Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 60 of 203

Thread: Caledonian Canal - Canoe Sailing Expedition

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,370

    Default Caledonian Canal - Canoe Sailing Expedition

    I have been giving this some serious thought lately and feel that over the next 4-months, I would like to sail my canoe from Fort William to Inverness along the Caledonian Canal.



    I have already sailed this route several times in my life in bigger yachts and sailing boats, but nothing this small, so it would be more challenging.

    I have a freind who lives in Fort William and am sure he would help me/ us from a roadside perspective as he isn't into boats in anyway, but could perhaps collect me/us from Inverness and bring me/us back to the start point.

    I haven't thought through the accommodation side yet, but feel that it might be possible to find somewhere to camp along the way for the odd night, but if this is not allowed, there are some holiday parks, campsites and B&B's along the route.

    The reason for posting this up is that there maybe other canoe sailors that might fancy doing this as well?

    I am not sure how this will sit with canoe sailors with Burmudan Rigs and outriggers, but feel this kind of trip would be better suited to people like myself without outriggers and an Expedition Rig because portaging will definitly be required and easy put-in's cannot be guaranteed.

    Dry suits would be essential knowing how cold the water is in the Caledonian Canal.

    I feel that this trip would take between 3 and 5-days depending on the wind speed.

    Anyone interested?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    West Yorkshire
    Posts
    2,664

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,370

    Default

    Nice one Greg.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Eastern England
    Posts
    838

    Default

    Sounds like a lot of fun. I would love to do that trip, but doubt I'll be able to fit it around my current family and work commitments. Still, keep us posted on what dates you're considering. We can follow your trip vicariously even if I can't actually do the sail!
    Thanks for posting--and hope to see you at something more local one of these days. (Had a great time on January the 2nd.)

    All the best,
    Ian

  5. #5

    Default

    OCSG member Andy W (Zollen on SOTP) has done this trip twice before iirc. He may be able to offer you some good tips and advice.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Devon, inbetween the Dart and the Exe
    Posts
    72

    Default

    I've paddled that stretch of water, did it in 4 days and 3 nights - sailed the lochs, paddled the canals. you can wild camp at a few point along the lochs - I'll find the names and let you know, the places are stunning! waking up to mountains and big lakes was lovely.

    I wouldn't be able to do it with you but wish you the best of luck on your journey.

    It's truly a fantastic trip and i'll never forget those 4 days.
    Paul

    Help is always just a question away

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,370

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CanoeistPaul View Post
    I've paddled that stretch of water, did it in 4 days and 3 nights - sailed the lochs, paddled the canals. you can wild camp at a few point along the lochs - I'll find the names and let you know, the places are stunning!
    Nice one & thanks.
    My wife & I had our honeymoon on a sailing yacht on the Caledonian Canal and has already remarked that she quite fancies coming with me, though I haven't tried sailing the canoe with her up front. I might have to sit at the back to balance the canoe, but it might be possible.

    It would be good to have an idea where wild camping might be possible, so we can work out where we need to book a B&B or a campsite pitch.

    I would like to go for a time of year where the midges are not out in force though, while at the same time, it's not too cold to enjoy the trip. Thinking that mid to late May might be a good time of year?

    If anyone else quite fancies doing this trip also, please feel free to say.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,370

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by idc View Post
    Sounds like a lot of fun. I would love to do that trip, but doubt I'll be able to fit it around my current family and work commitments. Still, keep us posted on what dates you're considering. We can follow your trip vicariously even if I can't actually do the sail!
    Thanks for posting--and hope to see you at something more local one of these days. (Had a great time on January the 2nd.)

    All the best,
    Ian
    Ian, initial thoughts would be in May.

    I could attach some 5-foot poles to my roof bars and get both our canoes on the roof, saving you taking your car all the way up and we just share the fuel costs!

    You could do with fitting a rudder & leeboard though mate.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,370

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jurassic View Post
    OCSG member Andy W (Zollen on SOTP) has done this trip twice before iirc. He may be able to offer you some good tips and advice.
    You not done it before then Chris?
    Would you be up for something like this?

