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Catching up

Cracking morning out on the loch yesterday. I didn’t take the camera looked a bit grey and overcast. However by the time I got there, there were some pretty spectacular skies (which I can’t show you because I didn’t take the camera)

Anyway it was great to touch base with my old friend James who thoroughly enjoyed his first trip on his new canoe. For those who know the loch we took he classic route via the Geggles and Narrows – a nice wee paddle of eight miles or so. Disappointed not to see any wallabies or ospreys but we did get a glimpse of some fallow deer on Inchconnachan.

Amazing how you can pick up the threads with old friends with no effort required. I’m sure it’s not the case in all friendship and acquaintances but it was with this one.

Back on dry land and having a cuppa at Luss, I noticed some customised cars. I only had the wee crappy phone camera on my Nokia but this was the colourful scene.

Carry On Camping? Or Not?

This article appeared on the BBC this week about a possible wild camping ban on Loch Lomond.

I wrote here nearly two years ago about the need for something to be done.

I was on Inchconnachan yesterday and the combination of uprooted trees and debris from the recent storms along with the evidence from visitors of campfires and litter made for a sorry sight indeed.

Four of the most accessible islands, Inchtavanach, Inchconnachan, Inchmoan and Inchcruin are sites of special scientific interest and are the ones for which the wild camping ban is proposed.

However I don’t see how this would work. Several other islands in the vicinity and not that much more inaccessible, would surely then inherit the problems. Inchlonaig can be reached just as easily and already has a significant litter problem.

Yesterday on Inchconnachan, I took these photos:

This is the ruin of the house on Inchconnachan, which I wrote about here

Of course the majority of visitors aren’t destructive. Someone has obviously taken great time and care over this mural on the living room wall of the old house.

I have a memory of sailing to the mouth of the narrows (the stretch of water between Inchtavanach and Inchconnachan) on the Maid of the Loch when I was a youngster. The image in my mind is so old it is almost black and white but I can remember seeing the old house and boat shelter when they were still in use.

Whilst it is extremely doubtful that either the Maid or the house will ever be restored to their former glories, Those in charge of the islands have a duty to preserve them in the best way possible to be enjoyed by this and future generations.

Elephants Cant Paddle

Brian wrote this wee ditty about our canoe adventures on Sunday. I don’t know how this will turn out because it is a single screen grab.

 

Mist Again

It was a misty morning on Loch Lomond yesterday.

Visibility was down to about 10 metres at some points and we could hear the Luss rescue boat blasting away looking for some lost boaters.

Richie contemplates in the mist.

These two kayaks passed as we had breakfast on the shore at Inchmoan

Time for a tune as the mist lifts.

Brian the poet was on his first voyage but his body wasn’t up to the rigours and confines of the canoe and he developed cramp and a sore back.

AnElephantCant paddle!

Richie and I ended up in one canoe towing him back in the other.By this time the mist had lifted so we could check periodically that we hadn’t lost the makeshift water ambulance or our patient!

Through my canoe postings on the blog, I was contacted by a reader from England who is coming up for an Easter break and wants to see the wallabies at Inchconnachan. I have arranged to show him and his partner around on a morning voyage next week.

I see this not as an imposition but rather a reward. I love to spread the word about this unique and diverse waterway and the cheap compact and versatile qualities of the inflatable canoe.

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

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.

Mist Again

Out for only my second canoe trip on Loch Lomond this year today. It was warm and mainly misty and the mist didn’t really lift.

It was my first voyage in Richie’s Sevylor Colorado which he bought a few months ago.

I got a few photos of which these were the best:

Inchmoan and Inchfad with Conic Hill in the background. Or is it a Roscharch blob?

'The Geggles' Inchmoan this morning.

The breakfast view.

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