Local paddles #2: Dear green place.^

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Douglas Wilcox
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Local paddles #2: Dear green place.^

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:44 pm

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Douglas

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delphinidae
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Re: Local paddles #2: Dear green place.

Post by delphinidae » Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:43 am

I like the dragons on Dragon

Did they send out a welcoming party?

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Re: Local paddles #2: Dear green place.

Post by JinjaCoo » Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:46 am

Often when driving over the Kingston Bridge I've thought how it would be a nice spot to paddle early in the morning when all the bridges are lit up and dawn is breaking. I'll do it some day hopefully.

JC.

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Re: Local paddles #2: Dear green place.

Post by Mark R » Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:01 am

Good stuff. As often as not, what is sitting unnoticed under our noses is as interesting as any of the acknowledged 'highlight' locations. This is what made working on SWSK so interesting, we discovered many great places which otherwise we would simply never have looked at closely.
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Re: Local paddles #2: Dear green place.

Post by AllanC » Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:30 pm

Brave parking at that get out!

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Re: Local paddles #2: Dear green place.

Post by MikeB » Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:14 pm

Great pics - Glasgow just doesnt seem to feature as a prime kayaking destination all the much, clearly a grave failing.

Mike

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Re: Local paddles #2: Dear green place.

Post by Jim » Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:14 pm

AllanC wrote:Brave parking at that get out!
Now someone tells us!

I presume you mean for Ned activity rather than due to the snow? The community wardens van turned up on patrol as we were leaving.
Next time I'll have to use contacts in the yard to make sure the cars get looked after :-) or cheat and just paddle home...

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Re: Local paddles #2: Dear green place.

Post by Sprucey » Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:22 pm

Great to see the old paddle steamer Waverley - she was regular a regular sight for all us sailors & kayakers down here in the Solent and out across Christchurch Bay to Bournemouth/Boscombe Piers for may years.

Sprucey

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Re: Local paddles #2: Dear green place.

Post by sleepybubble » Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:42 pm

Great pictures as ever Douglas, we had a nice local paddle too this weekend in the sound of Harris.

The journey down was a bit slow....

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But the scenery from the water was stunning...

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we stopped on Killegray for lunch and the dunes were all covered in snow...

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Getting into the Hostel on Berneray was interesting

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but the journey was worth the effort.

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I do like paddling locally.

Mark

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Re: Local paddles #2: Dear green place.

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Mon Dec 20, 2010 5:29 pm

Well spotted Delphinidae, no guards or patrol boats at all, Clydeport Estuary Control had advised us to paddle down the north bank as a freighter was coming up to berth at the King George V dock, so we did, right under the bows of Dragon. We had recently seen Dragon on sea trials off Arran, so it was good to get up close this time!

JC we thought the same but ideally thought "paddle down the Clyde from Glasgow Green into the sunset straight down the river". I think that happens about May and August.

Thanks Mark, it is no coincidence that I am writing a Pesda Guide to SW Scotland and this was the last untouched bit of coast! Phil's nick name is "Phil Machapter" because he has so willingly accompanied me on some of the apparently less interesting routes. We have never been disappointed.

Allan as you know there are not that many launch sites on that side of the Clyde. For those that do not know it, it is the Newark Castle car park, right next to Ferguson's shipyard. There are two slipways there that reach the water at most states of the tide. We landed half an hour before low water between neaps and springs. The other car park is at Kelburn Park, 1.5km to the east but it has nasty mud at low tide. Where would you recommend? I have posted some information about the put in at Glasgow Green and paddling through Glasgow harbour in my blog.

Mike thank you, we were gobsmacked, not just by the man made views but by how clean the water was. There was no brown tide line round our hulls like you might get at places like Arisaig! There were seals at Partick, no doubt trying to catch the salmon and sea trout waiting to run up the Kelvin which joins the Clyde here. We also saw many swans, geese, ducks, gulls, oyster catchers, red shanks and curlews.

Jim>
or cheat and just paddle home...
When the snowstorm was at its thickest, Jim was only 1.3km from his front door!

Sprucey as far as I know, the PS Waverly will return to the south coast in 2011.