  10. #10

    Default

    The Great Glen Canoe Trail also has a Facebook page
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Great-...l/363662555605
    and a nice blog of the trip can be found here -
    http://www.ukseakayakguidebook.co.uk...nian_canal.htm
    I'm certainly interested but can't confirm for definite just yet

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Steamerpoint View Post
    You not done it before then Chris?
    Would you be up for something like this?
    No it's not really my thing, if I'm driving any distance north to sail and/or paddle I prefer to get a bit further from the beaten track (plus for some reason I've always found Loch Ness and it's environs to be a depressing place, dunno why).
    May could be a good time to try it though, the midgies don't usually appear until the end of May (depending on weather) and there's sometimes a dry spell then.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,370

    Default

    No worries Chris. Perhaps we could meet up further south and have a play on Loch Lomond if your feeling up to it. Think it is closer to your neck of the woods.

  13. #13

    Default

    Hi,

    I'd be up for joining you in May.

    Stephen
    Campsites on Water - Touch the river to sample the last that has gone and that which is to follow.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,370

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by waterword View Post
    Hi,

    I'd be up for joining you in May.

    Stephen
    Good to hear Stephen.
    Just waiting to hear back from my 17-year old daughter when her A-Level exam dates are in May, so that she has some free time to look after our 13-year old while the wife & I go off to do some sailing. Hope to hear over the next 10-days.

  15. #15

    Default

    Would definitely be up for the trip if it were the first week in May.
    Great Glen canoe trail officially opens in March.... promising much improved camping options etc.
    I would plan to go lightweight, small sail etc because of the portages around the locks and a bad back.
    Last time I did the trip it took 4 days (3 nights), all paddling, but the weather was a bit extreme !

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,370

    Default

    Hi Isabella. Are able to go later in the month by any chance? Monday the 7th of May is a bank holiday weekend and I would imagine it would be quite busy that weekend and probably best avoided.

  17. #17

    Default

    I was thinking of the week before that..... I agree the w/end of the 7th is to be avoided. Problem is I need to be home, with car, on 13th., and on 20th. Fitting the trip in Mon. to Sat. including travelling is perhaps a bit tight.... but I could always do part of the trip (bus service is good to get back to car).

  18. #18

    Default

    I'm free from the May 10th to the 28th. Sadly not the w/e before the 7th.

    Stephen
    Campsites on Water - Touch the river to sample the last that has gone and that which is to follow.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,370

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ISABELLA View Post
    Fitting the trip in Mon. to Sat. including travelling is perhaps a bit tight....
    Hi Isabella, I'm not sure it will be that tight if I'm honest. It's only a 62-mile trip and 20-miles a day makes it a 3-day trip. If we only manage 3-miles an hour, which is paddleing speed, that's a 6 or 7-hour day, but if the wind is up, we could do that 20-miles in 3 or 4-hours . I've sailed the 20-odd miles of Loch Ness in 5-hours before.

    If we started sailing on Monday or Tuesday morning (14th or 15th), we could be in Inverness by Wednesday or Thursday evening, but if we took our time Friday evening, so you could be driving back home on the Saturday and be back home for Sunday the 20th.

    If we aimed for Monday the 14th, would you have time to drive up there on the Sunday or would you want to travel up on the Monday morning arriving around lunch time. It's a 4 or 5-hour drive for you I think?

  20. #20

    Default

    Scottish Canoe Touring says " A normal time for a passage by canoe is three days, which can obviously be extended by sightseeing" so if the weather cooperates you should be okay and have a little time in reserve for contingencies.

  21. #21

    Default

    Couldn't set off before Monday am., but could travel early hours. Will keep those dates clear. Cheers.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    West Yorkshire
    Posts
    2,664

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,370

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ISABELLA View Post
    Couldn't set off before Monday am., but could travel early hours. Will keep those dates clear. Cheers.
    I think if Stephen is okay with that week, we should keep it clear and either start the trip late morning on Monday the 14th of May or early on Tuesday the 15th then.

    If anyone else is tempted to join us, feel free to say.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,370

    Default

    So Far we've got Waterword, Isabella & myself for definite.

    Then we have IDC, Hornbeam & Zollen who would like to come if personal circumstances allow.

