The wind direction dictated that little Loch Shieldaig was the place to be again, that’s where I met Peter, Jane, Millie, Harry, Bryony and Edith. Despite the forecast the wind held off initially and let the midges come out to play, after a speedy initial chat we headed onto the water to get away from them. Harry took it a step further and threw himself into the loch at the very start – presumably to wash off any remaining midges.
We had a good session paddling – getting to grips with the kayaks and seeing the coast and wildlife around it.
Richard, Lindsay, Katie, James and Andrew joined me for a wet session at Gairloch Harbour. As we set off the weather was perfect, but soon after the rain started. It chose not to stop, so we just had to keep having fun in the rain. At the end of the session James, Andrew and Katie where fairly wet from the rain, so falling in (or maybe being pushed…) didn’t matter!
Chris and Rosemary joined me for the evening paddle. They had been trying to get out with me for ages, a session that we had had planned last week had to be cancelled due to the strong winds. Luckily we found some calm conditions after days of winter like winds.
They have otters on their ‘spot list’, sadly we were not able to tick them off – in fact, we ended up only seeing a few seals in a spot where lots are normally spotted. That’s wildlife for you – never predictable!
Rosemary didn’t actually spend her time reading a book whilst paddling, it was just a picture for the school library competition where she is a teacher.
After a break from padding for a few days due to strong winds I was back on the water for a busy day. Gareth, Rhys and Siân joined me in the morning for a fun paddling session heading around little Loch Shieldaig, learning to paddle, looking at the wildlife, and of course having fun.
Lynne, mum of the group, chose not to join us on our paddling session. Instead she visited the newly renovated Shieldaig Lodge Hotel for coffee. The whole place has been renovated recently and is certainly worth a visit.
Richard, Jo, Cameron and Daniel joined me for the afternoon on the water. We had a low tide which meant we had to carry the boats further at the start and end of the session but it has the advantage that we get to see lots more in the water just below the low water level.
We had a good time searching for creatures along the shoreline as we paddled. Lots of star fish, sea urchins, jelly fish and seals where seen all around us, not forgetting lots of Loch Gairloch piranhas!
Towards the end of the session the rain came, but that didn’t matter in the slightest because it was time to get a little wet! Time for a few ‘wet games’ to make sure they didn’t notice the rain.
A nice sunny and wind free day came along (I can probably count on one hand how many days like this we’ve had so far this summer…); Alison, Will and Sophie joined me for the morning kayaking. After getting used to the boats and learning some strokes we set off to explore the coastline and have some fun. We had a relaxing break on a beach to enjoy hot drinks and cake, then set off again to see more jelly fish and seals.
It was a slightly damp morning that Mark arrived along with Tom, Louise, James, and Muireann. That didn’t dampen their spirts though, we set off in a selection of boats out into the harbour to paddle around, improve some skills, play some games and see some seals.
Gavin and Morven had their three children Angus, Ailsa and Isla with them for a kayaking session. We got on the water and practised some skills, played some games, saw some views and wildlife, then topped it off with more games. Everyone was paddling really well until suddenly expectantly Gavin and Isla’s boat decided to flip over. They got back on boats and where glad it was near the end of the session so they could get warm soon.
Ailsa got chased by a seal. Maybe it was that seal that capsized Isla’s boat?….
With a windy and wet forecast for most of the week we took the opportunity to get on the water just before the bad weather arrived. Mimi and David both had some kayaking experience and chose to use use the small closed cockpit kayaks. These boats are super manourverable meaning their able to get into every nook and cranny of the coastline with ease, the one downside some people find is that they don’t always like to go in a straight line all the time.
They soon got the hang of the kayaks and we were off. By the end of the session seal, jelly fish and sea urchins were becoming a little boring as we had seen so many on our travels!
After a wet session in the morning it was good to hear that Clive and Megan are used to playing wet games in kayaks when they do stuff with their canoe club down in Norfolk, so weren’t too keen on doing so much of it today. We set off around the coastline to see what we could see, the coast here being very different from Norfolk’s. I had no need to teach any skills, as they could paddle well, but being in different boats than they’re used to they found it useful to practice a few strokes to see how these boats handled.
This morning Catriona, Susan, Brian and younger folk Callum, Alasdair and Duncan joined me for what was going to be a fun wet session. We set off in the kayaks and after getting used to the boats we played some games to make sure those who wanted to get wet did get wet. Catriona and Susan chose to stay a little dryer, but everyone else couldn’t have got much wetter by the end of the session!