21st November, 2009 – Urban Paddle on the River Clyde and White Cart

Three of us gathered for a sheltered paddle on the Clyde and the White Cart. Started gray but dry and we only had to contend with some slight winds along our route and one major downpour, other than that it was a pleasant day weather wise.

We began on the south side of the Clyde just beneath the Erskine Bridge and headed upstream towards the White Cart which we followed up towards the centre of Paisley. A very quiet stretch of water with little access to it along the banks so we were on our own apart from a surprising amount of wildlife on the start of what would prove to be a bit of a safari. First to join us were a couple of roe deer who bounded off up the left bank quicker than we could follow – just a couple of white bums darting through the trees and lost in no time.

As we approached Paisley Centre the main difficulty of the day became a challenge; the increased flow of the river from all of the recent downpours. We reached as far as the railway station where in theory we should have been able to progress along a 400m tunnel to the centre of the town but the flow was too much and the tunnel had a bit of a spooky ambience to it with all the noise of traffic echoing and water rushing so as much as it would have been great to make this last stretch, I wasn’t too unhappy to have missed out the tunnel section.

Back down towards the Clyde at a fair rate helped by the flow and we spotted a stunning King Fisher – quite a contrast to the brown and green all about. Lots of other birds along the way but this was the star of the show.

On to the Clyde again and the rain had begun now. We headed further up to get a close look at the recently launched destroyers in various stages of near completion. Quite impressive being up close to these giants. Not only were they of interest to us but we seemed to be to the dockyard security possibly as it was noted that one of the mounted CCTVs was following our progress in and about the vicinity.

Quick bite to eat in a bus shelter by the Renfrew Ferry then down stream heading downstream towards the bridge.

Along the way the last beastie of interest was a fox prowling about by the whisky bonds but I’ll not count one of the local muppets doing a moonie at us from the banks!

Great paddle and much longer on the water than I’d expected but we covered some distance (25-30km) a lot of which was against flow. I’ll definitely be re-visiting the Clyde up and downstream of this spot.

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