Wednesday, 6 June 2012

This week I have been mostly......

Its a busy time here on Arran with the Jubilee celebrations and a long bank holiday weekend bringing lots of visitors, who were luckily greeted with some very fine weather too. I've been quite busy, and its always tough to keep the blog up to date when I'm out and about all the time, but here are a few snaps from the last few days work, both off and on the island.

Last Friday I was off island, assisting Bob from Taylor Made Adventures with a canoeing session for a team of students from a school in Ayr who are doing their Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award. They were putting the finishing touches to their skills with a day looking at travel on lochs, and some spicy rescue scenarios.  We had a great time on Loch Doon, in perfect weather.  Luckily it was nice and warm so we didn't mind a few swims in the loch. We all got absolutely soaked and had a ball.  They are off on their final exped next week.  Good luck team!

Saturday was an absolute corker and I had the day off so Wally and I headed in to the western hills and up Beinn Bharrain with friends, where we were treated with panoramic views of the Goatfell range, golden eagles and some of the best walking I can think of!  Lucky us!

I've also been out and about doing otter walks a fair bit this week, but I don't get time for photos so much on these so the camera stayed at home.  We've been getting great sightings though, with our local otters really taking advantage of the settled weather and spending hours at a time hunting for food along the rocky shore.  I've recently been sent some great photos from Ian Kerry who came out on an otter walk with me on the 8th of May and will get them up on the facebook page asap. I also had a lovely morning checking out Machrie Moor with Brian and Dan on Sunday.  We didn't see any hen harriers, although we had hoped to, but got some really good views of a couple of young kestrels zipping around playing tag in the air above us. We also spotted a red throated diver in Machrie Bay. Sightings of these stunning birds are not unusual around the coast of Arran, but its always a thrill to spot them.

Yesterday I was up Goatfell with Hannah and Steve.  It was a great day for it and the views from the top were stupendous.  We could see Ireland, Jura and Glencoe. Not bad!

Looking ahead for the rest of the week, it stays busy for me with more otters and mountains. I'm up goatfell again tomorrow- this time not for work, but to take part as a supporting team member and general hanger on for the Douglas Hotel 4 Peaks Challenge. A team of brave walkers have been attempting to climb Scafell Pike, Snowdon, Ben Nevis and Goatfell over fours days to raise money for Arran Mountain Rescue Team. Its a tough schedule, and a good cause, so a gang of us will be there tomorrow to give them a bit of moral support for the last leg. If you fancy donating- please click on the link above.

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