Murray Paddle, Loch Shieldaig

5-8-16 Murray (21)

Alistair, Debra, Robert and Alex met me for a good session on the water, we started fighting the midges, but soon moved onto the beach to escape them. We had a good session paddling around the loch and playing games. Being in the shelter of the loch meant it was a little midgy on shore, but it meant we got shelter from the breeze meaning we had lovely calm waters to paddle on.

 
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Tomkinson Paddle, Gairloch

2-8-16 Tomkinson (12)Pete and Linda joined me again this year, the #NC500 got them up here last year but the fantastic scenery and places brought them back to explore more. Last year we paddled from Mellon Charles, due to the very low tide we saw huge amounts of wildlife, this year we had another low tide and managed to see a fair amount of wildlife from star fish to urchins to seals.

 
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Hamer Canoe, Loch Shieldaig

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Malcolm, Hannah, Emily and George met me near the Shieldaig Lodge Hotel, just south from Gairloch. The were across from Inverness on a quick holiday. We had a good session, paddling in a bit of wind at times but managing to control the canoes well around the loch. Emily and George completed my balancing tasks well, not even falling off when I got them sitting on the very front of the canoes!

 

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Wignall Canoe, Gairloch & Poolewe

20+23-7-16 Wignall (22)Alan and Pamela joined me for two trips, initially from Gairloch Harbour and then from Poolewe. They have a family cottage in Poolewe, so know the area well but have’t canoed on the waters before. Alan is booked to go on a trip along the River Tay later on in the year, so wanted to get some experience paddling canoes.

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We had a fantastically calm morning at Gairloch, the sea was still with not a breath of wind in the air. Sadly the same can’t be said for the rain in the air – but luckily a bit of rain doesn’t really matter too much. Poolewe’s paddle was far dryer but a bit windier, which was good as we wanted a breeze to practice more challenging paddling in.  We spent a lot of time over the two sessions leaning the basics of lots of strokes, practising them as we paddled around the coastline seeing the wildlife and sights.

20+23-7-16 Wignall (49)

Canoe training

DSCF5246I’ve been spending some time coaching some canoe skills recently. The wind chose not to help us at all – paddling a canoe solo in the wind can be quite tricky when you’re practising your strokes! Paddling tandem is of course far easier, assuming teamwork skills are ok!

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Gairloch High School Paddle, Shieldaig

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The Activity Tourism class and Rural Skills class joined me, along with their teachers Mrs Johnston and Mr Milner, for a day out in the boats. The aim for them was to learn about Ewe Canoe, learn some paddling skills and of course have some fun. After setting off in midge hoods we were soon able to take them off and enjoy the sunshine, couldn’t have asked for a better day.DSCF4417

 

 

 

It was clear from the start that some boats were going to capsize, by the end most folk had a good soaking. Had a great time with them paddling around the coast for lunch on an island and playing plenty of wet games.DSCF4400DSCF4372

Malawians & Explorer Scouts, Loch Shieldaig

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Gairloch High School’s Gairloch Malawi Partnership Project had 4 Malawian youngsters and two teachers in Gairloch for a while. They were keen to do an activity with the local Explorer Scouts (which I’m one of their leaders), so we thought we’d take them canoeing. We had a great night for it, sunshine and windless. Everyone had a fantastic time splashing about and getting wet.

 

More pictures can be seen here.
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Malawians & Explorers 26-8-15 (32)

Brown Canoe, Badachro

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We had a relaxed paddle from Badachro, spotting the wildlife and scenery around us. As well as the normal seals that we had following us around we where lucky enough to see a pod of dolphins jumping through the water as we sat having a brew.

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