    Does anyone who has sailed the Caledonian Canal before, know what the policy is with small sailing boats and swing bridges/ locks? My canoe will weigh a ton with all the gear and sailing rigging and would prefer using the odd lock if we are allowed! I know that normal canoes need to portage, but could sailing canoes pass as sailing craft? Actually the swing bridge wouldn't be an issue as I would just pull the mast out and paddle under if it didn't fit under the bridge, but the locks could be hard work.

    It makes sense to portage Neptune's Staircase because it would take a few hours to do the whole flight of locks for the sake of one portage, but the single locks would be a pain.

    Also, would we need to obtain a licence or pass to use the canal does anyone know?

    Chris.

  25. #25

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Steamerpoint View Post
    Does anyone who has sailed the Caledonian Canal before, know what the policy is with small sailing boats and swing bridges/ locks? My canoe will weigh a ton with all the gear and sailing rigging and would prefer using the odd lock if we are allowed! I know that normal canoes need to portage, but could sailing canoes pass as sailing craft? Actually the swing bridge wouldn't be an issue as I would just pull the mast out and paddle under if it didn't fit under the bridge, but the locks could be hard work.

    It makes sense to portage Neptune's Staircase because it would take a few hours to do the whole flight of locks for the sake of one portage, but the single locks would be a pain.

    Also, would we need to obtain a licence or pass to use the canal does anyone know?

    Chris.
    All the info you need seems to be available from the SCA guide here: http://www.three-bridges.co.uk/Canoe.pdf
    It sounds as though you'll have to portage the locks (I've heard that the best chance to get through the locks is to ask if you can tie onto a cruiser if one happens to be going through). You may be able to line the canoes through some of them if it's quiet.
    It also looks as if you won't be allowed to sail on the canal (although it will be fine to sail the lochs obviously).
    The licence is free, it's just a matter of applying for it.
    I think someone already linked this for you as well: http://greatglencanoetrail.info/uplo...dated%20AW.pdf
    There's more info and an inspirational video here: http://www.scottishcanals.co.uk/our-...canal/paddling
    It looks beautiful on the video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WBPp...layer_embedded

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Devon, inbetween the Dart and the Exe
    Posts
    72

    Default

    you need to let the police know and the canal managers (not sure that's the term!) they're located at Fort William by the canal and from there you can buy a key which gives you access to all the showers/toilets located along the canal.

    That's how i did a few years back, pretty sure it's the same nowadays.
    Paul

    Help is always just a question away

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,370

    Default

    Love this video Chris, thanks for finding it.



    Can't wait already.

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,370

    Default

    Another good video about the kit needed.



    How are you getting on with buying a VHF radio by the way Chris? Might need to get one for this.

    Plus a few of us might stay in Scotland a bit longer to do some paddling/ sailing in other Lochs like Loch Morar & Shiel, before heading back down south.

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    south Cumbria
    Posts
    1,053

    Default

    We, as in the OCSG, are pretty close to getting the group buy on VHF sets sorted. Hopefully at around 90-100 each - this probably the Standard Horizon HX280E. A good time target would be for sale at the Rutland meet in April, for those attending. Or for sending on to others somewhat before then. Also in talks re the training/licence issue - more to follow.

  30. #30

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Steamerpoint View Post
    How are you getting on with buying a VHF radio by the way Chris?
    I'm holding out for the OCSG group buy that Keith alludes to above. The Standard Horizon HX280E is the radio that I'd decided to buy anyway, it's a good basic radio with decent battery life and no bells and whistles (but then I don't want bells and whistles anyway).
    I received my SRC licence through the post the other day (it took just over two weeks from the end of the course and passing the exam), it's very pretty but not very waterproof!

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,370

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by windorpaddle View Post
    We, as in the OCSG, are pretty close to getting the group buy on VHF sets sorted.
    Glad I'm a member of the OCSG.

  32. #32

    Default

    Sounds as if we'll need to get a group licence, once we've got a list of names. There's a max. number of boats too.
    Prepare for quite a bit of paddling - sailing on the canal sections is apparently not allowed.Nor is wild camping.... but there are now designated camping spots.