Thank you Mark, I like your trip and photos! Mike told me you were heading that way, just shows you shouldn't let a little snow put you off! Did anyone get wet in the dumping surf? Now that's what I call a luncheon! I do hope you had taken sufficient liquid to wash it down, in case the local water was frozen. Off licences sell substances that stay liquid at -25C! Great snow shovel!

Douglas

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Re: Local paddles #2: Dear green place.

Post by GrumpyPumpy » Mon Dec 20, 2010 6:24 pm

SleepyBubble

Is that first picture the mountain road between Lewis and Harris?

I drove is several times last July, it's clear now why there are snow poles all along the route.

GP

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Re: Local paddles #2: Dear green place.

Post by GrumpyPumpy » Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:09 pm

GrumpyPumpy wrote:SleepyBubble

Is that first picture the mountain road between Lewis and Harris?

I drove is several times last July, it's clear now why there are snow poles all along the route.

GP
And is that Rob Emmott in the photo with the groaning table full of food?

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Re: Local paddles #2: Dear green place.

Post by sleepybubble » Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:12 pm

GrumpyPumpy wrote:
GrumpyPumpy wrote:SleepyBubble

Is that first picture the mountain road between Lewis and Harris?

I drove is several times last July, it's clear now why there are snow poles all along the route.

GP
And is that Rob Emmott in the photo with the groaning table full of food?

Yes and Yes.... it was a weekend away for Mikes birthday, there are much better pictures than mine floating around on FB, about 400 pictures, it was a very photogenic weekend. :)

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Re: Local paddles #2: Dear green place.

Post by GrumpyPumpy » Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:36 am

sleepybubble wrote:
GrumpyPumpy wrote:
GrumpyPumpy wrote:SleepyBubble

Is that first picture the mountain road between Lewis and Harris?

I drove is several times last July, it's clear now why there are snow poles all along the route.

GP
And is that Rob Emmott in the photo with the groaning table full of food?

Yes and Yes.... it was a weekend away for Mikes birthday, there are much better pictures than mine floating around on FB, about 400 pictures, it was a very photogenic weekend. :)
When you next see Rob give him my regards he was kind enough to spend time and take us out for an afternoons paddle last July when we were staying in Carloway for a week, which we all greatly appreciated.

I drove up from South Uist and caught the ferry across to Harris then up over the mountain pass to Carloway lovely drive really enjoyed it.
Got used to driving across the scary moor too, from Carloway to Stornoway did that quite a few times, no room for error especially when ambushed by sheep, glad this car has ABS.

Graham Hill

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Re: Local paddles #2: Dear green place.

Post by Jim » Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:23 pm

Douglas Wilcox wrote:Allan as you know there are not that many launch sites on that side of the Clyde. For those that do not know it, it is the Newark Castle car park, right next to Ferguson's shipyard. There are two slipways there that reach the water at most states of the tide. We landed half an hour before low water between neaps and springs. The other car park is at Kelburn Park, 1.5km to the east but it has nasty mud at low tide. Where would you recommend? I have posted some information about the put in at Glasgow Green and paddling through Glasgow harbour in my blog.
Obviously I'm biassed since I live on the north side but there are several alternative options that I can think of:

