8th of January, 2011 – Many an Inch but not a Wallaby In Sight

After a very indirect route, first north to pick up a boat then SW to Loch Lomond, I finally arrived at Aldochlay to meet an old mountain biking friend, Chris, who I had not seen for too-many years and who I had arranged to meet up with for some canoeing and to take up the offer of a shot in his canoe for comparison with the one I had rented with the aim of finalising my own choice in canoe.

Setting off round Inchtavannach

Chris and a friend, also Chris, had paddled out in the dark the evening before and slept out under, not stars but snow flakes then had woken to a gorgeous sunrise before a relaxed start and paddle to our meeting point at Aldochlay.

Channel through the icy narrows

My turn through the channel

Once we met up and had a quick catch-up, we launched the two boats under a blue sky and with none of the F2 winds forecast and headed clockwise round Inchtavannach and through a passage in the ice formed in the narrows between it and Inchconnachan which had already been cleared earlier by Chris and Chris. From these narrows, we paddled over to Inchmoan and round it anti-clockwise, stopping on the SE corner for a break before swapping boats. Our route continued on between Inchmoan and Inchcruin then over to Inchconnachan, famous for the resident Wallabies, before returning to our starting point with a few boat swaps along the way to compare the two as closely as possible and to try both of them solo and tandem.

Icy slabs and a bigger sheet of frozen water between Inchconnachan and Inchmoan

Altogether a brilliant day for me; great weather, an enjoyable paddle somewhere I hadn’t previously and getting to catch up and fill in some of the years past with Chris.

Chris and Chris just east of Inchmoan

Pleasant spot for lunch on Inchmoan

A stunning place, Chris paddling solo with Ben Lomond behind

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