Mallaig and District Canoe Club

Mallaig and District Canoe Club - Trips 2017

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Saturday 25 May - Loch Ailort

The meeting at the jetty was scheduled for 10.00 but the weather was so good most people were there well before then. We launched just before low tide and paddled down the loch in sunshine, virtually no wind and superb visibility. Were we lucky or what! A coffee and comfort break was mooted and we came ashore at Peanmeanach, surprising a young man having a chilly dip in the briny. Fortunately he was wearing swimming trunks, so mutual embarrassment was avoided. Continuing along the coast, we rounded the northern tip of Eilean a Chaolais to encounter some swell and wave action. A few played, the rest kept going and came around the south end of Eilean nan Gobhar to land on the cobble beach. A relaxing lunch in the sunshine was followed by the traditional pilgrimage up to the vitrified fort, from where we had great views out to the Small Isles and of the nearby Roshven hills. The return leg was an easy run and we finished the day with refreshments in the Lochailort Inn.
Loch Ailort
Loch Ailort
Paddlers: Tony Laidler, Elizabeth Laidler, Jill Skeoch, Bill Skeoch, Mike Kingswood, Sheila Kingswood, Roger Wild, Fiona Wild, Bill Scott, Elvire Feeney, Barrie McStay, Peter Sugden, Michelle Mehers

Sunday 8th April - Loch Leven

A select group of three, Bill, Elvire and I, set off from Seagull Island on the north side of Loch Leven and took advantage of the outgoing tide to  paddle towards Ballachulish.   It was mostly sunny and the views were good.  We thought Elvire's skills were needed at the narrows when we saw some divers dragging one of their party onto the beach and then doing CPR, but it turned out, they were just practicing, so we carried on.  We had morning coffee near the Glencoe Boathouse and lunch on the Burial Islands before getting a push from both the wind and the tide to take us back to our starting point.  Lovely relaxing paddle.  About 18k.

Bill and Elvire Scott, Ruth Sime


Sunday 16th April - Rescue Day - Glenuig

7 of us met up at Salalaman bay to practice towing and rescues. We all had dry suites but still didn't want to get cold so we started off with as many dry things as we could think of, such as towing, till after lunch. We then carried on to getting others back into boats with different methods and climbing onto rafts of boats. At the end it got sunny and warm so we paddled to the end of the peninsular to try and find swell to play in and rock hop between. Circa 1km (not counting going round in circles).

Mike Kingswood, Roger Wild, Fiona Wild, Barrie McStay, Peter Sugden, John Clube and John Jenkins



May 13-14 - Scourie

Nine paddlers camped for the weekend at Scourie with a reasonable forecast and hopes of getting around Handa on the Saturday.  However the weather decided not to agree with the forecast and after the tents getting a battering by the wind on Friday night we gathered in Bill and Jill's new campervan early on Saturday to discuss options.  The wind and rain didn't seem keen on abating so the plan to paddle round Handa was abandoned in favour of catching the ferry and walking there instead.

By midday the rain clouds had cleared away and we were treated to a beautiful day on the island, picnicing on the cliffs and watching the seabirds soar and the occasional Risso's dolphin frolicking far below.  Bonxies, arctic skuas, gulliemots, gannets and tysties (just for a start) were spotted but no puffins!  

On Sunday the weather and forecast corresponded somewhat more - F5 southwesterlies, strenghtening throughout the day - so a short windy paddle on Loch Laxford was agreed on. Starting from Laxford Bay we paddled to Loch a' Chadh-Fi for a brief stop, then across the loch into the wind for lunch on Eilean a'Mhadaidh.  Now on the sheltered side of the loch with the wind behind us we meandered around the islands and did a little bit of rockhopping before returning to Laxford Bay.  All in all a lovely weekend making the best of the conditions.





Paddlers:  Joan Smith, Moira Broadhead, Margie Hemingway, Bill Skeoch, Jill Skeoch, Mike Kingswood, Peter Sugden, John Clube, Kirsty Bloom

July 9th - Inverie.

Eight paddles soon got unpacked and onto the water all in good time. Left Mallaig 10:30 am with light westerly winds, small choppy sea, overcast, good visibility and a forecast suggesting a sunny afternoon. First coffee stop the sheltered beach at Eilean Giubhais, pictures taken, shells and plastic collected. Next destination the north coast and the Inverie Cafe, crossed efficiently with wind and wave in our favour arriving 2:15 in sunshine. Two possible routes home -back the way we had come, or a visit to Sandaig Bay. Good! the later was selected. Now into the wind and waves I was expecting slower progress but no, all refreshed and a speedy Sheila (now taking on Joan’s role I think) we followed at a brisk pace 6kms/hr. We soon arrived on a beach due east of Glas Eilean. Last stop, unfortunately, time now running out it had to be back to Malaig via Glas Eilean. Briefly met up with Anthony (potentially a new member) sailing his impressive Canoe, a fine sight. Some rolling sea and soft sunlight to complete a good day. Thanks to all and Roger for the pictures.
Wildlfe: Buzzard at Creag Lasgach, and a very healthy bird population on Glas Eilean. Seals but no dolphins!
Mallaig 6:00pm. 23km. Greenland paddlers won the day.