  33. #33
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,370

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ISABELLA View Post
    sailing on the canal sections is apparently not allowed.
    Um.... yes, those are the rules, technically, cough, cough, though I have managed to sail a yacht on my honeymoon from Inverness, to Fort William and back again using only a gallon of fuel and got all of my fuel allowance back!! See Below.

    Does an umbrella count as a sail by the way?






  34. #34

    Default

    New handbook states several times "Canoe sailing on the canal is not allowed"
    Also explains how lining through locksmay be possible.

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,370

    Default

    I might need to bring my umbrella afterall then. My canoe will be heavy to paddle any distance if I'm solo and if there is a tail wind, it would be a shame not to use some assistance from it.

  36. #36

    Default

    Don't worry - it would be a shame to rush the canal bits, and camping options are reasonably spaced until you get to Loch Ness. As you said previously, if the wind is favourable, travelling the lochs could be quite speedy.
    Have just printed out OS map sheets for the canal, and marked on camp options . Looks good.
    The Great Glen Canoe trail map is available on line (presumably the same map as is issued when one gets the free licence).

  37. #37
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,370

    Default

    Just had a nice chat over the phone with Pete from the Lochaber Watersports Sailing School who suggested putting up the small storm sail and paddle at the same time and no one will mind and to be doubly sure, take down the sail when you come into view of the lock gates. Apparently the only person that may say anything is the lock keepers and they probably won't say anything if it's quiet either.

    If my kid brother comes with me giving me a bow paddler, I'll have nothing to worry about and should be able to manage easily.

    Bought myself a brand new Gul Astro drysuit last week, which I had hoped would arrive today so I could try it on for size and swap it if neccessary.

    It is blowing a force 4 outside right now and gusting to force 5 & 6, so okay conditions to try out the storm sail, but may need to wait until next weekend unless it arrives later.

    It's good that canoes can go for free. Pete was saying that a sailing dinghy licence costs about 150 a week, but for that the swing bridges open and the locks are used.

    Apparently Neptunes Staircase is the hardest portage. It is virtually sea level on each side, so a fair climb up and down and a fair walk with the canoes!!
    Are you planning on bringing the Little Egret? This would be where it has a big advantage over the heavier canoes.

    Apparently the midgies come out at the end of May and we might just miss them if it isn't a warm Spring, but Pete did also say that if they do come out early, they are aggressive to begin with as they need to feed and breed, so bring midge net hats and repellents just in case! Hopefully the wind will be up and we won't see many though.

  38. #38

    Default

    Last time I paddled it I was able to unload the trailer etc at the top of the lochs (and park there - but it is over ten years ago !). Sounds as if the car park to leave cars in is at the bottom - I was assuming we could launch just beyond the top lock. If you want to be a purist and paddle from the sea, you could do that before I get there on the Monday !!

    I knew a storm sail was going to be a really good idea !

    Am currently intending bringing the Egret -- but have to try it out and see if I can physically get everything in. It will be tight !

    I am expecting Geoff ( coming along too) to bring his sea kayak, but if not will take the doubles boat .... only problem with that is a decided lack of freeboard with a two-up expedition load. Would mean creeping along the shoreline of Loch Ness in any kind of chop !

  39. #39
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,370

    Default

    Actually that's a good place to start, right at the top of Neptunes Staircase. It only makes the trip a few miles shorter, but at least we are not messing about with that big portage. I remember that our hire boat was limited to this point and we stayed there for a day or two before heading back to Inverness. Would the cars be safe there do you think?


  40. #40

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Steamerpoint View Post
    Actually that's a good place to start, right at the top of Neptunes Staircase. It only makes the trip a few miles shorter, but at least we are not messing about with that big portage. I remember that our hire boat was limited to this point and we stayed there for a day or two before heading back to Inverness. Would the cars be safe there do you think?
    I imagine you'll be able to drop your gear there and then move your cars somewhere else won't you? You could take it in turns to stay and keep an eye on your kit while the others shuttle the cars.

  41. #41

    Default

    According to the handbook: the main trail car park is in Banavie, at the bottom of Neptune's staircase, and cars can be left here for the duration of the trip.
    The recommended Canoe Trail begins at Banavie Upper ( top of the Staircase).
    From this I assume it is possible to unload at Banavie Upper. Will need to check. I seem to remember that we unloaded & launched etc, from the south side of the canal.

