Latta Paddle

DSCF7140 Janette and Allan had their relatives staying and where keen to get out on the water. Renate, Emma and Ben live in Australia, so even though it was still our summer they probably found it a little chilli.

We set off in the canoes first, had a paddle around, played a few games, learnt a few skills and then got the kayaks out for a go in them. Whilst playing with the piranhas in the canoes Janette and Allan managed to do something I haven’t seen for a while – the boat almost capsized, tipping Allan out but Janette stayed in, nice and dry whilst Alan swam!  DSCF7132 DSCF7138 DSCF7139

Gooch Hamkin Canoe

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The weather was looking dark but Caroline and Catherine were still keen to get out for a paddle. After a coffee at my house we set off to my local beach in Mellon Charles.

I took the opportunity to throw my self down onto the beach after slipping on a wet rock, I didn’t realise at the time that I had hurt my ribs – maybe if I had I’d have pestered Catherine to have a look at me since she’s a doctor!

 

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We got on the water before the rain started and headed off to see where we got to. Catherine was able to provide lots of power from the back of the canoe due to her regular dragon boat racing, it was just the steering she had to get used to. Caroline was celebrating her birthday today, and what better way to do it than by getting drenched by the rain in a canoe!

The rain this evening was so heavy it washed away part of the single track road south from Gairloch, causing delays and diversions.

Waddell Canoe & Kayak

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Another person that has been holidaying here since he was a lad is Charles Waddell, he now brings his family up on holidays. Today we went paddling in a mixture of boats, we had Charles & Rowan in a canoe and Katie & Robbie both chose to paddle kayaks.

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When they are here they stay in Inverasdale, near Firemore beach, so since the weather was with us we chose to paddle from the beach. Katie and Robbie showed off their paddling skill and we paddled around the shore line. We found a cave that I had not seen before, it kept going on and on into the darkness. All 3 kayaks and the canoe where able to fit inside with ease, there was just enough space at the end to turn the kayaks around to ease exiting.

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We carried on till we reached one of the family’s favourite beach spots where we had hot chocolate and biscuits, along with a good stretch of the legs.

The journey back was just as interesting, looking up at the coastline from sea level. When we reached Firemore beach again the rain arrived and it seemed like a good time to test Katie and Robbie’s balancing skills and get them swimming!

Taylor Canoe & Kayak

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The Taylor’s where staying in Loch Ewe Cottage in Mellon Charles and had seen one of my adverts and noticed my canoe trailer at home. Linda wandered across one evening to see if she could book some paddling. I was able to fit her in and we chose to paddle from the beach a few hundred metres from here and their cottage.

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They all knew what they where doing, so Colin and Linda opted for a canoe whilst Alasdair and Keith chose to try something new and paddle sea kayaks. It turned out that Colin was a marine biologist, so instead of me showing them the sights he showed us what lay beneath us.

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Their was one creature that I had never seen before (and promptly forgot what it is called…), anyway here’s a poor picture of it

Howat Kayak

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Chris and Lynne where staying in Mellon Charles on their travels so they thought it would be good to get out paddling to see things from a different level. We paddled from my local beach, and only a few hundred metres from where they where staying at Tranquility B&B.

It turns out Chris is also a scout leader, and in fact knows Rose and Jim (scout leaders) that I took out paddling a couple of weeks ago! We paddled around the rocky shoreline, spotting lots of jelly fish.

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Morris Paddle

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Back over to Gairloch today do canoe and kayak. The Morris family had such a great report from the Wood family (all part of the same family group up here) they wanted to get out with me too. We set out initially in canoes, testing our communication and teamwork skills. After practising our skills we got straight into a good game of ‘Piranhas’, followed by some fun testing rafted games.

 

After that it was time to stretch the legs and swap to kayaks. We paddled about, leaning just how easy it is to turn the kayaks (often when not wanted!). We played some attack & defend games, then in my pursuit of getting them all soaked we played some rafted games where they had to swam boats along with a host of other challenges. Sadly they where all a bit too good and I had to resort to splashing them with my paddle!

Petrie Paddle

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The day continued to be hot and sunny, after a short break for lunch the Petrie family joined me for an afternoon canoeing and kayaking. It didn’t take long for Pete, Jo, Hamish and Kirstin to get to grips with the canoes, so we headed off for a paddle where we saw seals basking in the sunshine.

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After a while we headed back to the slipway in Badachro and switched to the kayaks. With a bit of ballerina like pirouetting they got the hang of them and we tested our skills playing some games.

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Galvin Canoe

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Another sunny morning at Tollie Bay, this time I was joined by the Galvin family – Grace, Daniel, Emmet and Helen. We set off in the canoes initially, heading across the bay. Manoeuvring skills where picked up well, enabling a good game of ‘Piranhas’ to be had.

 

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After a short break we swapped over to the kayaks, it was such a hot sunny day no one minded splashing around in the water at all. Grace and Daniel both performed well in the kayaks, being only 8 means it’s hard work for them.

Barnett Canoe & Kayak

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Haven’t paddled from Badachro for a while, so since the Barnett family where staying in one of Sue and Tom’s cottages in Badachro I thought it would be a good spot to go.

 

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Alan, Carol and Ross joined me for a session of canoeing and kayaking. We set off initially in two canoes to explore the area and see what we could find. Seals where spotted in the bay – a common occurrence here,  and a possible otter sighting on one of the beaches.

