My trip to Loch Lomond on Tuesday for the interview with the BBC put me in the mood for a longer paddle there. The weather was holding and I had Sunday to myself. So Sunday morning found Sam and me launching from Balmaha for a few hours paddling round the islands.

Look out Sam, there's a duck coming to get you.



That's my first photo but not the first Sam had been in that day. There is nothing like a dog in a PFD to attract people taking pictures. We've had almost no wind for the last week but today there was a light breeze. Nothing to worry about but at least enough to keep the midges away.

Soon we were passing the first island. I could feel myself unwinding. Sam was settling in too.



Of course it is not all about paddling. One need to respect the brew stop tradition. Time to land and get the kettle on.



While the kettle boiled I took a picture of the new SotP sticker on my canoe.



and Sam did a bit of exploring.



I had a wander about as well. I was going to have a look to see how the newts were doing as I saw quite a lot on my last visit to this island, however, the ponds were mostly dried out. I'm sure the newts will have moved. I't not like there is a shortage of water about ;-)

So back in the canoe it was smiles all round.



The wind had started to pick up a bit. Fortunately if you pick the right side of an island you could stay out of the wind. Which is what I did most of the time. A few times I had no choice and had to paddle into the wind. Not a big problem but enough to stop me taking pictures. I've got to used to paddling tandem and having someone up from to keep us on track while I take pictures :-)

If course all that paddling works up an appetite. Time to stop for another brew and something to eat.



Time for a group photo between courses.



After lunch I took a wander about. Something about these rocks wedged between the root and a tree appealed to me.



I also saw this tent set up in an out of the way spot. There was no one else on the island. I think this is one of these set up where people leave it set up all summer and visit now and again. I don't mind so much if they take it away at the end of the summer but often the camp just ends up abandoned. In this case it was a neat camp with no rubbish about so maybe it will all get cleared away.



I settled down to read for a while and Sam wandered about a bit sniffing everything within 50 yards or so. Eventually once she had covered all the bases she came over to remind tell me it was time to move on.



So of we went again. I think Sam may have her eye on a yacht.



We paddled down to the bottom of the island where we had seen a boat earlier. They had moved on now.



They had left a fire smouldering away though. As well as a tub of maggot wriggling away and assorted other rubbish. I've seen worse but still there is no excuse. If there is room to bring the stuff out in your boat there is room to take it back.

We didn't stay here long. We were near Balmaha again.



Nearly back to the launch point then but the day was young and I was enjoying the paddling. I opted for a lap of Inchcailloch. Two thirds of the paddle were out of the wind and the other third, well into the wind a bit hard work. Hard work for me that is. Sam was taking non plussed.



Indeed Sam was getting so comfortable in the canoe that on the last stop she did a bit of exploiting then settled down in the canoe to wait for us to set off again.



I can take a hint. So back on the water and back to Balmaha 5 hours after leaving.