Graham Canoe

Locals Ian, Linda and Honer had some family up on holiday – Andrew, Chris, Sam and James. We all took to the water in canoes to lean some skills and have some fun.

 

 

 

All the boats meant that in the pyranha game you never knew where the next sodden pyranha was going to be flying from. Unless you where Linda who knew it was coming from Honer, sat just behind her!

 

 

 

 

MacTaggart Canoe & Kayak

The MacTaggart’s came along to my local beach for a fun time in canoes and kayaks. Ross is a keen kayaker so he jumped straight into one whilst Iona and Jenny crewed one canoe and Seumas and Anne set off in the other.

 

 

After some fun and games paddling around Anne’s confidence grew and she really wanted to try out a kayak. After a quick brew break, Anne and Seumas slipped themselves into kayaks. They both did just as well in sole control of a boat as they had tandem.

 

 

Since it was such nice weather we decided to see how our balance was, Iona ended up getting very wet. Just as I had the camera out – sorry!

 

 

Wittenberg Climbing

Amos and Kadya where sent across to me from Paul (Go Further Scotland). They wanted to spend an afternoon climbing in the sunshine, testing their skills against the local Gneiss.

After a number of climbs and abseils the midges got the better of both of them and it was time to head home. A good afternoon spent leaning basic climbing skills, starting their climbing careers.

Hindle Kayak

 

Hazel, Trevor and daughters Carolyn and Laura where staying in Beinn Eighe Cottage just across the field from me, so I thought we might as well use the little beach a couple hundred meters down the road.

 

 

 

 

 

We all set of from the beach in kayaks, seeing how the boats do, turns out that they spin quite well! After a fun session paddling around we rafted up to see if we could get wet. No point wearing wetsuits otherwise!

 

Hamilton Kayak

All four family members, Stephen, Kathryn, Ken and Fiona, started off on the water brilliantly, managing to keep their boat going just about straight from the start.

After a while of practising strokes by playing a few games we headed into the wind for a paddle around to Camas Glas.

 

 

On the way back Ken got board of paddling and decided to do some swimming, a few times! We then played a few more games ending up with some more swimming before heading back for hot drinks.

MacIver & Forbes Canoe

This afternoon a quick last minute canoe session was squeezed in at Poolewe.

The teams where Karen & Keven in one boat and Donald & Scott in the other. Both pairs became good enough to eddy hop along the River Ewe up to Poolewe bridge.

 

 

On the way back a game of ‘Lock Ewe Pyranhas’ turned into a splashing fight, both teams got drenched but spirits stayed high and everyone was still smiling when we arrived back at the cars.

 

Benson Kayak

This morning was another midge morning. Not pleasent on on the bank so we made a quick get away onto the still water of Loch Maree. Seoras decided to opt for going into the water instead of onto it even before I had got into my boat.

 

 

Everything went well for a while until Seoras went in for a second time. And then a third, and forth… I think by the end of the session he’d swam 8 times! A record for the year so far! If only there was an Olympic medal for capsizing.

 

 

The rest of the group, Eileen, George, Charlie and Roma,  demonstrated that you don’t have to fall in all the time. Although Charlie did take a dip whilst racing away to protect his ‘tail’ in a game.

Despite all the rescues it was a good morning.

Pringle-MacIntyre Kayak

The Pringle-MacIntyre Family where briefly in the area on their honeymoon after getting married last weekend – Congratulations!

They couldn’t decide upon canoes or kayaks, so we all started in kayaks and later on some swapped to canoes to see the difference.

All the family, Wendy, Ross, Ross, Rory and even young Adam paddled well, picking it up right from the start.

Whitwell Canoeing

After a few days of rain and strong winds it all settled and the midges came out to play. Once on the water we escaped them till we landed back at the end.

Both pairs, Carl and William & Roz and Eleanor, got the hang of the canoes, managing to get where they wanted without turning in too many circles! Very early on the lads boat reached a wee bit too far for a pryranha and ended up swimming! After a quick break to sort out soggy clothes everyone jumped back in the boats.

The rest of the afternoon was spent paddling and playing games with everyone staying dry.

 

 

Poolewe Canoeing

A group of six friends staying in Ullapool came down for a paddle in Poolewe bay and around the edge of Inverewe Garden to Camas Glas.

All three boats where competitive from the start, getting very involved in some games. The teams picked up the different strokes quickly, enabling them to manoeuvre their boats where they wanted to go, mostly of the time!

 

Since it was low tide the group had the opportunity to collect a bunch of mussels for their tea. The crabs that they found where a wee bit small to eat, so after scurring around the boat scaring folk they where returned to the sea.

 

After a coffee break in Camas Glas the lads wanted to try solo paddling, they did well at this using a modified ‘J’ stroke to keep them going straight. After picking up the rest of the group from the beach we headed off otter spotting – none where seen today, but a seal was later spotted watching us as we headed for shore.

 

A few more games showed off the teams paddling ability and their balance, along with another round of the old favourite ‘Loch Ewe Pyranhas’. Some of the group where keen to get wet (mad people…) so they took up an unstable paddling position sitting on the very front of the canoes, with their legs dangling into the water. Sadly their balance was far too good for this and in the end they had to just jump in and swim the short distance to shore.

Despite getting wet everyone had a great time – another good session.

