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Old 10 April 2016, 02:38   #21
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A Guppy's pilgrimage

Ah, the lovely Loch Beoraid, is that taken from Sgurr an Utha or are you still on Sidean Mor? I was on that very hill last week doing deer counting. I walked in from Loch Eilt boathouse, up over the top and along Beoraid ridge in the left of your photo. 'kin long trek for next to no deer.

As for long lost brothers.... we certainly share the same tartan.
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Old 10 April 2016, 17:04   #22
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Mr Gurnard,
Do keep journeying and posting your eloquent and informative posts and photos. I really enjoy reading about your trips and seeing your photo. The way you do it all so simple with the minimum of kit & fuss
LT
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Old 11 April 2016, 02:19   #23
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Hi again A1an ..yup its from Sgurr an Utha ..heading for Sidhean Mor. Its a wonderful part of the country you live in.

Hi LT.. thanks for the kind comments and I will continue this adventure as soon as I get settled again. I was away giving the Guppy her first sea trials yesterday ..so also have the next adventure to write up too.. called "The Guppy goes to Sea"

Here is a photo from yesterday to wet you appetite .. it was a truly amazing day in a remarkable maneuverable boat ..

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Old 11 April 2016, 13:54   #24
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The sea loch of Loch Leven is approximately nine miles in length from the bridge at Ballachulish to the far end at Kinlochleven... and flows through some of the finest scenery in Scotland.

The Pap of Glencoe is the distinctive hill hump which looks like a nipple ... and can be seen from most part of the Loch..the campsite at the foot of the Pap ... at Glencoe village has a slipway...for those with boats that need such luxuary



The higher hills around Glencoe still have a fair amount of snow ..and it was still cold at sea level.



I was glad there was no wind..as it can get exposed and cold in Scotland in March. Although the loch feels very remote..there is a road around both sides..but for most of the way..its a quiet road for motorists



There are one or two buoys around as it is a popular place for yachts during the summer months. A cormorant was moored on this buoy.. and looked annoyed when I tried to knock it off its perch with my wake.. but give it dues.. it managed to keep its stance...by running around the rolling ball.



Around half way along its length..the loch narrows at Caolas Nan Con ..which creates another strong tidal flow as the water in the upper basin is forced through the narrow gap. It resembles a fast flowing river on spring tides. I should also warn that if wind is blowing against the flow.. both the Ballachulish bridge flow..and the Caolas Nan Con flow turn into places that small boats don’t want to be. Confused triangular wave and white water can form very quickly. However there was not a drop of wind today.



For easy .. I followed an eddy beside the main flow as I approached the narrows. When two opposing flows “rub” along each other.. a line of small vortex (mini whirlpools) form.



The flow at the narrows is not as fierce as at Ballachulish..so I passed through without any problem



And as I progressed..I could feel a change in the weather.. the clouds started to engulf the hill tops.. a smirr of rain ..and the wind started to rise ..as I made my way to the Conger fishing ground...



To be continued ...
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Old 12 April 2016, 10:02   #25
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The change in weather didnít come to much.. the wind ruffled the water but didnít form large waves.. and as I continued to Kinlochleven .. the rain turned to scotch mist again.



As I neared the end of the loch..the wind dropped. You can just make out the start of the houses at Kinlochleven in this photo.



Its a sleepy wee village now but it was once a bustling community. Its heart was an Aluminium Smelter .. and the British Aluminium Company built a dam and hydro electric scheme to feed it. It was nicknamed ďThe electric villageĒ as it is supposed to be the first village in the world where ever house (all 420 of them) had electricity. Now its famed for its mountain pursuits and its artificial Ice Climbing wall..where mountaineers can practice winter climbing ..even in mid summer.

When the Smelter was in operation..large ships came up the loch to feed the smelter .. and they docked at the deep water pier ..the remains still stand to this day.



An old fisherman friend used to tell me tales of a huge conger eel that lived in the murky depths below the wooden pillars supporting the pier. He claimed he hooked it several times but broke his line every time. He said It was as big as the Loch Ness Monster. I tend to believe these old tales .. so tied my boat securely to a large buoy ..in case I hooked this monster..and it tried to drag my wee boat under the pier.



Then I attached a whole mackerel to a hook and 50lb wire trace ..before dropping it down to the depths below. I then sat and waited ...



...and waited ..and waited. But not so much as a nibble. I sometimes wonder ... about these fishy old tales folk tell ?

I donít think these was a single fish in Loch Leven that day.

So I headed back through the narrows at Caolas Nan Con..



...before landing at low tide..where I had left the car.



Although I had not seen any fish all day..I had a very enjoyable time. I packed the Guppy back in the car..and as I was about to leave .. I saw an otter run across the shore ..heading for the water.



Where the cheeky bugger showed me that there was fish in the loch.. you can just make out the dark triangle of his head a few yards off shore ..with a small Pollock in his mouth.



I guess that fishing for you ...

To summarise my two recent adventures in the F-Rib .. I have been testing its capabilities and handling ability and it has performed far better than my expectations. Its planes with one person and a 3.3hp engine .. but any luggage ..and its bogged down to displacement speed. I now know its limitations in fast flowing tides.

Its a doddle to set up ..carry in my car ..and transport across shores I was finding hard with my larger Quicksilver wooden floor SIB. The Transom Dolly works as expected ..with no issues at all. It can be carried in the back of the boat..or left in the car..its my choice.

I have never know a small boat..and that includes hardshells with cuddies and wayfarers with outboards ..to be so positive and maneuverable to control. Certainly no sluggish flabby bottomed SIB that I know ..can turn on the sixpence this boat can..and at low revs.

The next test for the F-Rib would put this maneuverability to good use .. I also needed to test her in a wave .. so she went to sea for the first time last week. ..look out for a new adventure coming soon ... called ďA Guppy goes to seaĒ

Thanks all .. for the interest in my witterings and tales of the sea.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gullís way and the whaleís way where the windís like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trickís over.
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