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Thread: Old hands, more paddling, better weather.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Lochwinnoch, Scotland
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    17,511

    Default Old hands, more paddling, better weather.

    My last few trips have been with new paddlers and campers except for my solo trip which was only because Russ was ill and couldn’t make it. This weekend was time for the rescheduled trip and we were managing to squeeze two nights in. Some of the Ginger paddlers would be joining us for the second night too.

    Anyway we were as usual launching from Balmaha and nearly forgot the leaving selfie. Everyone but me was already in the canoe and raring to go when I remembered.
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    It was quite windy with the threat of rain showers when we left. The crossing to Inchcailloch was “lively” but once we were in the shelter of the island it was fine.
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    As usual when Russ and I are paddling we rarely go in a straight line. Anything that catches our eye causes a detour to investigate. On this occasion it was a deer’s hip bone.
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    Not that far from Balmaha and we could already feel ourselves relaxing.
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    We had the option of camping on Clairinish but it’s seen a lot of use during the summer and is losing it’s wild feel. So we headed for Torrinch. Again the crossing from Inchcailloch was “lively” but short. We looked at the last place we had camped on the island but it was a bit exposed to the wind so selected a spot slightly further round. We had some light showers while we had been paddling over and some still blew through while we set up camp. Some missed us and just made rainbows.
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    With camp set up it was time to sort out the important things, dinner.
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    Russ cut some firewood in preparation for the evening while Marlowe either sought shelter or was hiding unsuccessfully.
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    The wind died down a bit after dinner and the clouds started to clear as the sun went down.
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    Later when we took the dogs for an evening walk round the island we were treated to clear skies and a nearly full moon.
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    And of course after the walk it’s time for the dogs to get their pyjamas on and Marlowe to get his cuddles.
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    We had a night of feasting as is our want. Maybe it was the food, maybe the fresh air but when I went to my swag I had a great nights sleep. Usually the first night out is a bit restless but this was an exception. I woke just before the sun came up which I got to watch with the dogs while having my first breakfast.
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    Eventually I dragged myself from bed to have breakfast proper, black pudding in wraps. After that while I got a brew on Russ took the canoe out. The conditions were too good to keep the canoe on shore.
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    I eventually managed to get him back on shore for coffee and more snacks.
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    However, it was just too nice not to be paddling. It is a bit of a novelty for us. Often our trips are paddling to camp in dodgy weather. Camping out in iffy conditions and then paddling back in wind and rain. this time we could actually spend the day paddling so we were not going to miss the opportunity. We headed out for a lap of Torrinch and Creinch.
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    As usual we landed any time we saw anything that looked interesting. At the end of Creinch we found a boat registration plate. Number 999 from last year, in case you know who that belongs to.
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    We then headed round to the Torrinch end of Creinch.
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    Here we landed for a bit of a walk about.
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    Russ did a bit of foraging for bramble berries.
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    On Creinch there were a lot of signs of where people had been cutting bits off trees with an axe, presumably for firewood. Of course cutting branches off with an axe is hard work so next to this “stump” is the branch still green and stil with the leaves on it. This is so wrong on so many levels. Green wood does not burn. Cutting branches off with an axe is hard work but more importantly leaves the tree much more likely to get infected and die. I do gather firewood on the islands and know this can be controversial but I only harvest dead wood and only where there is a clear surplus. I hate to see this vandalism and it is what people think of when they hear I burn wood from the islands.
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    Back on the water it was still perfect paddling conditions. Flat calm and sunny. A joy to paddle.
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    Back at Torrinch we took a walk through the centre of the island. the dogs love running through the undergrowth. It is a bit wild with no paths and here you don’t have the signs of people abusing the place. Mind you it was hard enough to see Russ let alone anything else.
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    We already had our firewood sorted but this is where you could have sourced some deadwood without damaging the habitat, at least in my opinion.
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    Back at camp lunch was cooked. Marlowe taking the the chance for more cuddles.
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    We were planning on paddling to Balmaha to meet Ginger Paddler Snr and Jnr. Before then we had time to get some more paddling in the sunshine. We headed out for a lap of Inchcailloch and Clairinish.
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    While we were waiting to go meet the Gingers, Marlowe did his thing.
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    About 5pm we met the Gingers at Balmaha and paddled with them back to camp.
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    Russ and I had brought way more food than any normal person would need. As a result we were actually starting to run low, almost. Luckily Robbie and Euan had brought much more. This proved to be about enough with little going back home. During dinner prep (Haggis, veg and normal, with mash) we saw a fallow deer grazing over the water on Inchcailloch.
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    Again we were treated to a clear night with just the moon and stars in the sky.
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    I’m not sure if they are more active at night or we just notice them more but our evening round the fire was shared with a lot of beetles and spiders.
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    Next morning, after another good nights sleep, I awoke to mist rolling over the loch. Eventually this built to a full fog with Inchcailloch barely visible.
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    As the sun came up more the fog burned off and we got on with the important business of the main breakfast. Just the two cheeseburgers in rolls each for first breakfast today.
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    While we were packing up we saw three swimmers doing a lap of Inchcailloch. And people think I’m mad for camping out without a tent.
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    Soon it was time to head back to Balmaha. Still pretty calm but more overcast today.
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    Sam was fully relaxed after a couple of days out and about. She was rocking her casual, elbow up on the thwart, look.
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    One last picture as we headed toward Balmaha. You can just make out the Gingers on the left of the photo.
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    We were lucky to get such ideal weather this late in the summer. It would have been a good trip anyway but getting such favourable paddling conditions just lifted it to that higher level.
    Last edited by MagiKelly; 9th-September-2019 at 09:13 PM.
    John

