the trees.


    Perfect conditions for practicing flat water strokes


    Thanks again to everyone for such a good weekend.
    (MK hope Gwen surrvied after all those wild berries Euan was feeding her)
    'There is no wealth but life itself.'

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silvergirl View Post


    What is going on in the background here?
    Thats me about to behead Russel
    Well thats what it looks like. It is actually me splitting logs with Docs gransfors small forest axe "now I want one"
    I Started out with nothing! and i still have most of it left.

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