Friday, 3 June 2011

Loch Lomond canoe trip

Its been a wild few weeks weather-wise and I have been obsessively watching the forecast as a planned three day canoe expedition with a silver DofE group loomed large in a wet and windy calendar. As it happened the weather was mostly ok, but the promised tailwind did not arrive until the third day so there were some challenging conditions for the students- and me, as the art of paddling a canoe is a new one on me.
We were led by Andy McNamara of Otter's Tail Adventures.

Day 1: We put in at Balloch, in lovely sunny if breezy conditions. 

 We set a course towards Inchcailloch Isle. Andy likes to take things easy, and here an umbrella takes the strain in a light breeze at our heels. 

Inchcailloch is a magical place to camp. There is tons of wildlife, I saw my first merlin, as well as a woodcock, a sparrowhawk and a white deer.  The sunset from the summit of the isle was breathtaking.

Day 2: we had a headwind, and took shelter in the Narrows between the islands before ducking underneath the western shore at Luss and heading up to Firkin point and back east to Rowardennan, underneath Ben Lomond. The view here is looking north from Inchconnachan towards Fraoch Isle and the northern part of the Loch. Ben Lomond is visible on the right.

The joys of camping in the west of Scotland in summer! We found a flat spot North of Rowardennan for a well earned camp. 

Day 3: the weather deteriorated to wind and rain, but the bonus was a feisty tailwind that blew us up the loch to Ardlui under sail!

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