• August 2010
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The Other side of the Loch

I’ve been chronicling my canoe trips on Loch Lomond and elsewhere for over two years now. Generally the trips have been to the islands and have been, if not in flat calm conditions, then in a light breeze.

Today Richie and I decided to go to the south side of Inchcruin to see if we could see any capercaillie.

So, armed with binoculars and camera we took off from Aldochlay in the inflatable and got to our destination in about an hour and a half of leisurely paddling round Inchtavannach and Inchmoan.
We stopped at Inchtavannach to get a photo of some fallow deer but they were a bit shy. The fence was for a couple of horses. The deer demonstrated how they could jump it nae bother.

Bucinch from the shore at Inchcruin

We had a look around Inchcruin, didn’t see any capercaillie, had our breakfast and at 10:30 jumped back into the boat. “We’ll be back at base for 12:00 midday” said I somewhat optimistically.

So remember I was saying about it being calm or a light wind? When we re-took to the loch a considerable wind was blowing. We had a look at our intended route round the north of Inchmoan – no chance! it was blowing a hoolie and the waves were ten feet tall. (ok I’m exaggerating but there were waves!)

We therefore elected to take the route south of the island figuring that it would give us shelter from the north westerly wind.

We were wrong!

Once we had got to the far end of Inchmoan (By this time it was 1:30!) things did seem a bit calmer.

Your humble blogger on the shore at Inchmoan with Inchgalbraith and Loch Lomond Golf Club in the background.

After a much needed rest, we decided that the “narrows” the stretch of water between Inchtavannach and Inchconnachan would be our best bet.

Wrong again!

The wind was just the right direction to blow right down the narrows, turning this normally tranquil stretch into a hybrid between the Crazy River, The Severn Boar and Cape Horn!

We decided it was futile as at one point when we stopped paddling we were swept back about 200 yards in a few seconds.

Powerboat owners were sniggering knowingly as they observed.

One guy on Inchconnachan, also in a canoe had phoned the Ranger service about a possible rescue. We decided however that he was a bit of a woos.

Back round the south end of Inchtavannach then and despite another rather windy bit just before Aldochlay we arrived back a full two and a half hours (spent mainly paddling into wind and waves) after our estimate.

I’m knackered!

Richie, at least 15 years my junior and in a somewhat superior status of physical fitness, was shattered too.

A choppy loch, Inchmoan and the Ben

You know what though?

We enjoyed it.



The Dark Island

I was at a funeral recently where a more traditional version of this great Scots tune was played.I always think its a very emotional piece.

Thanks to my friend Iain the piper for posting this fantastic jazzy version on Facebook.

For the glory only, can any reader tell us which is “The Dark Island?”