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Old 09 April 2016, 02:57   #1
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A Guppy's pilgrimage

O, cruel was the snow that sweeps Glencoe
And covers the grave o' Donald
O, cruel was the foe that raped Glencoe
And murdered the house of MacDonald




They came in a blizzard, we offered them heat
A roof for their heads, dry shoes for their feet
We wined them and dined them, they ate of our meat
And they slept in the house of MacDonald.




They came from Fort William with murder in mind
The Campbell had orders King William had signed
"Put all to the sword" these words underlined
"And leave none alive called MacDonald"




They came in the night when the men were asleep
This band of Argyles, through snow soft and deep
Like murdering foxes amongst helpless sheep
They slaughtered the house of MacDonald




Some died in their beds at the hand of the foe
Some fled in the night and were lost in the snow
Some lived to accuse him who struck the first blow
But gone was the house of MacDonald





The massacre of Glencoe 13th February 1692 .. is always in my mind at this time of year.. its when I go on my yearly pilgrimage to visit MacIain ..the Chief of the MacDonald Clan. I can only reach him by boat ..which is why I have to wait a weather window for my visit... usually around April.

I normally went in my Seago Slat Floor.. which died a few weeks ago.. now it was the Guppy’s turn to transport me across the waters of Loch Leven to Eilean Munde ..a small island where the massacred MacDonalds were laid to rest.

Mournful mist hung on the hills as I passed through Glencoe where their crofts once stood. Snow still covered the mountain tops where many died of the cold..trying to flee the murdering Campbells. But the wind was light ..as I travelled through the night .. to arrive at my launch point on the northern side of the sea loch.... with Guppy packed neatly in the car.



It doesn’t take long to turn a piece of boot luggage into a very versatile boat. I couple of unfolds and a pump of air..and a small RIB is in the making.



A few moments later.. she was launched down the slippery slide made from the Seago’s PVC bottom. .. which helps protect her from stone scratches.



Which meant that we were both ready for another adventure ..which will be continued ...
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Old 09 April 2016, 03:20   #2
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If you type "never trust a c" into Google the predictive choices are:
  1. Campbell
  2. Cheater
  3. Cop
My Scottish antecedents left those shores generations ago and when I was young they still warned the wains about the Crooked Mouths...
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Old 09 April 2016, 03:26   #3
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And the Macdonald/Campbell rivalry is still alive to this day.
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Old 09 April 2016, 05:21   #4
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However grim the tale , it's nice to know that the English were not getting the blame for once.......unless anyone knows different ?
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Old 09 April 2016, 05:35   #5
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However grim the tale , it's nice to know that the English were not getting the blame for once.......unless anyone knows different ?

Sorry Bern look again you had a hand in it I'm afraid the Campbells we're carrying out the orders of King William.


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Old 09 April 2016, 06:10   #6
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Hi again guys.. although the English were behind it..the Scots clans often hated each other. At Culloden..many Scottish clans helped the English defeat Charlie's lot. I hope the English still help some Clans with a rather prominent woman ..who thinks she is still fighting for Scotlands freedom..but that is only my opinion..and doesn't make me a bad person



I was carrying a lot of ballast so didn’t expect the Guppy to plane on 3.3Hp ..but she still managed a healthy displacement speed.



As well as visit ancestors ..I was also keen to see how the Guppy faired as a fishing vessel. I had fitted a fishfinder since her maiden voyage. I don’t always get everything right ..first time ..so will need to address the position of the transducer..I had a lot of noise on screen. The transducer is only temporary fitted..so not a real issue. I may try a through the hull solution at a later date.



The tide had not long turned and was on the ebb ..but spring tides meant I was still landing high on the grass of Eilean Munde.



Making sure the Guppy was well secured ..I took a walk over to the ancient ruins of Munde Chapel



The island is named after Saint Mundus ..who built the chapel in the 7th century ..when he came to Loch Leven from Iona.



Only walls remain..and a few graves that are where the floors once stood. I wanted to see if another old friend who stays here was at home.. but a look inside his crypt indicated he was still out. I am a bit concerned for him..as it was after dawn. I hope he too has not fallen foul to murdering Campbells



MacIain and the MacDonald’s of Glencoe crypt was still as I last saw it..which was a year ago..did I say I go here every year ?



After a few minutes of silence and respect .. I returned to the Guppy.... where ... In homage to the memory of the victims of the massacre.. I set my table .. and toasted the good health of the dead ..and wished them all the best in their afterlife .. I hoped they are still getting revenge on their slayers.



Then I made my own plans to try my hand at some murdering .. I set up the fishing rod..I planned targeting thornback rays ..which live in the deep dark waters of this sea loch.



To find out what almost dragged me out to sea..you will have to come back later ..to be continued.....
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Old 09 April 2016, 06:22   #7
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Sorry Bern look again you had a hand in it I'm afraid the Campbells we're carrying out the orders of King William.


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He was Dutch wasn't he ?
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Old 09 April 2016, 07:28   #8
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Sorry Bern look again you had a hand in it I'm afraid the Campbells we're carrying out the orders of King William.


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I wondered when you would appear
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Old 09 April 2016, 07:30   #9
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He was Dutch wasn't he ?

Yep he was but he sat on your throne😇.


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Old 09 April 2016, 07:31   #10
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I wondered when you would appear

Hi Alan always lurking in the background. C u soon👍🍻🍴


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Old 09 April 2016, 08:16   #11
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Yep he was but he sat on your throne😇.


