Photos of this weekend

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Kate D
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Photos of this weekend

Post by Kate D » Sun Oct 04, 2009 10:10 am

Here are some photos taken on a weekend when the weather forecast said 'Stay at home'. I think perhaps we should have stayed at home. The paddling ranged from exhilarating to frightening. needless to say, I couldn't take pictures of the best bits as I couldn't take a hand off the paddle.

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As we set off it was a little choppy, but nothing too bad

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Next morning it was lovely. I think I may have been confusing sunshine with calm conditions.

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Then it got pretty foul. The poor visibility is largely due to spray being blown off every wave crest. I was sitting in the shelter of an island when taking this picture. The paddler is battling a sort of ferry glide in force 8ish winds.

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Then the sun came out and it was lovely

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Decided that we'd battled enough so returned to out start point on the Cal Mac. The photo really doesn't do justice to the conditions. This wave was huge. We were both very glad to be on the ferry, not searching for a place to land.

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Easy landings may have been few and far between. So glad we were on the ferry.

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Mark R
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Re: Photos of this weekend

Post by Mark R » Sun Oct 04, 2009 10:17 am

Where was this?
Mark Rainsley
FACEBOOK

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Kate D
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Re: Photos of this weekend

Post by Kate D » Sun Oct 04, 2009 10:57 am

The action took place between Little Cumbrae, Great Cumbrae and Largs

Chris Bolton
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Re: Photos of this weekend

Post by Chris Bolton » Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:01 am

It's about 30 years since I've been there, but I'd say it was Largs (and the ferry to Millport)

Chris

Edit - Kate answered the question while I was Googling to gather confirmation before I posted - should have been quicker!!

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Kate D
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Re: Photos of this weekend

Post by Kate D » Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:26 am

Well spotted Chris. Our route went from Yacht Haven at largs (free public car park and public slipway) to Great Cumbrae then Little Cumbrae where we camped. Next morning from Little Cumbrae to Great Cumbrae (few difficulties with this bit, detailed report will appear on my blog in the next few days) then along the East side of Great Cumbrae in very sheltered conditions as far as the Ferry slip. From here, ferry to Largs and bus back to Yacht Haven to retrieve the car.

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Re: Photos of this weekend

Post by RichardCree » Sun Oct 04, 2009 12:27 pm

Hello Kate, it was a little windy, we said hello as you headed out, left at 4ish as the wind started to howl. Did you make it round the backs of the Islands? and camp at the lighthouse?

Was back Down for a look on Sunday, Largs was pretty flat ;0) compared to Portencross (5 miles ish along the road) waves had 10-12 foot faces and the wind was all over the place.

glad you got back safely, i remember a 3 star once where we had to get the ferry back!

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Helen M
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Re: Photos of this weekend

Post by Helen M » Sun Oct 04, 2009 12:33 pm

Looks like a lively time was had Kate. We did it a few weeks ago. Set off from marina - down to Millport for tea stop - were going to go across to Bute but crossing looked interesting to say the least so we slogged up the other side of Great Cumbrae and found a wee camp spot. Next day dawned to a calm sea - and all was fine until we rounded the top of Great Cumbrae. Wind picked up again so the crossing back to Largs was a buttock clenching slog!

Image

H - x

ps - Not the biggest trip we've ever done - but it was just nice to get out.

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Helen M
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Re: Photos of this weekend

Post by Helen M » Sun Oct 04, 2009 12:36 pm

RichardCree wrote:Hello Kate, it was a little windy .......
Surley it was no more than a Force 2 Richard! lol

H - x

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MikeB
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Re: Photos of this weekend

Post by MikeB » Sun Oct 04, 2009 1:46 pm

I take it those pics are from Saturday "this" w/end Kate?

Helen - any more pics from that major expedition we did? I was interested in Kate's comment about the "massive wave" in the channel - that little crossing can be interesting. I wonder was Kate's wave the same one that broke over me? I didn't like it much and wished I'd done my cag up before we started going across!

There certainly is a big hole in the middle of the channel and while our conditions weren't quite as big as what I take to be yesterday's, they were pretty close. It sure looked a long way down the slope - and it was sidey oney - and then I got wet!

Mike.

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Kate D
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Re: Photos of this weekend

Post by Kate D » Sun Oct 04, 2009 2:40 pm

Yes, some fairly challenging paddling conditions. I guess my main mistake was heading out into the gap between the Cumbraes and deciding that it wasn't too bad and then signalling this to my paddling companion. What I hadn't realised was that I was actually still in a relatively sheltered spot. As we set off towards Great Cumbrae the conditions rapidly increased. We were doing a sort of ferry glide so that we could stay more or less facing the oncoming waves. It was all going well and I was finding it quite exhilarating, until Fred capsized. Now I was to discover just how manouvrable my Cetus is in rough water. I got him back in his boat with most of the water removed and we continued and were making good progress, until he fell in again. After getting him back in the boat with not all of the water removed, we drifted rafted for a bit, but realising we were in line with the huge pier, which would not have been good to hit in big waves, realised we had no option but to paddle for the shelter of Great Cumbrae. It was not a foregone conclusion that we would reach the island. Somewhat scary.