  42. #42
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Ipswich, Sunny Suffolk
    Posts
    1,176

    Default

    Might see if I can talk the misses into this one. My only concern is that I would be doing it in an Old Town Disco - quite possibly the worlds most un-portage-able canoe at just shy of 40kg. I have a trolley, but its still a mare on long or numerous portages. On the upside its a super stable craft for choppy loch sections, and fully equipped for sailing. That said the weight of all the sailing gubbins would make portages even less fun. If we were to go I could make a 'storm sail' for it perhaps and leave the 44 sq ft rig and lee board etc behind. Joe Ford might be up for this too, his sort of thing - I'll PM him.

  43. #43

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fredster View Post
    Joe Ford might be up for this too, his sort of thing - I'll PM him.
    I might be up for this, will have to see how badly my first sailing trip goes first (in my canoe)

    Would the sailing sections be more of a down wind sail job? Or would it be better to bring the full Bermudan rig, and just set it up on a beach?

    And of course lastly, would outriggers be too over the top for a canal run?................. Thinking about it, I could just shift them forward so they don't get in the way for with paddling

    Joe
    SF Peterborough 14'
    weighs 7 Stone! 44.5kg
    Bell Yellowstone (so light)

  44. #44
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Ipswich, Sunny Suffolk
    Posts
    1,176

    Default

    I reckon if you used outriggers Joe, we would deffo need lock access/key. Personally I'm thinking downwind sail only to keep things simple but I guess that depends on:

    Steamerpoint, are you thinking of this as primarily a sailing trip, with full rig, or as a paddling/downwind sailing combo?

  45. #45
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,370

    Default

    Hi guys, from what I can tell, canoes are not permitted in the locks and the lock keepers will expect you to portage, though some people have managed to use the locks if the keeper is in a good mood & it is quiet.

    More often than not, the wind blows from the West or South West meaning that you will have the wind behind you most of the time.

    Personally, I wouldn't bother with stabilisers as it will make portaging quite awkward. I can't remember seeing many beaches to help getting out, which means coming alongside the lock wall or perhaps a jetty. Then we will need to unload each canoe before pulling them out of the water and outriggers will get in the way.

    There will be enough of us to help portage the canoes and if we have to move each canoe with two or three people, so be it. My canoe weighs around 70kgs with all it's sailing bits and I will probably need help getting it out the water at times.

    If anyone wants to use all the locks and have the swing bridge open for them, they need to buy a licence, which is 17.20 per meter. (86 for a 5-meter or 16-foot canoe) Canoes can then go into the locks, but the person can't sit in the canoe at the time and will just stand at the top holding a long rope.

    As mentioned earlier, they will expect us to paddle the man made sections and I would expect a burmudan rig complete with stabiliers to be a handful if paddling, especially into a head wind!

  46. #46
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,370

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fredster View Post
    I reckon if you used outriggers Joe, we would deffo need lock access/key. Personally I'm thinking downwind sail only to keep things simple but I guess that depends on:

    Steamerpoint, are you thinking of this as primarily a sailing trip, with full rig, or as a paddling/downwind sailing combo?
    Er... A lightweight sailing trip I think. Having not owned a Bemudan Rig, I am not sure how easily they can come down and be portaged with the canoe, but assuming that it is fairly straight forward to pull down and lashed to the canoe while it is all dragged 50 or 100 meters to the next put-in, then no problem.

  47. #47
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Ipswich, Sunny Suffolk
    Posts
    1,176

    Default

    Cheers for that Steamerpoint. Agreed on the outriggers and full bermudan kit, bit of a handful. I guess what I need to know is would Jane and I paddling in a canoe with downwind only sail be a hindrance to others on this voyage? If memory serves you have the SD expo rig, so no doubt you'll be zipping along fairly given the right conditions. I suppose there's always the option of the slower parties meeting up with the faster lot at the end of day, but it might complicate things a bit.

    I know Joe has an endless river downwind sail, and I can either purchase one for trip or just make one along the lines of blutacks one:

    http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...ht=making+sail

    I've yet to ask Jane if she's interested but I reckon she may well be.