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Blimey, and I though it was Yorkshiremen that were supposed to bear a grudge😄


Sh1t happens
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Old 09 April 2016, 08:58   #12
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Blimey, and I though it was Yorkshiremen that were supposed to bear a grudge😄


Sh1t happens

Ah Dave there's no grudge just a bit of playful banter👍👹


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Old 09 April 2016, 10:29   #13
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Mr G can I ask what rod and reel you have hanging of the stern?
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Old 09 April 2016, 13:02   #14
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Hi Jambo..I use a Diawa SL30SH multiplier ..affectionately known to sea anglers as the Diawa Slosh. Its highly recommended. The rod is a Penn Squadron 7.5ft boat rod..and Im very happy with that outfit.

I followed the fishfinder to a location I knew often had thornback rays ..and dropped my line.. bait ..and weight... bait being lumps of last years mackerel.



Then I sat back and relaxed in the flat calm of the morning. It was around 9am as I watched the line of cars head along the A82 road.. on their way to work. I didn’t envy them..but suspect one or two envied my morning.



There was still a nip in the air..so I supped hot coffee from my flask.. waiting my first thornback to bite. An hour later..it was fairly obvious they were not hungry..and it was very obvious that I was getting bored.

So I thought of another.. not so boring game to play. I knew it was spring tides ..and I knew it was two hours since the tide turned ..so reckoned the flow of water through narrows..under the Ballachulish bridge.. would be around 6-7 knots. I knew the Guppy could do 5-6 knots at displacement speed. Yup..that sounded like a fun way to pass the next hour.

I followed a large Canada goose towards the bridge.. but as we drew closer to the narrows..it chickened out and did a U turn.



Perhaps Im dafter than a duck.. but I kept on a steady course and let the increasing current carry me forward ... towards the bridge..and the open sea of Loch Linnhe beyond.



It felt like the Guppy had wings as she flew under the bridge at 5 knots worth of displacement speed plus 6 knots of flow speed. Moments later I was in Loch Linnie and passing the Hotel at South Creagan. I swung the Guppy hard round and faced into the tide flow. The game began. If I won.. I got to fish Loch Leven..if I lost..I had to stay in Loch Linnie for another four hours ..until slack tide slowed the flow.



Staring the full force of the flow in the Guppy’s face.. it was obvious that I was not going to make any headway whatsoever. However.. I have learned from my kayak mates .. about seeking out eddies and slacker water..and ferry gliding across the flows.



The left hand edge under the bridge seemed to offer less resistance ..so I managed to edge up under the bridge..but was then stopped by the full force of the tide as it swept round a bend. I crossed the main flow at 45 degrees ..which meant I lossed a little ground in mid stream..but it also meant I met a back eddy on the right hand bank ..which allowed further progress.

I crossed the main flow twice in this fashion.. slowly gaining ground after each ferry glide. The Glencoe Tours boat sat watching my progress..no doubt the skipper telling tourists the dangers of small boats in such a fast flow.



However I got a big cheery wave from everyone as they flew under the bridge on tidal power only. I just hoped that if my wee internal fuel tank ran out of fuel..they would be long gone...as I would need to start the game all over again. However the tank of fuel got me through..no problem.



I started to get my displacement wake back .. and pick up land speed as the flow’s grip lessened. I had just beaten mother nature’s flow with my little egg whisk of an outboard.



I decided to leave the thornbacks to their stringent diet.. and head for the far end of the loch.. at Kinlochleven.. in search of Conger eels instead. I could think of nothing more exciting or dangerous.. than wrestle with a monster eel in the back of the Guppy ... to be continued.
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Old 09 April 2016, 13:51   #15
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At least you didn't do anything rash like throw stuff overboard to lighten your load.
Enjoying this but I feel a new (bigger) outboard looming on your horizon
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Old 09 April 2016, 16:23   #16
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Love seeing your tales of my local waters, without sounding like too much of a stalker I watched you through my binos from Ranachan as you headed out through Lochailort towards Loch nan Uamh, I was wishing I was on the water rather than being on the hill.

I often fish under the Ballachulish bridge for pollack, I hooked something one day that took ALL the line off my spool and bust me, I either foul hooked a seal or porpoise but it certainly got the heart going. Just out from the petrol station is great for mackerel in the summer.
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Old 09 April 2016, 16:29   #17
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without sounding like too much of a stalker I watched you through my binos from Ranachan.
Relax.

A REAL stalker would have watched him through the sight on a long gun.

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Old 09 April 2016, 16:30   #18
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Hey! IIRC, you ARE a real fkkn stalker!?!

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Old 09 April 2016, 16:39   #19
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Hey! IIRC, you ARE a real fkkn stalker!?!

I am, but not of the two legged type, well...... unless they are the type that wouldn't look out of place on page 3
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Old 10 April 2016, 02:22   #20
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Hi Iron Dials..yup..a 6HP is on the cards very soon..so watch this space.

Hi A1an .. many folks seem to think the Oban area is best in the west for boats.. but I think you will agree..we know better.

I also tread the hills you tread..and this summit is my favourite in your patch. Not many folks see or even know about that fresh water loch Im looking over..but you will know it well.



Hi Willk..naw A1an aint not Campbell ..we might be long lost brothers though

A slight delay in the next update..as the Guppy is going to the Solway Firth today ..for some southern views. ..will be continued on my return ...
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