Gelly Paddle

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The sun was back when the Gelly family met me at Tollie Bay for a fun mornings paddling. We started the session canoeing, with Keith and young Jamie in one boat and Alison and even younger Ciaran in the other. Both boats managed to paddle around despite the wind blowing up the loch. After a good game of ‘Piranhas’ and testing our balance in the boats we headed to shore for a hot chocolate and swap of boats.

 

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After another paddling briefing on shore we soon took to the water and tested the boats out. Just as we did in the canoes we practised some paddling strokes in preparation for a game or two. Keith was good enough to show his lads how easy it was to fall out of a kayak and how there is no need to worry if you do!

 

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With everyone paddling well we got on with the important stuff – some games! We played the tails game, Ciaran managing to grab my tail in the very end but not without getting very wet! To end the session we tested Jamie and Ciaran’s balancing skills, making them do lots of rafted challenges.

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!

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.

Ashdown Paddle

Poolewe today, and a nice high tide to start with – always makes life easier.

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I arrived to meet an enthusiastic family ready for the water. We started the morning out in canoes, with the plan of staying dry as long as possible. Both teams coped well, manoeuvring their boats just about where they wanted to go. With a little coaching they where ready to chase the piranhas across Loch Ewe.

 

We chose to have a hot chocolate on the shores of Inverewe Garden (luckily the family are NTS members so we weren’t chased for money). Then it was a paddle back to the trailer to get some kayaks out. Maureen decided to stay on the bank and take pictures whilst Jon and the two lads, Patrick and William, jumped into the little kayaks. Patrick being the expert paddler showed us his skills. William having never been in a kayak solo before soon picked it up and had no trouble zipping around.

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Nobody fell in, so it was time to do some rafted games – all three showed their expert balancing skills by standing and jumping in their boats. Since they where still all dry it was time to make them rub noses with their kayaks…still they remained dry (well apart from their noses!). One last attempt to get the lads soaked – I set them the task of getting out of their boats and moving all the way around the rafted kayaks  and back in to their own. This must end in wetness…… nope, they where just too good. We ended the session with another round of hot drinks all still dry.

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William gained his Paddle Start Award, and Patrick improved his skills ready for the next paddling course he’ll be on later in the summer. Well done lads.

Collins Canoe

I should really do more of these blog post things, so here is one.

Collins Canoe

 

Today the sun was shinning and it looked like a great day to get out for a paddle. Upon arriving at Tollaidh Bay they decided to have an adult canoe and a youth canoe – which is best for teamwork, youth and enthusiasm or a bit of age and wisdom?

In the end both boats managed well, despite the fresh wind coming down the loch. After an ‘all right‘ (delicious) and warming hot chocolate the youth team decided to split and have a go in kayaks, whilst the adult team used their wisdom deciding that the stability of the canoe would keep them dryer.

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The kayakers where doing well until George leant a little too far and had an unexpected bath. I towed him ashore whilst he kept a shivering smile on his face. After a bit more paddling around it was time to end a fun session on the water, well done everyone.

Armstrong Canoe

 

Tim, Alison, Tom & Harry had one of the stillest days on the water so far, not a ripple anywhere. Well, apart from the otter’s ripples and of course the the pesky seal that kept following us and surprising Harry!

 

The still water made paddling easy, making it a calm and relaxed morning.

 

 

 

 

Tom even managed to gain his Paddle Power Start Award – well done! Harry will have to wait till he’s a little bigger.

 

Lindsey Kayak & Canoe

A wet day saw the Lindsey family arrive in Poolewe to get out on the water. Initially they all jumped into kayaks to see how they did. The sky opened and we all got drenched, luckily they had hired wetsuits from Sands Campsite where they were staying.

 

After the kayaks Kevin and Hannah teamed up, as did Alison and Joe to crew their canoes. The weather had luckily improved by now and a pleasant paddle was had along the to Poolewe bridge, calm and gentle at high tide.

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!

 

 

 

 

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