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Seafreedom Photo Gallery 2010
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May 1st and 2nd - Rockpools round Seil
Ian, Christina, Janet and Stein now have their own beautiful Rockpool kayaks. We paddled right round Seil on the Saturday (10.3 Nautical Miles) with some fairly bouncy conditions on the West side and a cold drizzle. We had afternoon tea in the Puffer Cafe on Easdale and enjoyed the hot air hand dryer in the loo and some excellent cake. As soon as we sat down, they got out the "Wet floor" sign and put it in front of us. With good reason! It was a kindness that they let us in at all. The weather was rather better on Sunday when we paddled to Lismore and back from Loch Creran
April 25th - Spyke's Munro record attempt and the John Muir Trust
Stephen Pyke (Spyke) is trying to set a new record by doing all the Munros in 40 days. There are 284 of them, so that's 7.1 summits per day! He is getting round them all by walking, running, cycling and paddling. In the process, he is raising awareness of the John Muir Trust's activities and, hopefully, attracting new members. We were delighted to help him in this awe inspiring challenge by providing a kayak and escort for him to paddle from Mull to the mainland. He is no slouch as a paddler, achieving the 1.8 Nm crossing in 36 minutes. We wish Spyke good fortune in his record attempt. You can see how he is getting on via www.munros2010.blogspot.com
April 13th ~ 15th - BCU/SCA Two Star training and assessment course
Mike, Liam and Gavin worked really hard on their skills during this course and thoroughly deserve their Two Star certificates. We had plenty of fun too.
March 1st and 2nd - Jonathan's introductory course
What a fantastic winter. It just goes on and on. Blue skies, calm sea and snow on the mountains. Bliss. Jonathan had an ideal intro to sea paddling. That unplanned walk in the sea was bearable thanks to our Palm Dry suits
February 28th Loch Leven
The forecast was windy and cold. Loch Etive looked like it was going to be rather unpleasant, so we drove up to Loch Leven and explored "The Isles of the Dead"
February 27th - Minard Point
Susan and Richard launched at Gallenach with Tony and paddled south west along the coast to Minard point. We stopped for lunch at Ardentallen and then paddled back into the teeth of a very cold north easterly force 3. But the dry suits and the pogies paid off and we stayed warm. It was a stunning day. Just north of Minard point on the way back we watched two young Otters hunting and playing along the shore (but didn't get a picture!) 8 Nautical miles in all.
January 23rd - Round Kerrera with Keith
We started in very thick fog. Compass bearings for the first two miles, even though we were only a couple of hundred meters out. Then it lifted to give a crystal clear day with a stunning afterglow. Keith heroically demonstrated his roll at the end.
January 7th to 11th 2010 - Snow scene paddling
Plenty of snow on the mountains, ice on the shore, but the water is warmer than the air. Rudi wanted a mixture of skill coaching and good trips, so we circumnavigated Seil, paddled across to the Lismore lighthouse and explored the firth of Lorn. We saw five otters and an eagle. We did some forward paddling technique coaching with video feedback, manoeuvring with edging and contact towing. Rudi, who is to put it mildly, tough and adventurous, had a night camping near Isle Eriska. I went home to my wood burning stove!
August 9th - Safety training in Loch Etive specially arranged for a couple with an inflatable kayak
This was fun. It turned out that the inflatable was easy to rescue but rather hard to re-enter. We all got very wet trying to get back into it. Full marks for effort to Dave and Lisa
August 8th - Introduction to sea kayaking near Port Appin Argyll
David and Heather had both some paddling before so after a short coaching session we headed off to Castle Stalker and Eilean Ramsay. There were plenty of seals about and a White Tailed Sea Eagle near Castle Stalker
August 6th - Tony and Phil explore Ardnamurchan
This one wasn't a commercial trip, just an instructors day out to get to know the most westerly point of mainland Britain. The wind had dropped to force 4 but there was a lot of wave action, making for a rather exciting trip. The photos don't really do it justice because we were too busy paddling to mess about with cameras!
May 25th to 27th - Experienced sea kayak paddlers tour of the Firth of Lorn
Phillip, Annette and Chris said they wanted to be stretched. The weather helped us to achieve the objective.
Day one - From Connel to Degnish Point Loch Melfort via the west side of Kerrera and Seil then through Cuan sound. 19 Nautical miles.
Mostly flat calm with the visibility making compass work important as we made the 3.5 Nm crossing from Kerrera to Insh. We called in for a welcome cup of tea at the Puffer Bar on Easdale and timed it nicely to get the start of the flood tide through Cuan Sound. The weather conveniently lifted for us to make camp at Degnish point
Day two - Degnish point to Scarba and back.14 Nm. Blazing blue skies and a force 4 to 5 westerly wind
What a superb day. We saw an otter on the Luing shore and Annette spotted another at Rubh Aird Luing. We saw deer and birds of Prey on Scarba including a White Tailed sea Eagle. After lunch in the sun we walked up to the cliffs overlooking Corryvreckan and watched the huge wave breaking behind the Hag. From the southern tip of Scarba we negotiated some interesting tidal conditions and then surfed abut 3 Nm to the southern end of Shuna before turning north for our campsite. Annette was determined to have a fire on the beach so we all had to gather sticks and kindling. The fire was a success and was scrupulously done to "no trace" standards.
Day three - Degnish Point to Connel via the inside route 17 Nm Overcast with SW 3 to 4 clearing later
The overnight rain eased off just enough to let us pack our kayaks without misery and we set off in a helpful SW force 4 up Clachan Sound. We saw another Otter just past Balvicar. We spurned the comforts of the Tigh an Truish so that we had enough depth of water to paddle through Clachan sound and on to Balnacary bay for first lunch. Tony tried to lure them all into the seafood lunch stands in Oban but the clients opted for a Spartan lunch on the north end of Kerrera. And so back to Connel for a quick bash on the Falls of Lora. Total nautical mileage = almost exactly 50 Nm
May 9th and 10th - Mull Paddlers training weekend
Beginners, intermediate and experienced paddlers all together. We worked on kayak handling, forward paddling and safety
We watched an Otter behind Calf Island by Tobermory
May 3rd~6th Barra day trips
We stayed at the excellent Dunard self catering and doing day trips at various locations around the coast. It was a bit windy!
The team consists of Joan, Sheila, Doreen and Cathy. They all started sea kayaking with Seafreedom three years ago. They are definitely getting the hang of it.
We got to Sandray on the 5th and on the 6th we had an interesting coaching session in a force 6!