N.B. Fred is not really called Fred. I have called him this to save his blushes. If he wishes to identify himself he can.

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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: Photos of this weekend

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:33 pm

Greetings Kate, I admire your spirit of adventure heading for the Cumbraes with that forecast!

I do not think it is coincidence that we have had all our epics and 6 accidental swims on Cumbrae trips. The Tan between the Cumbraes is notorious for concentrating all the goodness of the west wind and swell into its narrow confines. The proximity of the douce Victorian villas of Millport always causes us to underestimate the crossing from Wee Cumbrae. The peak west going, westerly wind against tide flow is 5 hours after HW Dover, which yesterday would have peaked about 4am and 430pm so I guess you avoided that particular form of hell.

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This is a GPS track of a recent trip across the Tan in a much more benign force 6 westerly (though it was wind against tide). The whole time we paddled across on a high ferry angle of 350 degrees, basically on a line with Portachur point. Remembering we had a west going tide, note how, despite the tide, we were stopped in our tracks by big scary waves mid channel and again in the shallower water at the north side of the channel. One of our team spent three nights marooned on Wee Cumbrae earlier this year, trapped by the wind. Escaping on the fourth day, it was still rough enough to capsize him on the way back. And yes, like Richard we have used the ferry to get home.

I quite often hear the Cumbraes described as a grade A trip and have a little smile.

Douglas

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Aliwil
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Re: Photos of this weekend

Post by Aliwil » Mon Oct 05, 2009 12:37 am

Kate D wrote:Yes, some fairly challenging paddling conditions. I guess my main mistake was heading out into the gap between the Cumbraes and deciding that it wasn't too bad and then signalling this to my paddling companion. What I hadn't realised was that I was actually still in a relatively sheltered spot. As we set off towards Great Cumbrae the conditions rapidly increased. We were doing a sort of ferry glide so that we could stay more or less facing the oncoming waves. It was all going well and I was finding it quite exhilarating, until Fred capsized. Now I was to discover just how manouvrable my Cetus is in rough water. I got him back in his boat with most of the water removed and we continued and were making good progress, until he fell in again. After getting him back in the boat with not all of the water removed, we drifted rafted for a bit, but realising we were in line with the huge pier, which would not have been good to hit in big waves, realised we had no option but to paddle for the shelter of Great Cumbrae. It was not a foregone conclusion that we would reach the island. Somewhat scary.

N.B. Fred is not really called Fred. I have called him this to save his blushes. If he wishes to identify himself he can.
I'll be that "Fred" And thanks Kate to the thought on Saving my Blushes.. But In all honesty I'll freely admit I was way out of my league on that crossing back over..

It has became apparent that I have a huge amount to learn about what to Take when Camping (Loose about 10k of Weight on the spare everythings for a start) then just build up a lot more general (And in Particular Paddling) Fitness in order to have the strength and Stamina to make a crossing like that. (And possibly eat more than a Lovely Home-made biscuit for Breakfast before setting out (75% of the reason I had no Strength after the 2nd Swim))..

Also remains to Say Thanks muchly for a great trip (Pushing the "Comfort Zone" Is something which can only have good results when you at least get through it !)

Ali

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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: Photos of this weekend

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Mon Oct 05, 2009 12:53 am

Ali>
(And possibly eat more than a Lovely Home-made biscuit for Breakfast before setting out (75% of the reason I had no Strength after the 2nd Swim))..
Ali this is what you need:

Seakayakphoto.com First Breakfast ®.

and please note this is just first breakfast!

Douglas :o)

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Jim
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Re: Photos of this weekend

Post by Jim » Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:43 am

Yep, that's quite mad!

We were going to do some work on my roof on Saturday, but after checking the forecast we decided to wait and see what Sunday looked like - much nicer!

The Cumbraes is normally such a pleasant wee trip, but not in that storm!

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Re: Photos of this weekend

Post by barryd » Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:41 am

Hats off - very wild indeed...

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woody
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Re: Photos of this weekend

Post by woody » Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:45 am

Hello Kate

Having read all this I'm almost glad I broke my skeg slider. But it still looks like you managed to extract some fun from a bad forecast. I think my tent would have gotten completely flattened by that wind though.

Ali sorry I never got to meet you, Sounds like you did really well in some wild conditions. The Tan sounds like an exciting place to be, one to visit again I think.

Douglas, what goes in the second breakfast??? I want to come on one of your trips!

Cheers All
Frith
Rain rain we want rain

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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: Photos of this weekend

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Mon Oct 05, 2009 5:55 pm

Ali a hundred apologies! I had not realised you were a chef! Fancy me trying to give a chef some culinary advice!

Hello Frith, no more recipies from me, I know when to keep my mouth shut.

Let's just say second breakfast involves the breaking of several eggs and, for some of us, the pulling of a ring pull ortwo!

Douglas :o)

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Kate D
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Re: Photos of this weekend

Post by Kate D » Mon Oct 05, 2009 7:38 pm

Here's a picture of the chef at work.