- Ardmore point is sandy but will be dry or very shallow to the little outcrop of rocks so a bit of a trek up the beach but not the worst I've known.
- Cardross I have never checked out, but there is a tidal creek that would certainly provide access to quite close in to the shore at low tide, but you would have to go down level with Ardmore to cross the banks before heading back up.
- Havoc playing fields, I have trollied accross at low water springs probably well over 500m of dark red sand at LWS, spotting the ideal egress and line to the car park at that distance would take some doing. Not sure I would want to leave cars there after dark but could leave them at mine,then leave someone to guard the boats and walk up for the cars.
- I have never really inspected the beaches in much detail, but I'm sure they are firm, but wide, right along Clydeshore and Levengrove Park, not sure if there is anywhere to park but there are expensive waterfront properties along Clydeshore.
- Right beside Dumbarton Rock is a bowling green and a slipway/beach. Only used this at high tide so not really sure about the bottom but I think it's good, I think we landed on the beach and walked up over the rocks!
- In the river Leven there several options but might depend on river flow. Should perhaps not consider sandpoint marina, but maybe immediately either side of it with cars parked near the gate.
- Opposite the Marina is the crag side of the rock, where at low water there is a bit of a beach (some of the boulders only really accessible at low tide) and a rough winding path leads through the wall to the carpark by the footie ground.
- The Leven is fast flowing but heading upstream a little further should be possible - on the right (river left) is the main car park for the town centre and I'm sure there is at least one set of steps up to it, but vertical walls otherwise. With high tides and lots of river flow there is a sign that comes on to warn people that the car park may flood, in such conditions the railings would be more of a problem than the walls.
- On the left is a small car park which I am certain has steps up to it, but the bank is more reasonable for clambering out if not.
- Directly below Dumbarton bridge is Leven Ford which I first took to be a half tide weir, at low water it would need to be portaged, with little flow probably straight up and over would be fine (it was a ford, although the cobbled road surface is badly broken up). Above the ford I am much more familiar with, there are steps and ramps in the walls on both banks and on the left (river right) the bed definitely dries enough to make landing easy (mud or sand? not sure but not much of it).

I guess I should really find some time to go and check out the options at the castle more properly, since it probably represents the best options with opportunities to take out either side of the castle and a short walk between if you are parked at the wrong side. Do not trust what you see in aerial photos on google maps etc. they are well out of date!

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Mind yer car for a tenner mister?

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:49 pm

Hi Jim here are some alternative launching/landing spots on the north shore of the Clyde:

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The north Erskine Ferry slipway, though it's probably best not to leave the car at the road end, the local recycling yard turn huge lorries here and sometimes very large skips fall off the back of them. A hundred yards up the road seems safer.

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It used to be possible to launch from the Bowling end of the Forth and Clyde canal, just to the east of these wodden piles the beach is firm sand and gravel. However, when they improved the basin and made a little marina, they built a fence to keep the local wildlife out. It's still possible to launch here using a trolley and following a path across the canal bridge from the carpark, pass the cycle shop in a railway arch then when you can, find a dog walkers' track to the shore.

This is the beach beside the Dumbarton Rock Bowling Club car park.
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Looking upstream, you can just see the old seaplane slipway in the middle distance. Unless at high tide, you are probably best just clambering over the boulders at the HW mark and carying the kayaks over a fairly firm sand/mud/shingle beach.

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This is looking downstream.

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This is the view from Ardmore at low tide. It might be best to use a trolley to take a kayak along the footpath to the point in the distance where the little outcrop of rock is.

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The slip beside the free pier car park in Helensburgh is convenient but can be nasty in choppy conditions.

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A trolley from the pier car park leads to this more sheltered spot.

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The park at Cairndhu Point is another convenient Helensburgh spot (with a toilet).

Douglas

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Re: Local paddles #2: Dear green place.

Post by Owen » Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:05 pm

Last August a group of us put in under the Erskine bridge on the south side (nice carpark and beach). We went up the Clyde into the Blackcart river then the Whitecart past the airport and under the shopping centre in Paisley. We'd been told it is possible to get to Paisley abbey at the right state of tide i.e. very high springs. We couldn't quite get up far enough so we went back down to the Clyde and paddled up to see the Dragon. I'll dig out the photo's if I get time this week. It was a really good trip.

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Re: Local paddles #2: Dear green place.

Post by Erik Brunskill » Fri Dec 24, 2010 4:59 pm

Douglas, I have often seen seals in the clyde from my flat and also sea trout jumping. I also used to fish the Kelvin a few years ago at Queen Margaret Drive and it gets a decent run of big healthy Salmon now, great to see. Amusing to think what prices the landed gentry charge for the famous Salmon rivers in Scotland and you can catch them literally in the centre of Glasgow (unofficially of course) for free. Even if there is a bailiff on the Kelvin I very much doubt he would have the bravery to challenge any of the local poachers from Maryhill :)

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Re: Local paddles #2: Dear green place.