 

White Climbing

I finally remembered the camera this afternoon for a bit of climbing at clown crag. This afternoon’s session was passed over from Paul (gofurtherscotland) who is off enjoying himself on holiday in Germany. The girls, Jess, Sophie & Charlotte, all managed to run up all the routes with only the occasional stop to ponder a move.

 

Sally fought her way to the top with a determined look on her face, turning to joy and satisfaction as she reached the ground. Andrew got his excuses in early with his sore knee, but he still did well on a route and then did a great job belaying everyone else up the routes.

 

 

After everyone had climbed a  few routes I set up an abseil so that the girls could climb to the top and then abseil down, controlling their rate of descent. Jess seemed far happier controlling her own rate of descent – when she had been lowered from the climbs it was always either too fast or too slow!

Everyone picked up the new skills quickly, letting me sit back and watch – great!

Kidd Canoe

A last minute canoe session was organised this afternoon from Poolewe for the Kidd family. Mum and Dad (Laura and Frank) teamed up in one boat and the teenagers (Rosie and Finlay) in another. The competition between the boats was good natured and only turned nasty when Finlay tried splashing the other boat.

We fine-tuned the paddling stokes in the lee of Inverewe Gardens before heading out into the wind. Both teams fought hard against the wind and finally we made it along the coast. After a coffee we had a relaxing paddle back, travelling with the wind (although it had dropped considerably – typical!). Just enough time to see how balanced Rosie and Finlay were, ending with Finlay nearly falling in.

 

On the final journey back to shore one of the local seals popped up to see what we were doing, he watched us from the distance for the rest of the paddle. Laura thought she saw a jumping fish at one point, however it was later seen again and identified as an otter, who was swimming around the seaweed looking for lunch.

Newman Climbing

Another climbing excursion – maybe Ewe Climb would be a better name for me! The Newman family where pointed in my direction from Jim (nineonesix) since he unfortunately broke his collar bone recently. Hope you recover soon!

The Newman’s arrived with part enthusiasm and part teenager lethargy which soon disappeared (the lethargy bit, that is). There was competition to be first, James got the spot and easily nipped up the route, followed by Guy, then India, leaving Paul to be last.

The four paired up and belayed each other on the rest of the climbs, learning to belay and to trust each other. All four picked up the skills quickly and competently. The afternoon was finished off with a climb to the top and an abseil to the foot of the crag, a good end to a great session.

Fisher Climbing

Due to the local climbing instructor, Paul (Go Further Scotland), being on holiday and Jim the next nearest having a broken collar bone I put my climbing instructor hat on and took the Fisher family for a spot of climbing at Clown Crag.

Despite grazing her leg, Letty managed to conquer each climb, getting all the way up every one. A great achievement for a 6 year old (even if it was just days till her 7th birthday – Happy Birthday!)

Louise trumped Letty’s graze with a bigger knock to her leg, but still went on to get to the top of the routes. Rob chose to take the hard lines up each route, remembering the climbing he did in his past.

The next afternoon was due to be wet so they chose to have a trip to Gairloch’s indoor climbing wall. Erin and Letty both found their feet quickly, enjoying zipping up and down the wall. Louise and Rob left happy and confidant with their skills to take the girls climbing again.

Kayak Rescue

Graeme wanted to practice kayak rescues for when he’s out and about sea kayaking. Whilst the Fisher family from the morning session where taking a dip in their swimming costumes, Graeme donned his wetsuit, I looked at the water and chose to go for the drysuit option – I think I’m getting a bit soft, or is it just getting a bit wise?

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The afternoon was spent mainly splashing around in the water, attempting to get back into boats. Graeme found that after a bow rescue it’s good to keep holding on otherwise you topple all the way round and end up swimming!

The sun shone down making it an enjoyable way to spend the afternoon, still glad that I wore my drysuit though!

I confess to jumping out of my canoe (with the plan of checking I could still climb back in happily) to see my canoe racing off faster than I could swim after it. I should perhaps have stopped the boat after gunnel bobbing it along before jumping out!

 

Fisher Canoe

The Fisher family came to Tollaidh Bay on a misty morning, after setting off onto the water the sun decided to burn through and make it a fantastic day.

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A nice introduction to canoeing. Letty and Erin did really well, getting to grips with all the strokes. The thought of hot chocolate on the beach spured them on along the river and back into the loch. Battling against the breeze back to the start was the hardest part of the trip.

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Louise then had a play around in a sea kayak, finding it’s long sleek hull and lower profile made it far easier to control in the breeze.

The whole family preformed really well, with high spirits all morning.

Inverewe Canoe

This morning was spent pleasantly paddling around near Poolewe. 3 generations of the  Lawrie family picked up canoeing skills quickly, helped by a competitive game – Loch Ewe Pyranhas. We fought the breeze and paddled along Inverewe Garden’s shore line to reach Camas Glas, where we sneaked onto the beach for a cuppa and cake.

We cruised along with the breeze back towards Poolewe, chasing each others boats trying to capture each others ‘tails’. Each boat team had improved too much and I found it hard to win. The weather has continued to be fantastic up here – blue skys and sunshine, none of these grey dreich days down south are getting!

 

Sunset Kayaking

Nipped out for a quick paddle this evening on Loch Tollaidh. The whole loch was perfectly still, disturbed only by the ripples radiating from the paddles. Fantastic weather that we’re having at the moment, hope it continues!

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