Image

We used the facilities in the old castle as a kitchen table. Not a lot of cooking though, as Ali brought a delicious casserole ready cooked.

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Helen M
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Re: Photos of this weekend

Post by Helen M » Mon Oct 05, 2009 7:43 pm

Kate D wrote:Here's a picture of the chef at work.

Image

We used the facilities in the old castle as a kitchen table. Not a lot of cooking though, as Ali brought a delicious casserole ready cooked.
Ok Kate - I want to paddle with Ali.

Home made casserole V poached eggs in a bag - he wins hands down.

H - x

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Aliwil
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Re: Photos of this weekend

Post by Aliwil » Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:25 pm

Douglas Wilcox wrote:Ali a hundred apologies! I had not realised you were a chef! Fancy me trying to give a chef some culinary advice!

Hello Frith, no more recipies from me, I know when to keep my mouth shut.

Let's just say second breakfast involves the breaking of several eggs and, for some of us, the pulling of a ring pull ortwo!

Douglas :o)
No need to apoligise, always a bonus to have new recipies to add to a repertoire..

I reckon I blame being a Chef for my terrible eating habits (No breakfast most days and nothing to eat until after lunchtime, no use If you plan any kind of activity.) For the next Trip Ill have a lighter boat on the way back as I will actually cook and eat half of the "spare" food before setting out lol.

The smaller red Drybag in the picture actually had enough Spiced Root veg and coconut soup in it to have had a nicer starter as well lol, ended up as my lunch :).

Ali

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woody
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Re: Photos of this weekend

Post by woody » Tue Oct 06, 2009 8:57 am

Aliwil wrote: Spiced Root veg and coconut soup
Now I'm really gutted I missed this one!
Aliwil wrote:starter
It's sea kayaking Jim, but not as we know it......(Note to self to buy a big boat next time)
Rain rain we want rain

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Re: Photos of this weekend

Post by Canoe-Cowal » Tue Oct 06, 2009 12:55 pm

Kate you did have the worst of the weather.

We went out around Big Cumbrea and Across to Little Cumbrea met lots of paddlers Clydebank team, Karitek team, waltfos from here he is a hoot.

He told us about little cumbrea now being joined to the small isle with the castle, had a look, and so it was. Look at Douglas's map above. You could paddle round it once but now the owners have filled in a causeway enough room for a tractor to go over. Shame really wonder if they will stop kayakers landing there now as in line with sign on Little Cumbrea slip.

On the way back it was a bit bumpy but good had wind behind us and a good surf to speedy us home ward to Toward.

Another great day on the water

J

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Kate D
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Re: Photos of this weekend

Post by Kate D » Tue Oct 06, 2009 2:12 pm

Here is the other corner of the big 'welcome' sign on Wee Cumbrae. I particularly like the bit about accessible for all.

Image

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MikeB
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Re: Photos of this weekend

Post by MikeB » Tue Oct 06, 2009 2:21 pm

Canoe-Cowal wrote: You could paddle round it once but now the owners have filled in a causeway enough room for a tractor to go over. Shame really wonder if they will stop kayakers landing there now as in line with sign on Little Cumbrea slip.
Whenever I was last there, which has got to be 5 years ago at least, I'm fairly sure there was a causeway - with ref to the sign at the slip, is that the one which says "bird sanctuary - no landing" or some such? That was just a scare tactic by the previous owners to keep people off.

They didnt like people. Much.

Mike.

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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: Photos of this weekend

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:32 pm

I have not been for a few months but you could paddle through the gap between Castle Island and Little Cumbrae at high tide.

The tide goes out a bit and then you can't paddle through. The OS map does show a sort of a causeway but we paddled across this in February.

Douglas

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Re: Photos of this weekend

Post by RichardCree » Tue Oct 06, 2009 4:43 pm

Douglas you can still paddle across at high tide, i did last Thursday, Mike it was the previous previous owners who put up the signs, the Island was sold a few weeks ago and i think is now being used a some sort of Yoga retreat.

i was most upset last week by the fact someone has broken in to all the old buildings on the lighthouse side, doors lying open to the elements and a bit wrecked looking.

Still a great paddle probably my favorite in the Clyde.

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tpage
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Re: Photos of this weekend

Post by tpage » Wed Oct 07, 2009 1:17 pm

Good effort paddling in those conditions and surviving! I was down the coast at Culzean on saturday and the sea looked mental from the cliff top.

Yes it not the last owner- but the one before him that was antisocial and would chase kayakers off the island.

We went up to the lighthouse buildings a couple of times in the summer- and they were open then too- It looked like someone was renovating the place and then just gave up, downed tools and left the building with the doors open. It didnt look like a break in.
But I did hear that some NEDs broke into the warden's hut on Ailsa Craig this summer and ransacked the place and stole his chain saw and tools.

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Re: Photos of this weekend

Post by Niall » Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:01 pm

Hat's off to you all going out in that - I was on one of the OYT yachts off greenock, windex was showing a fairly constant force 10 around noon. Felt safe enough on that, but really wouldn't fancy it in a kayak...

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