Paddlers: Tony Laidler, Elizabeth Laidler, Sheila Kingswood, Roger Wild, Fiona Wild, John Clube, Bill Scott, Peter Sugden.

30 July – Lismore

The scheduled weekend trip to Lismore was cancelled due to a poor weather forecast on the Saturday. However the forecast for Sunday promised a better outlook and a small group of paddlers set out from the layby north of Shuna through the Sound of Shuna. High tide at 11.15 allowed a circuit of Castle Stalker, although sadly our request for a visit was declined.
First lunch on Eilean nan Caorach looked like a wet one, but thanks to a kindly owner and his family we had a warming cup of tea inside. An outgoing tide took us past Port Ramsey to our second lunch spot on the beach at Rubha Ban. The weather improved on our return trip along the west coast of Shuna and a golden eagle was spotted at the north end of the island before our return to the starting point having paddled around 18km.






Paddlers : Ruth Sime, Sheila Kingswood, Roger Wild, Bill Scott.

13 August - Eilean Shona

After leaving a car at Samalaman, 7 of us assembled at the jetty at Kinlochmoidart. Though breezy elsewhere, not a breath of wind disturbed the voracious midgies, so launching was a hasty affair with little chat, only mutterings!

On the water, shortly after 10.00 and more or less at high water, we cruised comfortably off  towards the north channel. We startled three young red breasted mergansers, which set off at an amazing pace, paddling just on the surface of the water, until they eventually tried a bit of flying, with varied success.  Jenny was determined to see an osprey. We poo-pooed her first sighting, saying it was a heron, but and it was no time at all before, to our surprise and delight, she had another sighting and an osprey we couldn’t argue about flew overhead and landed on the top of a tree. A buzzard was later spotted.

In the small bay below the house  just before going through the narrows to Baramore, we passed a group of swimmers frolicking in the bay. 

5.9kms. from put-in, Baramore welcomed us with, surprisingly, no midgies and we changed into hiking gear and had a quick bite before setting off around the island. After noting the outside shower at Shepherd’s Cottage we splodged along the rather muddy track, which soon improved as we got close to the old sawmill.  Bill was excited to explore the old mill engine and have a drive and it wasn’t long before everyone was in on the act. Passing the lily pond (water tank for the sawmill),  a light drizzle set in, which got heavier as we approached the Village Hall, so we popped our heads in, looked at the time, discovered it was fortuitously 12.55 and decided it would be silly not to take advantage of such a great and dry facility for lunch. Entertainment ranged from the Star Wars Chronicle, Alice in Wonderland, a  jigsaw, Internet access for those keen to get their email fix, comfy seats, a rocking chair of reminiscences for Elvire  and much more. The rain stopped and we tore ourselves away to continue our walk, up through the woods and then crossing back over to Baramore, checking the wide-ranging views back across the Ardnamurchan Peninsula towards the site of “Eden” of reality TV notoriety. On the high ground we found Sneezewort and Grass of Parnassus reaching up towards the sky (identification thanks to Jenny) and on our way down towards Baramore we were surrounded by Scotch Argus butterflies – very pretty. On the beach a pretty spider befriended my leg – probably a romantically named Garden Spider. The walk logged at 7.1kms and took us 3 hrs. and 5 minutes including a half an hour lunch break.

Leaving Baramore at 2.50, we headed towards Smirisary, where there was a little more movement in the sea, but no wind to trouble us. The views to the west were moody. Not a sunny day, but pleasant and mild. At 4.15 we coasted into Samalaman bay and the drivers headed off post-haste to collect cars, leaving the others to haul boats up the beach and deal with the midgies!!

The day’s fun concluded with a drink and a sharing of some amusing beastie tales in the Lochailort Inn.  A most enjoyable day out, with lots of variety.

Paddlers:Bill Scott, Elvire Feeney, Tony and Elizabeth Laidler, David and Jenny Ford and Sheila Kingswood

25-27 August - Torrin weekend

We awoke on Saturday to a clear blue sky- it was hard to get our heads around our good fortune after the recent  run of  poor weather. Our objective for the day was Spar Cave, so we launched straight from the Centre. After a break on the beach at Kilmarie, we continued south and were rewarded with very close views of a White Tailed Eagle. Unfortunately we missed Spar Cave owing to the trip leader forgetting its exact location, but we carried on to the south end of the peninsula and lunched in glorious warm sunshine. Now less than two kilometres from Elgol, it seemed churlish not to pay it our respects, so off we went, Sheila spotting an otter just as we paddled out of the bay.  We didn't linger at Elgol; time was pressing and crucially, there was no handy ice cream shop. On our return leg, the leader redeemed himself and found Spar Cave. Torches in hand (and on-head), we headed into the gloom and scrambled up the steep, wet slope; fortunately the rock underfoot was very grippy. Back in daylight, we headed for 'home', getting some good views of Gannets and Cormorants on the way. An outstanding day's paddling was followed by the usual sumptuous Saturday night feast and slide show. Bliss! 

Paddlers: Moira Broadhead, Ruth Sime, Jill Skeoch, Sheila Kingswood, Anne Roels, Jon Jenkins, Peter Sugden, Chris Carter, Cathy Mayne, Tony & Elizabeth Laidler. Distance: 30.5km. 

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