The joys of winter sea paddling what to expect what to wear and what to carry in your kayak to safely enjoy winter paddling in sub zero temps

A day washing down and checking the clubs fleet and equipment 10.30 am at the club

To mark the end of the Monday and Tuesday evening coaching night we will be having a curry night and presentations in the club more details to follow

Saturday 15th October
Afternoon paddle activity plus BBQ and presentation of Awards
time 1.00 pm All junior paddlers parents and club members welcome
1-3 pm paddle activity
3.30 BBQ and presentations
Volunteers required to man the BBQ

A paddle from the head of Loch Etive is planned for the last weekend in October 28-30 subject to weather
This trip will involve 2 nights camping and at this time of the year night time temperatures can be below 0
If you are interested speak to Dave about the trip

Saturday 24th September
Lewis organised a days training for a group of 5 of the club paddlers in blustery force 3-4 conditions off Farlie.

 Lewis put the group through various skills of close quarter manoeuvring. 

let hope these guys can move on to the assessment once they have cracked open water rolling (lets hope we can access a local pool for winter training

Maritime conections  of Troon  will be providing a RYA VHF opperators  course at the Club

This is a one day vhf radio course and simply tends to be known as the VHF Course. The course/exam leads to the new Short Range Certificate (SRC) and covers the new Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS course).

Course Dates  12 of November 2011

9.00 am – 5.00

Cost  £80  (this includes the RYA exam fee) Payable on booking your place on the course)

12 places available

To book your place on the course please contact Dave Marquis  dmarquis1@aol.com 01475522053

Place may be available for non club members

The weather on Saturday was variable, if you were in Greenock, however a small band of members from the Club took a wander to Carrick Castle on Loch Goil and managed to stay in the sunny & dry weather zone for almost the entire day. As rain spread from the Argyll Hills East over Inverclyde and North over Dunoon & up towards Loch Goil the crew in Chippy McNish avoided all the showers other than 10 minutes as they rowed out of Loch Goil and back into Loch Long at 16:00.

The day had started badly with blustery weather in Greenock at about 07:30-08:00, some of the younger members of the crew apparently questioned if the trip would be on as they got out of bed at an unearthly time on a Saturday morning. By the time the crew met at the Club the weather was fine. Chippy McNish was launched and packed ready for a day trip to assess the suitability of the skiffs for long distance cruising.


In the crew were Heather Scott, Skye, Calum Ford, Alec Stewart, Alex Paterson & Adam Graham. They are pictured above enjoying a break at the Knockderry Hotel.

We left the Club at 10:05 and were off Knockderry Hotel by 11:15. We were all so engrossed in the discussions in the boat and the views that we nearly rowed right past the hotel. It was a comment from Heather that brought us to our senses and led to a brief stop to assess the suitability of the hotel for the forthcoming Closing Cruise. It definitely sells beer and looks comfortable. The staff were also very helpful and welcoming, even with us in wet shoes and trackies.

The next objective was Ardentinny, this took us about 30 minutes. It only took this long as we had to give a wide berth to a freighter and its accompanying tug as they came down the loch. we rekindle old relationships with the beach and sailing club shed at the activity centre. All is still there but there are curiously two dragon boats at the top of the beach now. A check was made on the hotel, it is closed at the moment but looks as though someone is doing some work on it and the external appearance is not shabby.

We lunched on the beach before heading off for Carrick Castle, our ultimate goal. As we continued up Loch Long we were being constantly observed by MOD Police launch at Coulport and the watch towers. Stories abounded about who might be watching and listening to every word we were saying. There was even speculation about the true identities of some slow moving sea birds floating nearby.

As we rounded the corner into Loch Goil there were very light rain showers near the opposite shore and these generated some fantastic rainbows, see below. This phenomenon continued for the next 2 hours. This was also where we saw the first of the seal that were to follow us all the way back to Knockderry.
We landed at Carrick Castle about 15:00. As a lot of you may know the hotel has been demolished and is now a site awaiting development. There are no shops left open in the village and the castle itself is signposted as Private Property. It is still a lovely spot, as can be seen in the photos below.

Leaving Carrick Castle at 15:45 we rowed out of Loch Goil past numerous rainbows and finally got caught in a rain shower. This shower lasted about 10-15 minutes and stopped just after the cables cross Loch Long. Following a route intended to keep us well away from Coulport we headed South, once Alex took the helm we cut the corner slightly and ended up about 20 yards off the pier as we pasted the gatehouse. Our spirits were kept high by thoughts of a stop at Knockderry but as the return trip was without the benefit of the tide and wind it was much slower. The stop at Knockderry was not going to be feasible and we pressed on for the Club.

In the second hour heading South, as we crossed the bay towards Cove Sailing Club, idle banter in the boat ceased. Hands and butts were sore. Muscles stiff when crew changes happened. All were looking forward to a shower, hot food and a beer. As we moved from Loch Long to the Clyde the waves were from the South West, forcing us onto the shore. We quartered the waves, making for Gourock rather than the Club. When we got to about mid-channel we turned for the Club and could use the waves to partially surf back.


Arriving at the Club just after 19:00 we had completed the trip down from Carrick Castle in a little over 3 hours and the whole 24mile trip in 9 hours. Approximately 6 hours of that time spent on the water. We were welcomed back by family, Chippy went away quickly and everyone went home happy and tired.


The skiff is light and easy to handle in comparison to a Heavy Four. It moves quickly and has plenty of space for spare oars, all the equipment you might require for a long trip and a dog. However the five man crew means that you typically row for 60 minutes and have 15 minutes coxing. That 15 minutes is spent steering, trying to do anything else, like eating or pouring a cup of tea, can be awkward. Think the skiffs are ideal for 2-3 day trip but would have to think hard about anything longer.

Proposed date is Saturday 1st October.

Weather permitting
Leave beach at 10am and head for Knockderry Hotel beach.
Arrive there between 11:30-12:00, picnic lunch on the beach/hotel lawn/hotel lounge (maybe some football)
Leave Knockderry about 14:00
Back at Club about 15:30-16:00
Boats away for the Winter, shower, bar

Phone in takeaway food and have a social gathering of members, kids and all.

If conditions too bad for trip to Knockderry
Impromtu teaching session with skiffs
Scratch regatta off the Club beach with a mix of members from each discipline in the skiffs
Tea, coffee and biscuits in the shed
Picnic lunch in the Club lounge
Boats away for the Winter, shower, bar

Social gathering of members in the lounge, kids and all.

Club’s RIB will be out on the day to provide safety cover as we cruise to Knockderry, there are plenty of yacht mooring there belonging to the hotel.

Anyone interested in taking part should post a comment below or contact Adam Graham.

The Club will be holding a Halloween Party on Saturday 29th October.

Details can be found on posters in the Clubhouse or by printing off your own.

Members and guests welcome.

Below is a link to the poster

halloween poster

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