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Looking Good

This fabulous photo of the Ben and the Loch is by Dene Thomson.



Some readers have mentioned to me that they have missed the pictures of Loch Lomond.

I took these in July on Inchconnachan aka ‘Wallaby Island’



It’s been a long cold lonely winter…..

A few signs that spring is grudgingly springing here in West Central Scotland.

Yesterday saw my first boat launch of the season. I just had a new steering cable fitted to the outboard. The motor hadn’t been run for about 8 months and I wondered if it would catch. On the third pull of the chord it fired up and provided me with a good morning’s spring boating.

Mind you I’m glad I went out at 7:30 because by midday, winter was setting in again.

I got some photos:

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Loch View

I had my first trip of 2013 out on Loch Lomond on Friday. The weather has been awful for both canoe and boat. Friday was aboard a cruiser where we had a jam session.

I took this springtime photo of Conic Hill and rainbow.


The band here are Have Mercy Las Vegas. My own band have been on the same bill as them. They were sounding good on Friday.

Has spring sprung?

I gave the grass at Bigrab Towers its first cut of the year on Sunday. Well the clocks had gone forward to British Summer Time and although it was cold, it was dry.

I passed by Ben Lomond three times yesterday. In the morning this was the wintry scene:


But by lunchtime, this rather more Easter like view greeted me:


One can but hope.

I hereby tentatively declare that spring is here.


Yes it has kicked in.

I took the canoe out for a paddle this morning and despite the light not being ideal I got this shot:

The water lilies at the Narrows were still in good health:

The Berries

Enjoying the second week of my staycation and finally yesterday was the opportunity to get the boat out for a whole day as the weather was promising.

Sometimes I think I have enough photos of Loch Lomond but I had the wee pocket camera just in case. I also took out the guitar and moothie. I have a solo slot at a gig on Friday and this was an opportunity to rehearse without annoying anyone.

I got my best ever view of a pair of ospreys as they accompanied me for about a mile on the journey north. They nest on the island of Inchconnachan. I got a superb view of them through the binoculars but unfortunately they were out of range for a decent photo.

En route to Inchlonaig island, I took this shot of Inchgalbraith with its ruined medieval castle.

Later as I strummed at the north end of Inchlonaig, it wasn’t long before I got another photo opportunity. The Loch Lomond Seaplane seemed to swoop lower than usual. I think I may have caught the pilot announcing “and if you look down to your left, you can see some eejit playing a guitar”

Inchlonaig means “Island of the Yew tree”. Yews are low, densely branched trees. Because of the long thick branches the wood was ideal for making bows, arrows and spears. Inchlonaig was the source of the material for most of the weapons at the Battle of Bannockburn and therefore probably the first centre of munitions production in Scotland.

One of the Inchlonaig yews (this photo taken on an earlier visit)

Many kings and dukes also visited Inchlonaig to go deer hunting.

The island is uninhabited most of the time although there is one holiday home:

When I say holiday home it has bars on the windows, no mains electricity, water or gas but it does have its own private jetty.

There’s another ruined cottage which you can see here from the shade of a yew tree:

Also on my walk I got this view of Ben Lomond

No need to go hungry either. The place is carpeted in blaeberries.

The wind had got up a bit on the way back so the wee boat (and me) were buffeted a bit on the way back to Balloch.

Still it was a rather excellent wee jaunt.


I’m nothing if not predictable.

A day off.

Out on the boat.

Photo: AnElephantCant

We went to Inchcailloch which I have written about many times before.

We visited the ancient burial ground.

This is the grave of the Clan Chief of the MacGregors, Gregor McGregor, buried in the grounds of the 13th century church.

I can’t find too much information about Gregor MacGregor but readers may be more familiar with his nephew Raibeart Ruadh MacGregor – otherwise Red Robert but perhaps more commonly known as Rob Roy

Inchcailloch, along with the islands of Torrinch, Creinch and Inchmurrin form part of the Highland fault line. These are the latter islands photographed from the former today.

And on the way out, this was Inchmurrin with Ben Lomond in the background:

A walk in the forest

I was out on Loch Lomond in my wee boat the other day with Brian who took this photo of Yours Truly on the island of Inchconnachan

He has also written a poetic account of our travels here

How was your view at lunch yesterday?

This was mine:

The family and I dined al fresco on the shore at Inchconnachan.

That’s the island inhabited by wallabies.

The wee boat is the one I bought a couple of weeks ago. It’s about thirty years old and I paid just over a grand for it and the trailer. There is a prep area at Balloch slipway where folks get their boats ready for the loch or the road. It is fair to say that in the collection of cabin cruisers speedboats and jet skis, my wee boat is pretty ‘umble. I’m not bothered at all, it’s absolutely fine for me.

However one does wonder where guys apparently in their 20s/30s get the dough for a £45k car and £35k boat (that costs several hundred to fill at the pumps)

I have my theories.

It was ‘hoaching’ when I got back to Balloch having dropped the missus and kids at Luss where they’d left the car. It took over an hour just to get into the slipway and get the boat back on the trailer.

The canoe might make a return next week.