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Leicester
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    Default

    Looks a lovely trip

  3. #3
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    Nov 2017
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    Aldershot
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    Lovely stuff. :-)

  4. #4
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    Dec 2018
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    Ash Vale, Surrey (by the Basingstoke Canal)
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    Fab conditions, by the look of it. I'm guessing Marlowe was a lapdog in a previous life?!

    I'm totally with you on the live tree chopping. A combination of ignorance and arrogance.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Surrey
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    22,704

    Default

    Looks like dreadful conditions to survive. Glad you made it.


    I have the same thoughts on wood; sometimes I take logs with us as much because I can't then be accused of chopping stuff down as anything, even if there is likely to be sustainable surplus standing deadwood about. Even Sweden, home of a billion trees, has problems with this. In Glaskogen Nature Reserve, you are not allowed to forage for wood AT ALL, specific fines apply; people simply can't be trusted. They do, though, provide wood at the "wind shelters", usually anyway. Outside of the nature reserve itself, there are still signs of freshly cut wood being burned, but the impact is much more spread out due to how much space there is compared with the number of people about. The daft thing is that it is VERY easy to find decent wood, kindling, tinder and birch bark etc in the Swedish woods, there's so much there you'd barely make any noticeable impact even if you went back every week. You just need to go more than 100m from camp.
    Paddler,blogger,camper,pyromaniac: Blog: Wilderness is a State of Mind

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Kirkcaldy
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    183

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    It was an excellent trip
    I really enjoyed it and like John said it was all the better because of the excellent weather
    A pleasant surprise with the weather
    Thanks again Russ

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Central Scotland
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    4,470

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    Top weather for it. Kirkcaldy was nice at the weekend but not that nice! Not sure I could manage cheesburgers for breakfast but you guys have been training for it for years!
    Cheers,

    Alan


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Lochwinnoch, Scotland
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chainsaw View Post
    Top weather for it. Kirkcaldy was nice at the weekend but not that nice! Not sure I could manage cheesburgers for breakfast but you guys have been training for it for years!
    It’s been hard work but finally all that training is paying off
    John

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Bangor, Co Down.
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    Great to see you guys getting out a lot more this year. Nice to have this location on your doorstep so to speak.


    P.S.
    I don't understand the need for pyjamas on dogs. My mate's Rottie used to sleep outside in all conditions, often under a layer of snow. Yours even get to sleep in your swag!
    At this time of year you must be like a "boil-in-the-bag" haggis by morning.
    Big Al.

    Only when the last tree has died
    and the last river been poisoned
    and the last fish been caught
    will we realise we cannot eat money.
    ~Cree Indian Proverb

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Lochwinnoch, Scotland
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    Sam could easily do without the jumper for bedtime. Marlowe had really thin fur when we first got him so felt the cold more. Making sure the dogs are cosy is a use for the jumpers but thats more for winter. In these warmer trips they have other functions.

    First they wick the dogs dry a lot quicker than they would normally, so you don’t end up with a soaking wet dog in the swag.

    Also the jumpers are impregnated with permethrin so wearing them kills of any of the ticks that have attached to the dogs during the day. This is really the main reason they get put in them at this time of year. If it was rally warm I’d take them off at bedtime but the dogs seem to like have them on and aren’t panting so I just leave them on.
    John

  11. #11
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    Dec 2005
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    That makes more sense.
    Big Al.

    Only when the last tree has died
    and the last river been poisoned
    and the last fish been caught
    will we realise we cannot eat money.
    ~Cree Indian Proverb

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