Post by Owen » Mon Dec 27, 2010 3:10 pm

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URL=http://img84.imageshack.us/i/img0689sr.jpg/]Image[/URL]
These photo's are of a trip up the Whitecart River to Paisley town centre last summer. The trip was the idea of Peter (Wobblypeter) in the yellow Quest. I think there were only three of us in the party still working, the oldest was 86.

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Re: Local paddles #2: Dear green place.

Post by maryinoxford » Mon Dec 27, 2010 3:34 pm

The picture of the Waverly bearing down on the kayak reminds of days on Loch Lomond when the Maid of the Loch was still sailing. Some people would move in close under her stern and surf the stern wave. There was a guy called Andy, who guided SYHA groups, could ride the wave in his sea kayak with his paddle held overhead.

(For those who don't know, the Maid was a side-wheeler like the Waverly, so getting under her stern wasn't as suicidal as it might seem.)

Mary
Not in Oxford any more...

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Re: Local paddles #2: Dear green place.

Post by Jim » Tue Dec 28, 2010 3:59 pm

maryinoxford wrote:(For those who don't know, the Maid was a side-wheeler like the Waverly....)
She still is, and the long term plan is to restore her and return her to passenger service. Last time I was on board the engine room was still intact, but her boiler room had no boilers and was being used as a workshop. That must have been about 18 months ago, I don't know how much progress has been made since then but there is an active team of volunteers working on her.

A couple of photos taken from my phone recently (low quality):

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November

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December

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Re: Local paddles #2: Dear green place.

Post by maryinoxford » Tue Dec 28, 2010 4:16 pm

Thanks, Jim. Last time I saw the Maid, she was white with a yellow funnel, if memory serves. I did the 4-hour trip from Balloch to Ardlui and back,more than once. I was aboard once when she was coming into Luss, and clobbered the pier, which swayed at least 2 feet with the impact. It must have been after that, that she stopped calling there.

I don't know if modern tourists have the patience for that long a boat ride, but it was a good way to see Loch Lomond, and I recall a good view of The Cobbler from near Tarbet.

Mary
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Re: Local paddles #2: Dear green place.

Post by AllanC » Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:24 pm

AllanC wrote:Brave parking at that get out!
I apologise that my post was not the most constructive or helpful. That particular car park does however have a certain reputation for security of vehicles left there, it is relatively secluded although it's alongside a major dual carriage way. I don't want to get into a discussion into the whys and wherefore but it does allegedly get worse during the summer when it is used as a travellers site.

I have considered about parking in the Port as there is quite a potent wee tide race that forms to the west of the ship yard round the area of the "lighthouse". I think I'd use the public slip in Coronation Park then move my car over to the car park in the centre of town. All shown here:
http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&ie= ... 6&t=h&z=17

I work a lot in Port Glasgow and use this car park extensively, the only problem I've had being a scratched door on a car I'd owed for a week, which could happen anywhere (but did happen there). However, any locals I've spoken to won't park in the town overnight and on the one occasion I had to leave my vehicle there late, I moved it to next to the police station on their advice. Hope this is more constructive and useful.
Allan C

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Re: Local paddles #2: Dear green place.

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:15 pm

Hello Alan, your first post was actually very helpful (as is your second) thank you! I had not seen what low tide was like at the Coronation car park slip so chose Newark. I had hoped its reputation would have improved since it is now part of the country park and patrolled by the ranger service. As Jim said above, the wardens arrived by van as we were leaving in the dark about 5pm. Judging by the tyre marks in the snow where they turned, they had visited several times since we left the car in the morning. There were also several dog walkers' cars about.

"Boat launch" mentions trailer tyres being slashed at Newark but does not say how long ago or if they were day visitors trailers or were in the pile of trailers that locals leave long term here in the summer.

I totally agree about leaving a car overnight. In truth, I wouldn't leave a car overnight anywhere on the Ayrshire/Renfrewshire Clyde coasts, except for the £2 a night Calmac ferry car park at Ardrossan, which is manned 24 hours. It is a 1km walk or trolly portage to launch at Ardrossan south bay from the car park.