  48. #48

    Default

    If I were to do this trip with a canoe I'd go with my expedition rig, clip on leeboard and a paddle to steer (and definitely no outriggers). If the wind is blowing from the southwest then you'll be sailing downwind which is easily achieved with minimalist gear. That fact (combined with not being permitted to sail for one third of the distance on the canal sections and the frequent portages around the locks) would dictate my gear choice as being as light and basic as possible. If the wind is blowing against you then paddling and hugging the shore seeking out shelter on the lochs would be quicker than trying to tack upwind (even if this means doubling up and towing the spare boats as luggage barges).
    This is one of the reasons I'm not really interested in doing it. I don't think it'll make a great sailing trip tbh, although I'm sure it'd still be a great experience and adventure as a paddling trip (or paddle sailing hybrid trip if the wind's favourable).

  49. #49

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fredster View Post
    I guess what I need to know is would Jane and I paddling in a canoe with downwind only sail be a hindrance to others on this voyage?
    I'm pretty sure that a tandem paddled boat will be a lot quicker upwind than a canoe sailing (I know this from experience). Hopefully you'll have a tail wind though and if that's the case the difference between a proper sail and a downwind sail will be a lot less pronounced than on other points of sail. If you have a bow paddler to help with propulsion as well I think the difference will be negligible. An Expedition Rig would be ideal but a downwind flag will probably be okay under these circumstances.
    I would imagine that sticking together would be preferable from a safety point of view, it can get pretty extreme on the loch sections in windy conditions. If you're all together then you have the option to raft up and double up to get out of trouble.

  50. #50
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,370

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fredster View Post
    Cheers for that Steamerpoint. Agreed on the outriggers and full bermudan kit, bit of a handful. I guess what I need to know is would Jane and I paddling in a canoe with downwind only sail be a hindrance to others on this voyage? If memory serves you have the SD expo rig, so no doubt you'll be zipping along fairly given the right conditions. I suppose there's always the option of the slower parties meeting up with the faster lot at the end of day, but it might complicate things a bit.

    I know Joe has an endless river downwind sail, and I can either purchase one for trip or just make one along the lines of blutacks one:

    http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...ht=making+sail

    I've yet to ask Jane if she's interested but I reckon she may well be.
    As Chris has said, we should try to stick together. Hopefully I will have a VHF radio and done the training before we go and if anyone else has one, we could separate for a few hours if the slower boats want to head off an hour early and we catch them up later, but we can play it by ear and stick together if we can. My canoe is quite heavy don't forget and not that fast. I can now put up the little storm sail and take my time if need be. It's a third of the size of my Expedition Rig, so unlikey to give me much speed.

    It's more about the fun of hanging out together in boats in what must be one of the prettiest places on the planet, than racing to the finish line. Put it this way, I don't want another holiday to recover when I get back home.

    Chris and anyone else, depending on the weather after the main trip, a few of us are thinking of heading over to Loch Morar & Shiel to do some sailing in less populated parts if anyone else fancies it. It's a nine hour drive for me to visit that part of the country and a shame to head back after three or four days, especially if the weather is nice.

    Another thing that has just occured to me about the Caledonian Canal trip. If for some bizaar reason the wind is blowing from the wrong direction, what's stopping us from starting at Inverness and heading back to Fort William? We could decide just before the trip starts.

  51. #51

    Default

    Yeah if you're going to got to Loch Shiel or Loch Morar let me know. If I'm free I'll join you, thanks.

  52. #52
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    south Cumbria
    Posts
    1,053

    Default

    Another thing that has just occured to me about the Caledonian Canal trip. If for some bizaar reason the wind is blowing from the wrong direction, what's stopping us from starting at Inverness and heading back to Fort William? We could decide just before the trip starts.
    This does happen of course - that time of year can produce a blocking high to the north, with easterlies being dragged in from the continent. So like you say Chris, take a view just before you set off and decide which way is best.

  53. #53
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,370

    Default

    Just received an email from the British Waterways following my telephone conversation with them earlier today. See below:

    Dear Chris

    Thank you for your phone call earlier today and your interest in paddling the Caledonian Canal in May, we are delighted that you and your friends are planning to visit us.
    I am pleased to direct you to the Paddling section of our website http://www.scottishcanals.co.uk/our-...canal/paddling where you will find all the information you need to paddle the canal and associated lochs safely and enjoyably.

