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Aye Conic (2)

Conic Hill, Inchhfad and Eiean Darroch ( and Inchmoan and Inchcailloch)

I bought another inflatable canoe on Monday. It arrived yesterday, and having a day off today I gave it its maiden voyage.

It’s a single seater, a Sevylor Rio and if you speak Czech, here’s the info!

The light wasn’t great for photos and many of the hills were covered in cloud. I got some snaps though:

Swan at Inchtavannach

Pine Tree (not the lonesome pine!) Inchconnachan

It's safe to say that water levels are high

Inchmoan

Inchmurrin from the shore at Inchmoan

Aye, Conic?

Due to the shitey rather variable weather this year, Richie and I haven’t been out in the canoe much.

However last night, noticing the forecast wasn’t bad and that it was a clear night, I texted the big guy and suggested we maybe go over to Loch Lomond in the morning. Although it was a bit cloudy and misty, off we went at early o’clock and did a circumnavigation of Inchconnachan (see BLFP passim)

The sun did have repeated attempts at shining through but never quite managed it.

And so with the prevailing light far from ideal, I still managed a few half decent photos.

I have Christened the tree below, the “Lonesome Pine”. It sits on a promontory on the north west side of Inchconnachan.

The lonesome pine of Inchconnachan with Conic Hill (Balmaha) in the background.

The lonesome pine from the opposite side. Glen Luss in the background.

As we took the photos I speculated that perhaps this is the very pine referred to in the collage depicted in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park road sign? Albeit the tree in the sign has a bit of a ‘stoop’

I took the following photos from the NE shore at Inchconnachan

Big log!

Roots

The lonesome pine is by no means the only Scots Pine surviving under adverse conditions. For instance here is one which seems to thrive at Jimmy Savile burial angle:

This one seems to have a root problem:

It was good to get my ‘fix’ of the Loch and its islands. This may be one of the final trips before the winter lay-off.

Bouncin’

I first wrote about Inchconnachan here. It’s the island on Loch Lomond with the wild wallaby colony on it.

I haven’t been out on the canoe much this year due to the weather, but I’m on a few days off and the weather was good this morning so off I set with my younger daughter. We’ve only ever done short trips together but I decided that we’d do a proper one today.

We met a family at our launch point, Aldochlay who had been camping on Inchconnachan overnight and had just returned. They hadn’t seen any wallabies – to their disappointment.

It took us just over half an hour to get to the island and Eve was keen to try and get a photo of the unusual wildlife. We set off for part of the island where I’ve always been lucky at seeing them.

Sure enough it wasn’t long before we met this female. (spot the pouch?)

and then this guy:

and this one:

We saw seven, possibly eight (not sure if the last one was a repeat of an earlier one) wallabies and actually were watching three together at one stage. Going by the latest estimates, if we did see eight then I reckon that’s about a quarter of the total population just now.

After a lunch of mushroom omelette cooked up on the camping stove and some crisps and tea, we boarded the canoe again to complete the circumnavigation of Inchtavanach.

The picture below is of a patch of water lilies. The ‘narrows between Inchconnachan and Inchtavanach used to be carpeted by lilies but increased use of the loch, especially by power boats has meant that only this patch, and a small one on the opposite side survive.

Just after this point we were treated to an aerobatic display by an osprey. It was close enough to identify but not close enough for a decent photo (I only take a compact digital in the canoe)

The wind got up as we negotiated the south end of Inchtavanach but nothing our vessel couldn’t handle. And how about this for a view to end our wee trip?

New Header Picture

I have a feeling I may have used the photo before but it’s one of my favourites. I took it on My 30th 2010 and is Loch Lomond and the Ben from Inchcailloch summit.

Sunday Preyer

Yesterday’s canoe voyage consisted of Richie sailing solo in his new Sevylor Colorado and Iain, an old friend of mine who I eventually persuaded to come out on the loch (“If you’d have told me a few years ago I’d be out in the middle of Loch Lomond in an inflatable canoe with YOU of all people………….”) with me in the Back Country canoe.

Yours Truly and crew yesterday (Photo by Richie)

The weather forecast was for considerable wind and there was a fair breeze, but as it was an easterly, the islands themselves provided shelter. We did one of the ‘classic’ islands voyages i.e. Aldochlay to the ‘Geggles’ via Inchmoan and then back through the ‘Narrows’. The red line below shows the route:

Canoe route in red. Approximate walk in green.

The breakfast view yesterday (this shot taken on a previous trip)

After a rather pleasant cooked breakfast and mugs of tea at the Geggles, we landed again at Inchconnachan in an attempt to show our new voyager a wallaby or two. Unfortunately no wallabies this time but we got a fantastic view of a male osprey which we were able to observe for around 15 minutes. We were almost willing him to dive for a fish but unfortunately he wasn’t for performing. We did our best to stay out of the taped off osprey nesting areas but we must have been close at points. We had a superb view of the osprey through binoculars but none of us had a powerful enough lens for a good photo. To give you a flavour, here is an osprey in flight (and this one does dive):

On the way back from Inchconnachan the easterly wind gently ushered us back to Aldochlay.

An approximate 7.5 mile round canoe trip and a couple of miles hiking in grand weather.

And the best view I’ve ever had of an osprey.

Smashing.

Glorious

Yesterday I was on Loch Lomond on the canoe again – mostly around and on the island of Inchlonaig Plenty of noisy geese around but I didn’t see any of the ospreys now nesting on Inchconnachan. The Loch is very shallow on the north side of Inchlonaig so sailors/canoeists should be wary of the many rock hazards. I hit a few but thankfully they were smooth rocks with no damage to the inflatable.

Luss from Inchlonaig

Breakfast view from Inchlonaig yesterday morning.

Ben Lomond and Inchlonaig

The route I took including stops, one on Inchlonaig and one on Inchconnachan is marked here in red. I suppose it’s about 8-9 miles.

Spring Has Sprung

Wee trip on the canoe this morning. This is one of my favourite spots on Loch Lomond, where a Scots Pine on the island of Inchconnachan is silhouetted against Conic Hill and the (grey) sky.

I met a couple of reprobates in another inflatable:

And as if to emphasise that the tourist season is here, after loading the canoe back into the pick up, the Luss pony and trap passed by:

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