Douglas :o)

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Re: Local paddles #2: Dear green place.

Post by bastonjock » Sat Jan 01, 2011 2:49 pm

Great pictures Douglas,it was a bit of a trip down memory lane for me.I have early memories of going for a "sail doon the water" on a vessel called the Queen Mary,at the time i was most impressed as i thought this was the "Queen Mary" that my Father had crossed the Atlantic on during WW2.The strongest of my memories are the ships and the yards,i recall a great many of them mainly on one side of the Clyde and the Clyde itself being a brownish mucky fluid with oil spill rainbows in it.We would head down stream to Tighnabruaich to visit grannies birthplace.The photographs also triggered an old forgotten regular journey, on a Tuesday to Yorkhill hospital.

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Re: Mind yer car for a tenner mister?

Post by Scots_Charles_River » Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:41 pm

Douglas Wilcox wrote:Hi Jim here are some alternative launching/landing spots on the north shore of the Clyde:

Image
A trolley from the pier car park leads to this more sheltered spot.
You can park in the paid carpark and get 50yds from that slipway.

There are many slipways all along north toward Rhu. You can park at laybys nearby, no need for a trolley. Parking and launching on the North shore - doesn't dry out very far- off the 'Spit' in Rhu give lots of options. Nice wee tide race here, for practicing, ferry gliding, clear definined eddy. You can sneak up to see Faslane and the subs, make sure you read http://www.rnopsscotland.com/aboutQHM.htm for any closures, it's a Queens Harbour there. Stay well away, keep to the west side, of the sub base. If you can read 'keep 500yds off' you are clsoer than 500yds ! . Otherwise the MOD boat will pick you up. CND etc have, in the past, try to enter the base there. You can also go over to Rosneath and around the point to Kilcreggan, watch out for the Degousing station for subs, many times I have seen Porpoises here in summer. The seals have moved away from Rhu marina, the haul out concrete floating tide break has been removed. At Kilcreggan you can then venture North and if you have left a car at Finnart, land and recover the car at Rhu. Although good fun, I would avoid climbing or seal launching off the Sugar ship wreck, the CLYDE Coastguard watch with powerful binocs and the MOD Police have moved on people before.
Douglas Wilcox wrote: Image
The park at Cairndhu Point is another convenient Helensburgh spot (with a toilet).
Douglas
It's actually Kidston Point and carpark. Cairndhu is another slipway about half a mile back towards Helensburgh. I would not leave cars overnight near Helensburgh pier as there is still car crime there.

This wee slip is good, doesn't dry out far and good parking.http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=56.00183 ... =0&src=msa
And further along, the local canoe club plays polo here http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=55.99495 ... =0&src=msa

Local pressure points include Blairvadach and Finnart. Be very careful where you park at Blairvdach as in the past, many people have been inconsiderate to locals and the OEC and cars have been removed by the police for being on double yellows.

Finnart has a lot of divers, all year. Trick there for overnight parking is to spot the CCTV cameras for security.

HTH, used to live and work (Blairvadach) in the area. My parents house is right on the shore on Rhu, near a wee slip, so I'm lucky. Although a days paddle off Finnart is the best in the area.

Nick

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Re: Local paddles #2: Dear green place.

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Tue Jan 04, 2011 8:41 pm

Thank you Bastonjock, in the whole of the Clyde we saw less plastic tat than on a small beach on Skye. The water was surprisingly clean, there was no brown tide ring round our hulls, which you do get in some apparently remote highland sea lochs where raw sewage is still discharged from a few houses. I too remember the Queen Mary II. Our year club at university went on a trip down the Clyde on her in May 76 or 77, which would have been just before she was retired. She was built at Denny's beside Dumbarton rock and was a very smooth ship because she was driven by a steam turbine rather than by a piston engine.

Thanks Nick, just for clarification, the photo above is, as you say, Kidstone park but the map link I posted to its location at Cairndhu Point is correct. Thanks for reminding me about Craigendorran Pier. I hadn't mentioned it because a windsurfing friend got all four tyres let down while we were on the water there.