    Here you will find links to our guide to paddling the route, a short video about the route and a note of the details that the Coastguard would like you to give them before you paddle Lochs Ness and Lochy. As there are likely to be more than 5 boats in your party, I would be grateful if you would complete the Paddle Event application form that you find on the site (also attached for ease of reference) – this allows us to co-ordinate your group alongside the other traffic on our busy waterway and check that you’ll be making appropriate safety arrangements for our unique combination of inland and open waters. Once we’re received your application form and risk assessment we’ll review them, get back to you with any comments and then email you your free paddle licence and indemnity form, which is our formal permission for your event on our waters.

    On the Scottish Canals website you’ll also find information about camping alongside the canal, although depending on the size of your group, you may find that the canalside informal camping spots, with the restricted numbers they can accommodate, are too small. Details of commercial campsites are online here too.

    You might also like to check out the new Great Glen Canoe Trail website www.greatglencanoetrail.infowhich has lots of useful information.

    Once you’ve had a chance to look through everything and if you have any other questions, please do give me a call, otherwise we’ll look forward to receiving your paddle event application in due course.

    Kind regards
    Ailsa


    Ailsa Andrews
    Customer Relations Manager
    Caledonian Canal
    I'll need to fill out several pages of the application so they know what we are planning and also to let the coast guard know we will be on the big lochs.
    I will be stating that we will be individually insured and covered by the BCU, which I am a member of. We'll need to discuss safety before we set off and one of us will need a group first aid kit and we need a method of calling for help (Carry a mobile in a water proof bag! ) and have the usual stuff like buoyancy aids etc.

    I'll fill it in and get it back to them stating that there will be about 10 of us and ring them nearer the time with more exact numbers.

    Chris.

  54. #54
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,370

    Default

    This is a useful map showing the portages and camping spots: http://greatglencanoetrail.info/uplo...dated%20AW.pdf

    Also, this is good:


  55. #55
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    West Yorkshire
    Posts
    2,664

    Default

    What are the options for paddling some of the rivers rather than the canal? Looks a bit more interesting...

  56. #56
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,370

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GregandGinaS View Post
    What are the options for paddling some of the rivers rather than the canal? Looks a bit more interesting...
    Why, fancy coming Greg?

    I did look at that also if I'm honest. As I have about a week off, I was looking at sailing back up Loch Ness if there wasn't enough interest in sailing elsewhere.
    Last edited by Steamerpoint; 21st-February-2012 at 09:10 AM.

  57. #57
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    West Yorkshire
    Posts
    2,664

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Steamerpoint View Post
    Why, fancy coming Greg?
    Driving 10-12 hours to paddle the Caledonian Canal? No chance! I just spotted the rivers in the video you posted and thought: they look a better option than the canal

    Some day, I'll perhaps make that drive to take my daughter across Rannoch Moor and down the Tummel into the Tay... or to tackle a big expedition off the west coast... or something of that standard - but I doubt I'll ever go all that way to paddle a canal given that the same time travelling would get us here

  58. #58
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    south Cumbria
    Posts
    1,053

    Default

    Talking of the associated rivers - if you want to add a day you can go down the River Lochy, before starting from the Fort Bill end. It's a nice G1-2 with one slightly harder little fall.

  59. #59
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,370

    Default

    No worries Greg, I'll tell you all about at Barton Turf a few weeks later.

    That's interesting Keith. A few of us have a day to kill on the Sunday while we are waiting for a few other members to join us on the Monday. Could be somewhere for a play and check all the kit out. All in the interests of safety of course.

  60. #60
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,370

    Default

    I received an email again today from British Waterways and the lady who sent it "Ailsa" said this:
    Pleased to confirm that there’s no need for each group member to apply for their own licence – once you’ve had a chance to give me the final numbers, I’ll do 1 licence to cover everyone and will email a scanned copy to you – we try to keep things nice and simple.
    Just thought you should know before anyone starts applying for an individual free licence. Save your effort, I'll let them know numbers a few weeks before and that should do it.

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •