Is it really February?

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andreadawn
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Is it really February?

Post by andreadawn »

Another window, albeit a rather brief two days. Still, winter is being kinder than usual to me this year.

No prizes for guessing where day one began.
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Cuan Sound was very flat with just a few small overfalls at the west end, but there were some entertaining oily-boily-whirly bits.
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After passing Easedale, I crossed to Insh for lunch on this little beach. It was very warm for mid winter.
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There can be few more beautiful places than Clachan Sound on a sunny day. Sadly, it’s all too short. I could have sat drifting in the tide for hours.
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Day two started off pretty much in the same vein. This is Eilean Righ in Loch Craignish.
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It was far too nice to stay in the confines of the loch though and I wanted to visit the islands just south of the Dorus Mor. I didn’t want to be there by myself though when the tide was running hard, so planned to get there as the flow eased off towards slack water at the end of the flood. There was still 3-4 knots of flow between the islands, although the middle of the Dorus Mor was one huge, smooth, oily boil. I stopped on this little beach on the north side for a second lunch.
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Soon after, an easterly wind blew up, creating more interesting conditions in the eddy on the north side of the channel.
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In fact it started to blow pretty hard and that was the end of the summery weather. Once the sun disappeared behind Jura, the temperature plummeted…..
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…..and by morning it was raining horizontally. Maybe it is February after all.

Andrea.

Ps I’m not following you around Douglas, honest!

Pps Apologies to Mark for abusing his fine hospitality and using his website as a personal blog (again!).

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Post by johnb »

Thanks for posting those photos, very inspiring.

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Mark R
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Re: Is it really February?

Post by Mark R »

andreadawn wrote:Pps Apologies to Mark for abusing his fine hospitality and using his website as a personal blog (again!).
That's rather the point of the site, keep it coming!

My own February trip in that area was a bit bleaker. It took me the best part of a day to get past that bridge into the wind ...
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Post by jamesl2play »

Excellent post as always, makes me want to get out in the boat.

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Douglas Wilcox
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Post by Douglas Wilcox »

Hello Andrea, what cracking photos! I like to see people stopping for second luncheon! Sign of a mellow trip!

Did you land on Isle Macaskin? At the ruined village on the SE side there were two barn owls in one of the old houses and two golden eagles circling overhead. Now I have finished posting about the Mull of Galloway trip I will post some more photos of our Dorus Mor trip.

Douglas

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NeilG
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Post by NeilG »

Last shot for the photo competition I reckon. Stunning images. Monday paddle for me I think. If only my neck of the woods was so inspiring! Camping in Feb too!
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Cameron
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Post by Cameron »

Excellent shots Andrea, anything at this time of year is a bonus and that looks like it was a great paddle. I am envious.

Cameron

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Post by fiona »

Excellent shots, inspiration for the rest of us.

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Bruxy
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Post by Bruxy »

Hi Andrea,

lovely shots in a lovely area - thanks for sharing them.

Nice to see a "trip report" thread - guaranteed to make me want to phone in sick and grab my paddle :-)

Cheers
Chris

andreadawn
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Post by andreadawn »

Hello Douglas, the more lunch stops the better, I say. Bizarrely I've paddled (and walked) with people in the past who didn't want to stop for lunch at all!

I landed briefly on Isle Macaskin for a mid morning snack (it was too early for lunch even for me). Didn't see any barn owls, although I see them quite often here in Cumbria. Paddling past Piel Island a few weeks ago, one flew out of the ruins of the castle. I did see two otters, both red-throated and great northern divers, and a golden eagle overhead whilst on Loch Craignish, so it was a pretty good wildlife day. I look forward to seeing more pics of your Dorus Mor day.

Do you know anything about the history of that jetty where you launched? It must have been a very substantial structure in its day, yet has only that one ruined building next to it. I presume you didn't seal launch off the end!

Neil, I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I spent the night in my camper van rather than a tent. Twenty years ago, I would have camped in February, but I'm older and (hopefully) wiser now!

Andrea.

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NeilG
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Post by NeilG »

andreadawn wrote:....(hopefully) wiser now!
Clearly! I'm looking forward to some camping trips, but did think it was a bit early in the season!
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maryinoxford
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Post by maryinoxford »

andreadawn wrote: Neil, I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I spent the night in my camper van rather than a tent.
Andrea, this is getting off-topic but: I'm starting to plan for my retirement. I don't own a car, but want to get one when I live in a less-crowded part of the country. I'd been thinking "estate", but hadn't considered a campervan. It'd be nice to have the "out and about" freedom. Can you point me to any websites that discuss the pros and cons of using campervans? (I think there's a thread on this forum somewhere about carrying kayaks on them - I'll look that up.)

Thanks,
Mary
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NickB
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Post by NickB »

Cheers
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maryinoxford
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Post by maryinoxford »

Thanks, Nick. How many mpg does that Roadstar do?
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Post by Scots_Charles_River »

Nice blogg. Is that a folder canoe ?

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Post by jamesl2play »

maryinoxford wrote:Thanks, Nick. How many mpg does that Roadstar do?
If its anything like my Kon Tiki not a lot, and I cannot get a kayak on the roof even though it has a rack of sorts.