I know the area a bit as relatives live in Helensburgh and I worked for a while there and sailed at both Helensburgh sailing club and Royal Northern. I am interested in your comments about Blairvadach parking.

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Blairvadach beach below the short public slip.

I first launched on the public slip there with Rhu sea scouts in 1968. We launched our Wayfarer there several times in the 70's. If I remember correctly the yellow lines that extend all along the road went down in the 1980s before the main road was realigned further from the shore. Now that the old loop of road is bypassed and is now a dead end, do you know if traffic wardens/police still ticket or tow cars on the yellow lines that are not causing an obstruction, either to property entrances or to the top of the slip itself?

Also back in the '80's we used to windsurf from the small car park at the end of Rhu spit, there is now a no vehicular access sign. Is that an official sign?

Thanks for your help Nick :o)

I have posted further photos and some information about paddling down the tidal River Clyde on my blog here

Douglas :o)

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Re: Local paddles #2: Dear green place.

Post by Scots_Charles_River » Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:27 pm

Douglas Wilcox wrote:
Thanks Nick, just for clarification, the photo above is, as you say, Kidstone park but the map link I posted to its location at Cairndhu Point is correct. Thanks for reminding me about Craigendorran Pier. I hadn't mentioned it because a windsurfing friend got all four tyres let down while we were on the water there.


Yes the OS map says Cairndhu but locals call it Kidston. The slip is good back toward Cairndhu House, easy parking on the road parallel. Awkward to launch actually at Kidston. Incidentally the Kidston Point has conglomerate rocks, it's the start of the Highland boundary fault.
Douglas Wilcox wrote:
I first launched on the public slip there with Rhu sea scouts in 1968. We launched our Wayfarer there several times in the 70's. If I remember correctly the yellow lines that extend all along the road went down in the 1980s before the main road was realigned further from the shore. Now that the old loop of road is bypassed and is now a dead end, do you know if traffic wardens/police still ticket or tow cars on the yellow lines that are not causing an obstruction, either to property entrances or to the top of the slip itself?


I was in Rhu sea scouts too but we launched a few hundred yards back towards Rhu. At the bottom of Smugglers Way, you can verge park a couple of cars and . there is a ramp/slip that is open with only 20ft of beach when it drys out, perfect to launch from. Blairvadach - Yes, the road has been realigned. Basically overuse and inconsiderate parking has provoked OEC and sometimes the residents to get cars illegally parked - removed/fined. As long as people park sensibly and legally, there is no bother, just a hotspot like Aldochlay can be at Loch Lomond. There is very clear double yellows at this point.
Douglas Wilcox wrote: Also back in the '80's we used to windsurf from the small car park at the end of Rhu spit, there is now a no vehicular access sign. Is that an official sign?
Thanks for your help Nick :o)
Yes, windsurfers still surf there. It says 'No Vehicular access' but it's never locked and has no padlock at the gate. There was issues with travelling people etc but that has gone. It is a good launch spot even at low tide. Probably enough room for 6 cars. The MOD navigation radar is the there. I would not over night park there though. You could sneak your car into the Rosslea Hotel carpark though.

My brother windsurfed, his mates kitesurfed, at Ardmore on Tuesday, horrendous weather but they love the wind !

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Re: Local paddles #2: Dear green place.

Post by Jim » Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:08 pm

I've thought about kitesurfing at Ardmore, quite close to the railway if you have an emergency, but that can generally be mitigated by being cautious :-)
I already knew local windsurfers use it. Might need to give it a try sometime. Prevailing wind should be cross shore which is ideal.

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Re: Local paddles #2: Dear green place.

Post by Scots_Charles_River » Sat Jan 08, 2011 3:58 pm

Jim wrote:I've thought about kitesurfing at Ardmore, quite close to the railway if you have an emergency, but that can generally be mitigated by being cautious :-)
I already knew local windsurfers use it. Might need to give it a try sometime. Prevailing wind should be cross shore which is ideal.
Yes, as soon as I started to chat to the kite surfers, they admitted the line is close but they said they would just 'release'. Last Tuesday they were beating out then back across. Even at high tide it's less than waist deep. Quite rocky at the S Eastern end.

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