The whereabouts of Mr Rainsley..^

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Chris W
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The whereabouts of Mr Rainsley..^

Post by Chris W » Wed Feb 15, 2006 6:29 pm

The latest texts from Scotland:

Mark- 'First couple of days were great but gale force winds stopped me dead yesterday and scared the bejesus out of me'....'been blown all over the place over the last 2 days without actually getting anywhere and I am fecking cold'.

(Me- 'Solo paddling?')

Mark- 'You know someone else who'd be up for this?'.

Chris W.

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Jim
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Post by Jim » Wed Feb 15, 2006 8:01 pm

Don't know if he requires weather updates, but it looks like the winds may finally ease a bit on Friday afternoon. Figures, that's the earliest chance I'll get to go kitesurfing and all the wind will be gone!

JIM

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Post by Zoe Newsam » Sat Feb 18, 2006 10:01 pm

Jim wrote:the winds may finally ease a bit on Friday afternoon.
They did. We met Mark yesterday for a lovely chilled out (but not too cold!) paddle up Loch Etive yesterday, on calm water beneath snow capped mountains. Seems as though he had quite a week...

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Douglas Wilcox
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Post by Douglas Wilcox » Sat Feb 18, 2006 10:24 pm

Zoe>
for a lovely chilled out (but not too cold!) paddle up Loch Etive yesterday, on calm water beneath snow capped mountains
Hello Zoe, I am glad you enjoyed a winter Loch Etive, its stunning with the snow.

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Douglas

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Post by Mark R » Sun Feb 19, 2006 1:23 pm

Back after an enjoyable but distinctly arduous week of paddling and camping.

Will stick photos etc. up in due course.
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Post by Mark R » Sun Feb 19, 2006 3:27 pm

Almost all of these are from the very last day of my six day trip, when the sun came out (I'd only seen it for 5-10 minutes in the entire previous week) and there was no rain (it had rained 40-50% of the time for the previous week). I met two friends for the last three miles, hence I also had something to point the camera at.


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Post by Mark R » Sun Feb 19, 2006 3:46 pm

Trip summary...

Weather was really poor on most days, although not especially cold in terms of ambient temperature. That said, windchill usually made up the difference. Rain was a constant feature for the first five days. My gear stood up well; drysuit was indispensible and my kayak (Kaspian SK18) was quite excellent in all conditions.

Vague plan was to head south and end up on Jura/ Garvellechs/ similar.

Sunday...launched from Corran Narrows, plodded south through rain but calm-ish winds. Camped on Lismore.

Monday...kept plodding south into building winds, briefly visited Oban to buy some charts, camped near Barrnacarry Bay.

Tuesday...fairly crappy day. I forced my way through the Clachan Sound into the face of a gale, and then effectively was stopped dead by the force of the wind...I could get no further. Had to stop early on Seil. It was quite clear that going south was a duff plan. Decided that turning back north was the only possible option.

Wednesday...gales continued, very frustrating day. Surfed back north at breakneck speed through the Clachan Sound, then had a fairly frightening surf in big seas for the exposed two miles to Loch Feochan. After a rest, tried to break out and cross the mere two miles to the shelter of the Kerrera Sound (i.e. Oban) but had to turn back as it was getting hairy. Ended up camped a few hundred metres from where I'd been two nights before, having only covered a few miles. Another day cut short.

Thursday...tried the crossing to Oban again, and it went well (biggish seas but less wind) plodded on up into Loch Etive. A bit of a grind, uphill all day against wind and tide. This day rained really hard, dawn to dusk...I know, I took the tent down in the rain and put it up in the rain. Standing in the rain waiting for the Falls of Lora to slacken off was an exquisitely grim experience.

Friday...quite bizarre...no wind or rain! Paddled up Loch Etive to the end, meeting friends in the last couple of miles. The loch was gorgeous, great positive ending to the trip.
Last edited by Mark R on Sun Feb 19, 2006 5:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Douglas Wilcox » Sun Feb 19, 2006 3:53 pm

Hello Mark,

Welcome home. You have fantastic photographs despite it all. We in the west coast were really feeling for you during the bad weather, particularly in the early part of the week.

Hope it has not put you off a return trip soon. The sun does occasionaly appear up here, somewhere I have a photo to prove it...!

Douglas :o)

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Post by Mark R » Sun Feb 19, 2006 4:17 pm

Douglas Wilcox wrote:Hope it has not put you off a return trip soon.
Not at all, and I really enjoyed myself. It was just a very different trip to the norm...without wanting to get sententious, suffice to say that the sea in Feb seems bigger, wilder and emptier. Quite an experience.

I'll probably be up in late May for a week with my wife, and then I have a full month put aside in the summer to see how much of the gap between West Cumbria and Cape Wrath I can close!
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Post by MikeB » Sun Feb 19, 2006 5:39 pm

Nice to see the beard in evidence - - - -

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Post by Mark R » Sun Feb 19, 2006 6:52 pm

MikeB wrote:Nice to see the beard in evidence - - - -
Already gone!
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Post by Jim » Mon Feb 20, 2006 11:36 am

Well done!

As Douglas says in the early part of last week I and I guess anyone else from the west coast who follows the forum was keenly aware of just how bad the weather had turned - the wind remained relatively light in Glasgow (but plenty to cylce in) compared with the forecasts but the observations showed it was tearing the coast proper apart.

Glad you managed to enjoy it, and also glad you didn't push too hard trying to get back to Oban, in those gale conditions we become little more than flotsam adrift at the will of the wind - it's frighening and you get out of it ASAP!

The weather on Friday (and Saturday) was pretty much the way it had been for the 3 weeks prior to your heading up, I always though it was too good to last.

I'm really impressed you didn't bail during the gales - every time I get stormbound I am usually on an island or some other remote spot and forced to continue when the opportunity arises, I am quite sure that had we had road access to hitch out way out we would have bailed on some of our trips (in fact, once we escape we do often just head home ASAP)!

JIM

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