Monday, 29 June 2009

Mellow paddle.

My Anas Acuta isn't finished so yesterday I borrowed an old Plastic Contour, wow, after the Anas it felt like paddling an oil tanker. Still it meant I got out for a very mellow paddle on Loch Etive. We put in at Bonawe narrows and paddled up the Loch to by the slabs on Beinn Trilleachan; I first climbed there in 1976. The weather was great warm and calm and the company was top notch as well.

Andrea, Ray and Tom paddling down the Loch.
Ray and Andrea at the Bonawe narrows put in.

Andrea in her brand new shiny Tiderace Kayak.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Big Hole.

Today I cut a very big hole in my precious kayak. Hopefully I haven't gone mad, the idea is to fill the hole with a hatch.

The hole.
I've also made a new bulkhead to go in front of the footpegs.

The bulkhead ready to be glassed it.
To fit the flat hatch rim to a curved deck, I've made a disc of fibre glass which will be fitted under the deck so that the hatch stick out of the hole.

Where the disc will be fitted.

This is the hatch rim being stuck to the disc ready for fitting.

Once I've done the bulkhead and attached the disc I'll fill the gap between the disc and the underside of the deck with some filler. This will be quite a fiddly job so it could take me quite some time to finish. I'll put up more photo's as I go along.
After I've finished I'll tidy up the deck lay out before getting into my next project; making and fitting a skeg. That will be very tricky and will take a lot of materals. I've already started to make the mold but it's going to be very complicated.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Lismore: part two.

The dew was heavy in the morning and looking across to Mull there was a thick ground mist clinging to the hill side. This very quickly cleared and the day turned out to be a glorious one.

The misty Isle of Mull.

We decided that, as the day was so fantastic, we'd paddle out and visit the Lady's rock. We had to dodge, first a tour boat coming out of the Sound of Mull, then the fast ferry out of Oban before we got to the rock. As we reached it two porpoise crossed out path. Next we headed over to Duart Point just for the hell of it. After a quick leg stretch and a pee on the Duke's lawn we paddled back to Bernera Bay on Lismore.

Castle Duart.

Going through the gap between Bernera and Lismore the water was so clear and the kelp so thick looking down was just mesmerizing. All the way up the north-west side of Lismore was just beautiful. Blue skies, flat calm sea, fantastic vistas.

Lismore: part one.

The weekend club meet was to have been the Farne Isles, that would have meant using an expensive family campsite and plenty of time spent in the pub. Something I have to avoid at the moment. At the last minute it was changed to wildcamping on Lismore; that's more like it. Early Saturday morning saw Ray and I heading north up to Connel Bridge before turning right to Shuna Sound. Jeff was already there and Steve then Alan pulled in, Richard rang to say that Craig, Jim and himself were at Port Appin and would join us on the water. The dark clouds begain to break apart to show blue skys above. There was no wind and the water flat calm, what more could we ask for.

Setting off Shuna Sound.

We were almost past Port Appin and wondering where the boys were when a shout from behind came and they were paddling hard to catch up.
All together in the Lynn of Lorn.
We headed across to the Lismore side and stopped for a tea break on a nice little beach. There was some talk of walking up to an organic cafe but we decided it was to far away so put the trangia on instead. next we paddled over and explored the Creag Islands where we saw an otter and lots of seals. With the tide behind us we very soon were at the end of the island and set up camp near Rubha Fiart overlooking Mull and the Lady's rock.
A happy Ray camping on Lismore.

Campsite with a view.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Flickr Photo's.

I've been sorting out my old slides and putting some onto my Flickr account. Maybe I'll set up a better website sometime but for now this one will do. Have a look, what do you think?

This is my brother Pete, below Huandoy Sar 6395m in the Crodillera Blanca in Peru.

The Market place Huaraz.

Glacier lake, in the Cordillera Blanca.
I'll be putting up some more photo's of Bolivia, Norway and some more paddling photo's over the next few weeks.

Friday, 5 June 2009


My old car has finally died. I've has it nine years and done over 150 thousand miles in it. I only paid £1,800 for it so it's done me proud. I took it to the scrapy yesterday and now I'm back on my bike. The first time I've been without a car in over thirty years.
This is going to make life a really pain. I went into Stirling, six miles away, on the bus, £4.20 return, our public transport has to be the most expensive in the world. Just how I'm going to be able to get out paddling now I'm not sure; only time will tell.