The GOSSIP

Number 223 / September 2010

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Published by the Open Canoe Sailing Group

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Another Hard Blow! (EddieP)

This meet at the Cashel campsite seemed to be following the pattern of last year somewhat, although the hard blow, of up to Force 7, was on Sunday, not Saturday, and Monday brought beautiful weather. The numbers were about the same as last year - is Scotland for a week too much, or does it have to be a week to make it worthwhile? I had planned to be there until Monday night. There were some annoying problems with the campsite, but we'll not dwell on these.

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Julie and Wayne in their new canoe - was Eddie's.

Paul in his classic canoe with Tim.

I arrived in the early afternoon on Friday. DaveM had left for an intrepid overnight trip up to the far top of the loch that morning, GrahamD was rigging his interesting home-made proa, and WayneD's family, having been banished to the Milarrochy campsite down the loch (wrong sort of van), had gamely sailed up to see us. The evening brought in Ann & KeithM, Jan & DaveP and then DaveS in an enormous tent. Jeff and Ellen followed, and then Paul from North Yorkshire with friend Tim, so it was a good group assembled by the morning.

We met on the beach at 10.00 a.m., in time to see both WayneD and his son Thomas sailing up from the south in a blustery Force 4, gusting higher. The forecast for the next day was for higher winds (how right they were!), so the group, being very mostly composed of experienced sailors, agreed to sail on a fairly short cruise, originally over to Luss. I stayed at Cashel, not having a boat currently. Finally, in the middle of the afternoon, three boats reappeared, the two Daves and Jan, all leaning well out. The others had called in at Milarrochy for a rest, and trailed back in a lighter wind.

There was little appetite for a race on Sunday, but the strong northwest wind put everybody off for some hours, gusting certainly to a Force 7. Wayne again sailed up in his Shearwater, with Thomas in his Topper (without a reef in; he is taking after Tyrone 'reefing is for wimps' C).

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Capsize practice.

At the same time, DaveS had gone out with Adam, who had arrived the night before with his boat to be set up, and required advice. The two capsized off Inchlonaig after gybing, and RobinC, who had borrowed Dave's boat, went off to help. He too went in, after handing over a bailer, and, after partial recovery, the two boats quickly floated downwind towards the southern end of the Cashel peninsula. They were helped out of the surf by willing hands, none the worse for wear.

In the late afternoon the wind abated, and most people went for a sail, with several practising their capsize drill.

I had to leave on Sunday evening due to family illness.

 

Sunny Lomond Monday (KeithM)

British Bank Holiday Mondays are traditionally, or rather notoriously, expected to be wet and windy. At the Loch Lomond meet the weather gods ignored this rule of thumb, probably due to the fact that the Scots don't really do the August Bank holiday and were mostly back at work. It was calm and clear but cool early in the day, becoming bright and warm, right through into the evening. And there was a nice, albeit light, breeze much of the time as well. A recipe for a great canoe-sailing day... and so it was!

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Ann and Julie share the woes of life 'aft the mast'.

The fleet took to the water mid morning once they were good and ready - and once the breeze had decided to get out of bed. The Cashel clan pottered south, rounding Strathcashell Point to assemble with the Milarrochy massive off that campsite, before drifting and paddling a bit in the fitful southeast zephyr to do a lazy lunch on Inchcailloch. Jeff and Ellen, not having been to this interesting and historic island before, had leaflets about it and decided to explore it on foot while the others set off again on the water, passing between Inchcailloch and Torrinch and heading east to visit a less frequented part of this huge loch.

Aber Isle is a small and low-lying patch of rocks and bushes about a mile from the eastern shoreline and surrounded by shallows for quite a few yards in most directions. In spite of this being well marked on Keith's chart, he and some others still managed to touch the bottom with their leeboards as they circumnavigated, but in the gentle conditions no harm was done. The fleet then close-reached back west, hoping to fetch the gap between Torrinch

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