 

 

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When we had mastered the art of canoeing it was time to switch boats and jump into the kayaks. A good game of ‘Piranhas’ was had, testing everyone’s skills to the limits!

 

Cumming Canoe & Kayak

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This sunny afternoon was spent with the Cummings from Laide. Iain is a teacher at the local High School, he had won a half price voucher for a family paddle with me from the school’s S7 year fundraising event in aid of them going on an adventurous activities week.

 

 

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To get the most out of this beautiful afternoon we set off initially in canoes. Soon everyone picked up the canoeing skills and after a few games we nipped back to the beach for hot chocolate, biscuits and to swap boats.

 

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It wasn’t long before we where back out on the water, all in individual kayaks. The skills that had been learnt in the canoes where put to good use in the kayaks, with everyone zipping around like natural paddlers. By the end of the session everyone was fairly damp from the energetic splashing and games.

Fisher Canoe


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The Fisher family where back in the area, so of course they wanted to get out canoeing again. Last year we had canoed over at Tollie Bay, so this year Mellon Charles seemed like a good place to paddle. We set off from the little beach, just down the road from my house.

 

 

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Letty, Erin, Rob and Louise seemed to remember their paddling skills well. This meant I could have an easy session, sitting back as they paddled me around the coastline! We paddled around to their cottage’s beach before it was time to head back around, through the craggy coast.

 

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Speaking Canoe

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On this fine afternoon I was joined by Glen, Alex and their tribe – Emma, Amy, Jasmine and Michaela. We all set off for a paddle in the canoes from Poolewe.

 

Both boats – Glen, Emma, Michaela and Alex, Amy, Jasmine – paddled well, being able to maneuver their boats where they wanted to. Some frantic fun games ensured everyone had tired arms by the end of the session.

 

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Bowker Canoe

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Local’s Andy and Margo came out to join me for a relaxing paddle one evening after I had been working in Poolewe. They have sit on top boats themselves, but came out in one of my canoes to see what it’s like. We just went for a little paddle around the side of Inverewe Garden. I can’t even remember if we had any seals/otters/other sightings?

Wendy & Simon Canoe

DSCF2334Wendy and Simon wanted a break from walking the local mountains, when they saw my notice in the hostel (Sail Mhor Croft Hostel) they decided it would be a good activity do rest their legs with. We paddled from my local beach at Mellon Charles and headed off around the rocky coastline to see what we could see at sea.

It was evident from the off that both Wendy and Simon had previous experience in boats, picking up the strokes easily and racing around. We saw a selection of birds, a seal, a huge number of moon jellyfish, but sadly for Wendy there where no otters out playing. Sorry, maybe next time.

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Simon was keen to whiz around whilst Wendy wanted to get her paddling ready for a triathlon later in the year over near Loch Morlich – good luck with the race.

Since they where both doing so well I set them off paddling solo a the end to see how they faired. They both preformed well with the race at the end being pretty even.

Skilling Canoe

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Another fine sunny morning meant another fine morning on the water. The Skilling family met me in Poolewe for a a fun canoeing session in the bay. We set off easily with a nice high tide and found out just how easily these large canoes can turn. It wasn’t long before the canoes where being paddled on target.

 

 

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With some practice and instruction the teams found they could get the canoes where they wanted them with no problems so it was time for games in the sun. Those sneaky Loch Ewe Piranhas made an appearance, ensuring there was lots of frantic paddling.

 

 

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Both boats – Sangita & Joshua and Robin & Sofia couldn’t seem to stop smiling the whole time. Everyone paddled well, with Sofia deciding part way through that it was far better to be chauffeured around, but as she’s only 6 that’s not too bad!

Ingram Paddle

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Paul, Emily, Coll and Anita arrived on a sunny afternoon in Poolewe ready for a canoeing session. After our initial chat about the boats and getting kitted out we set off to see how the canoe’s paddle. Both teams, Paul & Anita and Emily & Coll, soon got to grips with the way the boats could be manoeuvred through the water and we set off for the shores of Inverewe Garden.

 

We improved our turning strokes and then put them to test with a good game of Loch Ewe Piranhas. After a relaxing hot chocolate and biscuit break we jumped back on the water for more fun and games.

 

 

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Towards the end of the session we put Coll’s skills to the test by sending him off in a kayak. He coped well, being able to paddle his kayak just where he wanted to go. With Paul & Anita still zipping around in their canoe and Emily and Coll both flying around in kayaks it was time for another game of Piranhas.

 

Coll claimed he didn’t get hit in the face…the photo makes it look like he did! Both Coll and Anita paddled well for such young folk – well done.

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Self Rescue Paddle Session

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We had a self rescue session in Gairloch Harbour for all the local paddlers to come along and practice their skills. The morning went well with everyone bobbing about in the water happily.

 

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It was a great opportunity for folk to remember their skills and learn new ones. Everyone was able to share their experiences and techniques, helping each other out.

 

Thank you to everyone who came along, especially Andrew Johnston and Miles Wood who are two other paddle-sport coaches in the local area.

 

self rescue day 7   self rescue day 6

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Wright Canoe

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The day started with a mirror like bay at Poolewe, however as normally happens the winds slowly picked up distorting the reflections. Carol and David remembered their old paddling skills quickly and where soon gliding across the water.

 

 

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We made our way around the side of of Inverewe Garden before stopping for a well earned coffee. The paddle back was made easier by the breeze pushing us back towards the beach.

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