Ark^

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Douglas Wilcox
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Ark^

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Mon Nov 15, 2010 4:19 pm

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Ark (n.) archaic: a commodious vessel capable of carrying much supplies and or species (often duplicated) for survival. Often such cargo is carried on deck, in addition to that which is in hold.

Douglas :o)

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MikeB
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Re: Ark

Post by MikeB » Mon Nov 15, 2010 4:44 pm

Are we referring to the large, orange kayak in the foreground? Or the somewhat larger grey vessel in the background? I am resisting the temptation to post the picture of the esteemed Mr Wallace paddling what would appear (on the face of it at least) to be a craft which normally carries a consderable quantity of deck cargo - - -

I can only assume that the said gentleman is out for a day paddle and is not on exped with you and your staff.

Warmest regards, Mike.

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Jim
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Re: Ark

Post by Jim » Mon Nov 15, 2010 5:25 pm

MikeB wrote:Are we referring to the large, orange kayak in the foreground?
Doesn't look especially commodious when I squeeze into it.

Who is this Wallace fellow anyway?

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MikeB
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Re: Ark

Post by MikeB » Mon Nov 15, 2010 5:26 pm

Jim wrote: Who is this Wallace fellow anyway?
Oops. Sorry Mr Wallis.

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Jim
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Re: Ark

Post by Jim » Mon Nov 15, 2010 6:58 pm

Fantastic day for a tribute paddle for one of our most famous carriers.

Douglas' original thoughts for the route were slightly different, but I'm really glad we did it from Arrochar to Lochgoilhead - Long Long and Loch Goil are absolutely stunning despite being so close to Glasgow and having a liberal sprinkling of Naval bases and restricted sea areas (do take a chart so you can keep out of trouble). Although we could see the tanker at Finnart soon after we launched, the carrier and the fuel terminal were actually well hidden from view until we were almost on top of them (perhaps the tanker obscured the latter to an extent?).

Of course we had the inevitable discussions about what the area would have looked like before human intervention (broad leaved forests rather than coniferous, no houses, or massive fuel tanks however well diguised), which lead onto my observation of the human paradox:

If it wasn't for our ugly encroachment on the natural environment (industrialisation and housing developments and so on) we wouldn't be here to enjoy what is left of our wild places.

Consider it.
If there wasn't a settlement at Lochgoilhead, there wouldn't be a road there so we couldn't have run the shuttle. If it wasn't for our cars we couldn't have driven out to Arrochar and Lochgoilhead at all. We simply couldn't have visited this area as a day trip. I live closest, the orginal thought was to go to Ardentinny to launch. I fired up the Sat Nav on my phone - Ardentinny 13km away, drive there - 80km. It gets a little easier, you can drive to Gourock and get a ferry to Dunoon, but the ferry fare + fuel was going to be about the same for me as driving round. Now by boat, it would be a little shorter, however taking account the extensive mudflats making straightlining from my local beach a bit impractical at most levels of tide, it's still at least a 20km trip to Ardentinny which would be on the way to the area we actually paddled in, so even I couldn't do it in a day (John W probably could). The bottom line is that whilst we may find the products of human development abominable to look at, without them our civilisation would not be at a point where we can jump in the car and go to see the beautiful places and lament the changes that must have happened. A definite paradox!

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Robert Craig
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Re: Ark

Post by Robert Craig » Mon Nov 15, 2010 9:58 pm

Ah, yes - but without the roads and the car, might not the places even closer to home be wild, and the far away places even wilder?

I heard a speculation about what the UK might be like with a population of 1 million people. One nuclear power station for the whole country, ample food from low-impact farming, no roads at all north of the Great Glen (or north of Glasgow?) ... paddling round an unpopulated Skye would be a real adventure ..., given that you'd start from the nearest road at Ford Bill.

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Jim
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Re: Ark

Post by Jim » Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:20 pm

Robert Craig wrote:Ah, yes - but without the roads and the car, might not the places even closer to home be wild, and the far away places even wilder?
Without the civilisation that supports the roads and the car we would be too busy surviving to explore far from home just for the sake of it.....
(OK there are a few thousand years of getting there, but in essence)

I'm not necessarily saying we wouldn't appreciate the wild places, every tribe Ray Mears visits seems to, but feeding themselves is generally number one priority.

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Robert Craig
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Re: Ark

Post by Robert Craig » Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:46 pm

Captain Cook seemed to manage without a car - though with plenty of support from civilisation, I agree.

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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: Ark

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:28 am

On our doorstep: when the oil runs out (see photos of 2 million barrels of crude arriving below), Jim, Phil and I will still be paddling here, but maybe not on a day trip.