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Post by andreadawn »

Hi Mary. I don't know of any websites which discuss camper vans, although I suspect there must be plenty. When I started looking for one a few years ago, I bought several of the motorhome magazines (there are loads) and then visited several dealers.

I ended up with a quite large coachbuilt van, but downsized a couple of years ago to something more suitable for a single person. I'm currently contemplating using mine as my only vehicle, since running a car and campervan is punitively expensive. My van may be small and slow, but it's perfectly adequate for what I want and it will go down the narrowest of roads with no problem at all. I usually carry the Feathercraft packed up inside, although I've worked out a method of getting it up on the roofrack when I can't be bothered to pack it up. I certainly enjoy the versatility of having a luxury tent on wheels, especially at this time of year.

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Andrea.

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Douglas Wilcox
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Post by Douglas Wilcox »

Andrea>
Hello Douglas, the more lunch stops the better, I say. Bizarrely I've paddled (and walked) with people in the past who didn't want to stop for lunch at all!

I landed briefly on Isle Macaskin for a mid morning snack (it was too early for lunch even for me).

Do you know anything about the history of that jetty where you launched? It must have been a very substantial structure in its day, yet has only that one ruined building next to it. I presume you didn't seal launch off the end!
Andrea your mid morning snack would be what we might call second or third breakfast. This Hobbit analogy is highly appropriate for the Craignish area as Tolkien was a regular visitor and was very influenced by the landscape here.

The little beach you landed on for second luncheon is called Port nan Athlaich after the Marquis of Athol. In 1685 he was instructed by the Government to lay waste to the Campbell lands of Craignish but his men were beaten back to the sea where they all drowned.

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The jetty was the Craignish end of the Jura Craignish ferry. The Jura end was at Kenuachdrach (now Kinuachdrachd). According to the statistical account of Scotland of 1843, 3,000 sheep and 1,000 black cattle were shipped through here each year.

The 1881 British census recorded the following: the little two room ferry cottage housed the ferryman, Dugald Mc Farlan, his wife, his four children, his (lunatic) sister and his servant/assistant ferryman.

Despite the overcrowding, they probably had one of the best houses on the peninsula.

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Long after the sun set, the dreamy, dusky light on the Paps of Jura was worth the wait and the cold!

Douglas :o)

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NickB
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Post by NickB »

maryinoxford wrote:Thanks, Nick. How many mpg does that Roadstar do?
Not a great many, probably in the low twenties !!
jamesl2play wrote:If its anything like my Kon Tiki not a lot, and I cannot get a kayak on the roof even though it has a rack of sorts.
I have simply added two Thule 'long' van bars to the existing 'useless' factory fitted 'gallery' rack using home made flat steel plates, nut and bolts.

I can just manage to get my sea kayak on the roof on my own although it is obviously a lot easier with help. I put my Dagger RPM vertically on the bike rack at the back this is a lot easier!!

Karritech have just brought out a high top version of their low loading roofrack system, that would seem to offer a reasonable soution for vans up to about 10/ 10 1/2 foot, this could be the way I go after seeing one at the canoeexpo.

With respect to having a van as your only transport, we do have a car but I do use the van every day as my main transport, commuting to work, dropping into the shops and doing the school run (even bigger than the biggest 4x4 outside the gates)!!

I have found a reversing camera essential for when you are on your own, especially for parallel parking.

Having said all this we are contemplating getting a second car so that it is easier for me to get out paddling of an evening when time is a bit limited.
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NickB
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Post by NickB »

maryinoxford wrote: Can you point me to any websites that discuss the pros and cons of using campervans? (I think there's a thread on this forum somewhere about carrying kayaks on them - I'll look that up.)

Thanks,
Mary
Try:

http://www.practicalmotorhome.co.uk/
http://www.motorhomefacts.com
http://www.ukmotorhomes.net/
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maryinoxford
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Post by maryinoxford »

Thanks Nick and Andrea for the van info. My retirement is still 4 years away, and I have always so far lived without a car of any sort, so I have plenty of time to consider what would be most suitable as my "only" vehicle. I would want something that would take a kayak on the roof, using some kind of loader.

Mary
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Mark99
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Post by Mark99 »

I know it's probably irrelevant to those interested in camper vans, but this lot www.sbmcc.co.uk build their own. You would not believe the stuff they do, some of them specifically for water sports. I confess to being one of them, converting a hi top transit panel van to a camper at the mo, and awaiting delivery of a kari-tek roof rack for it.

andreadawn
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Post by andreadawn »

Thank you for that information Douglas.

The only mention of the jetty I had found mentioned the drovers from Jura. Apparently the jetty was for "men and boats" only! The cattle were just "tipped over the side and had to swim ashore".

Andrea.

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Post by ian johnston »

andreadawn wrote:Thank you for that information Douglas.

The only mention of the jetty I had found mentioned the drovers from Jura. Apparently the jetty was for "men and boats" only! The cattle were just "tipped over the side and had to swim ashore".

Andrea.

And what about the women and children???!!! :0 Hardy folk indeed!

daveT
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Post by daveT »

Sun was shining on the Isle of Wight in Feb as well!


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