Eager to get out in the newly acquired SIB (Soft Inflatable Boat), the forecast wasn’t looking promising…..especially for the afternoon.
Making the most of the AM weather window we set of for the Pontoon at Strachur,installed by the Strachur Bay Mooring Association.
Rolling the boat down the concrete slip on its transom wheels then across the stony beach to the waters edge wasn’t a major hassle,prior to tying onto the pontoon and loading the fuel tank and gear.
We set sail by 09:00hrs heading for Otter Ferry via Old Castle Lachlan and passing Invercottage Restaurant.
Up till now any water based activities were done with the kayak, maybe covering anything from 6 to 14 miles, taking in the scenery. Today we covered just under 36 miles (31nm) in 3 hours, that’s a lot of scenery to take in!!
We decided to sit off shore to have lunch as on approach to the pontoon at Otter Ferry we discovered the wallet was still in the car!! Will return next time for lunch.
We set off and returned to Strachur, taking in the Creggans Inn before tying up at the pontoon.
After locating my wallet we posted a £5 fee into the honesty box at the pontoon, money well spent.
If you don’t have a boat or kayak, Fyne Sea Tours operate various cruises in the area.
Check out the Strachur Community Site for local amenities.
As much as I enjoyed taking to the water in my Kayak, the reality is that any more than an hour in the seat gives my back grief!
I started to look at open canoes, at least they offered some wriggle room. But these aren’t ideal for one but could allow the family to join in…..but would they paddle?
Then I remembered meeting with a SIB owner at the caravan park north of Oban. A SIB (Soft Inflatable Boat) is an inflatable boat that can pack into the car and can take an outboard motor.
That had me browsing the usual places checking out what was what. I joined the Rib.net forum where information is readily available, if not from historical posts through the ever so helpful members.
So having identified a complete outfit I set off on my 800 mile round trip and arrived back with this…….
….much to my daughters delight.
The 3.8mtr boat weighs in at just under 50kg, as does the 20hp 4st Honda outboard.
The inflatable floor goes to 0.8 bar so is almost rigid, the V shaped hull helps in the rough stuff.
Despite the fact I’ve covered a few miles in my kayak over the last few seasons, I’ve actually never undertaken any kind of lessons.
After TSC ( Toward Sailing Club ) introduced a kayak section to their water based disciplines and started to offer a 6 week coaching block, I couldn’t let it pass me by.
Initial payment to join the club followed by a small fee gets you kitted out and ( includes Kayak, paddle, spray deck and buoyancy aid) on the water…. not forgetting expert tuition.
A bargain and great introduction to the sport.
This Thursday will be my first session, looking forward to getting on the water!!!
23.07.15………..1 of 6.
Boat familiarisation,ingress and egress, turning on the spot and a paddle to the other side of the bay. Excellent night and good to be out in company for a change.
Please click THIS LINK for a report of the first session of training by TSC.
First paddle of the season resulted in a camping trip to the West shore of Loch Eck.
Video of trip
Haven’t been out a decent paddle on Loch Eck for a while. An easy 4 miles with a stop off for a coffee on the West shore.
Sunday morning had me returning to Loch Tarsan,situated off the B836. My first visit was on my own and only my second time in a kayak! I returned this time wanting to complete the loop and paddle all of the coast line. OK,it’s only 7kms (4.4 miles) but it’s an area I’ve never seen from the water.
As always,I’m also looking for possible camp sites and there are a few possibilities.
The Loch is used for a Hydro scheme with man made dams at either end. The water now covering an old settlement that existed in the now flooded glen. An old ruin barely stands at the North end of the Loch.
After the mid week trip to Loch Etive. A paddle back in Cowal was required.
Ormidale to Bute was the choice for a morning paddle.
Although parking is limited at the end of the Ormidale road there was one space left.
Setting off from Ormidale through the moored yachts, sticking to the coastline down to the shelter of Caladh.
I spotted the Kayak stop off point on my way down. Initially I was going to paddle down towards Tighnabruaich then cross over to Bute, but in a moment of madness I set off straight for the landing spot on Bute.
A great location with shelter,place for a fire and a composting toilet. 5 star shoreside luxury !!
Stayed long enough to get a coffee on the go before returning via the same route.
Map of route