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Tanker (n.): a commodious vessel capable of carrying much essential liquid supplies (supp. often manufactured by companies such as Shell, BP, Tennents).

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PhilAyr
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Re: Ark

Post by PhilAyr » Tue Nov 16, 2010 5:18 pm

A stunning set of pictures Douglas, and what a fabulous trip ! :-) I must admit the cold start at Arrochar left me a little bit uninspired, but as the journey unfolded I soon realised that this trip was going to be something very special. It had the lot ! Beautiful scenery, glorious winter weather, great company with your good self and Jim, and the added bonus of a couple of interesting big boats. Brilliant ! :-)

Phil

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Re: Ark

Post by ian johnston » Tue Nov 16, 2010 6:13 pm

A gorgeous set of images Douglas.

Having been on "that" berth many, many times it's interesting to see it from the water rather than the road. What I can say is that it's tucked in so well it's a bugger for a mobile phone signal, which is probably why there are loads of sailors wandering about on deck looking for the precise spot where you can get a signal!

Ian

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active4seasons
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Re: Ark

Post by active4seasons » Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:30 pm

Fantastic as always Douglas!!!
Developing Desire for Adventure!

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Robert Craig
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Re: Ark

Post by Robert Craig » Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:46 pm

That scaffolding on Carrick castle has been there for at least 15 years, I guess.

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Re: Ark

Post by John W » Wed Nov 17, 2010 7:49 pm

Come on, don't stop there.

'Ark' and 'Beardhead' are the two post keeping me amused at the mo.
Jim wrote:Doesn't look especially commodious when I squeeze into it.
I really know I shouldn't - but were you referring to Orange or Grey with this comment Jim?

Made me chuckle all the same.

Nice pics as usual Douglas.

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Jim
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Re: Ark

Post by Jim » Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:22 pm

John W wrote:
Jim wrote:Doesn't look especially commodious when I squeeze into it.
I really know I shouldn't - but were you referring to Orange or Grey with this comment Jim?
Orange, Grey or Pink with starfish on, none would look especially commodious with me on board ;)

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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: Ark

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Thu Nov 18, 2010 8:08 am

Jim, Phil and I had a really fantastic day in Loch Long and Loch Goil. The variety of coastal scenery in SW Scotland is quite incredible. The crux of this paddle was not a tiderace round a headland but the shuttle over the icy mountain road to Loch Goilhead. At one point a steep corner was 2/3 covered by sheet ice. Jim and I were driving very slowly for the conditions and were amazed when someone roared past downhill on the single track. There is also a superb bothy right on the coast in Loch Long.

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If a warship is at the Glenmallan jetty you need to keep right across by the west shore. The larger exclusion area is patrolled by a naval launch and sea kayakers in the area have been stopped and questioned.

Douglas

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Re: Ark

Post by JinjaCoo » Thu Nov 18, 2010 9:05 am

Douglas,

Looks like your photos suggest you stopped at the bothy, is it getting much use judging by the book?

JC

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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: Ark

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:13 am

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Hello Jinja, regular light use and no abuse, a wonderful bothy. It's a pity they are not all as well respectected. I still shudder at the thought of the windy wet day when Tony and I passed three people coming down the hill from White Laggan. We opened the door to find three steaming turds inside!!

Douglas

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Re: Ark

Post by JinjaCoo » Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:22 am

Cheers - looks good.

Yes, a shame about what some folk think is acceptable. As much as I like bothies, I'm never keen to stay in one on my own in case I end up with company I'm not comfortable with.

JC.

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Re: Ark

Post by Enray » Fri Nov 19, 2010 1:42 pm

Douglas Wilcox wrote:Image
Good to see Ikea furniture in a bothy (well it looks like the Ikea furniture we have in our conservatory).

I will be down that way in May next year, so I will add on a few days to explore this coastline! Lovely photos!

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Ceegee
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Re: Ark^

Post by Ceegee » Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:16 pm

Superb photos once again Douglas, many thanks.

A real tonic, as I'm currently expat-ing in Africa, a long way from cool climes and salt waters.

Regards and glad to see the knee is better

Steve
Cheers,
Steve C. G.

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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: Ark^

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:09 am

Thanks for the kind comments everyone. On this trip I managed to get in and out of the kayak myself and carry it to the water with Phil, though I am very grateful to Phil and Jim for carrying it back to the car as my knee was quite sore by that time.

Enray here is the map of our route:

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There are two car parks at the head of Loch Long but the tide was out, revealing evil, black mud. We launched instead, from the slipway near the old pier and parked at the car park beside the village hall. If an event is on and this full, an alternative is just a bit further south, park on some open ground to the south of the Village Inn and launch from the old slipway to its north, or some steep stone steps opposite.

Douglas

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