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Thread: A birthday paddle

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Lochwinnoch
    Posts
    839

    A birthday paddle

    It is my birthday today. 48 years young and all that. I used to always take the day off and go for a paddle on my birthday but this has fallen away for a number of reasons. This year i decided it was time to bring the tradition back. So after a breakfast of carrot cake and opening presents I loaded up the canoe and headed to the carpark at Milarrochy Bay on Loch lomond.

    The weather was better than had been predicted. There was essentially no wind and the sun was behind hazy cloud cover but with no threat of rain. Sam was accompanying me of course.



    After the last few trips it was a real shock to be out in such calm conditions.



    The fact it was midweek and before the summer holidays meant the loch was quiet too. It probably helped that I was quite early. Later a few more craft appeared.



    We were in no rush. It was just a joy to be paddling in such calm conditions. We were heading to Bucinch but in an indirect and leisurely fashion.



    Eventually we landed with plans to have an early lunch. Two things stopped us. First we were immediately swarmed over by midges. Sam seemed unaffected by them but I was being driven mad. Speaking of mad I see we have the permanent camp back up from last year.



    This is a huge camp. Four tents a big tarp set up. Two full size calor gas bottles with a two ring burner, beer cans and bottles about and loads and loads of other stuff. The fire was stone cold but everything was left looking as if people were about. I'm pretty sure it was to deter people from hanging about or clearing the camp. I hope the rangers deal with this and don't allow it to remain for the full summer like it did last year. If this sort of thing continues it is all but certain that camping will be banned on the islands too as well as the shore which will be a real shame.

    Whatever, I headed off in search of a midge free lunch spot.



    I was not that hungry so there was no rush and as there was no wind so choices were limited. I am trying out a windburner stove (formerly windboiler) and did consider making lunch in the canoe for a while but wisely dismissed this idea. It was nice to just sit and drift for a while.



    Actually I say drift but with no wind we were really just sitting in one spot.

    Eventually I found a beach with only a few midges trying to eat me. Giving me somewhere to make lunch.



    Had I not been getting gnawed on my a few midges I would have relaxed on the beach for longer but I could not settle for long. So it was off again out into the calm waters.



    I could have happily paddled and drifted about all day but there was plans for later in the day so I pointed the canoe back to the carpark and headed back.



    It was great paddle. I had a headnet with me but no insect repellent but am not sure it would have helped enough to let me settle on land for any length of time. I have added it to my pack for the summer though. I have a few video clips from today so may get round to cobbling a video blogg together at some point.
    John

    I started at the bottom and I like it here

  2. #2
    nice way to celebrate. happy belated b-day by the way!
    are you able to report such "dwellings" like you found? over here i can report them via the municipality website who then send people to clear them out. i often wonder, though, if i'm the only one sending them my google maps screenshots with markings pointing out make-shift camps in dense shrubbery - and what they think of the weirdo who goes poking around in such places!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Lochwinnoch
    Posts
    839
    I did report it to the Rangers at the carpark and they said they had a patrol boat that would check it out at the weekend. the problem is at the weekend it will be an occupied camp and probably allowed. I am not sure the Rangers seemed that bothered. If I were free more often midweek I would be very tempted to clear this and other sites myself. I could fund my lifestyle selling second hand camping kit
    John

    I started at the bottom and I like it here

  4. #4
    if there is a market for 2nd hand aldi or decathlon tents i could get into business as well!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Lochwinnoch
    Posts
    839
    I've quickly edited the footage into a shortish video.

    John

    I started at the bottom and I like it here

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