Tuesday 31 August 2010


Yesterday evening we met Mark Cox at Loch Garten to practise some wet stuff and rescues with our kayaks, we really don't like getting wet if we don't have to. Today we headed west for the coast around Arisaig and just pottered about around the Silver sands area. It was lovely and we did enjoy it, still didn't want to get wet though but we practised a couple of things at the end!!

Sunday 29 August 2010

St Leonards School

Yesterday St Leonards School from St Andrews came to Glenmore for a day of activities with us. Penny, Mark, Sylvia, James, Ian and myself had a great time with them as they were so enthusiastic at everything they did. It was a team building day for them as most had only met within the last 3 days and there was a range of nationalities amongst them. Timings were tight but they all did 3 activities out of 4, so everyone was happy!

Friday 27 August 2010

Loch Laggan

Took our kayaks out for a journey around Loch Laggan today. A good Force 2/3 headwind all the way to the end which increased a little on the return and needed a bit of work to keep the boats straight. Great fun though but neither of us could stop paddling long enough to get photos hence the calm shots!! Some of the bays gave a bit of respite! Took us 5 hours to go all the way round stopping for lunch of course. Distance of 24 kms.

Thursday 26 August 2010

Spey trip

Unfortunately we had to end this trip prematurely due to the behaviour of the group. They refused to co-operate or take responsibility for anything, even simple tasks, so on the Tuesday morning we decided it would not be a good idea to continue. Their bus was quite close and we were able to get them sorted fairly easily then we had to get all our boats and kit back to a suitable pick up point. This was ok as we loaded the canoes we each were to paddle and then towed the others. Since then it has been the usual cleaning and drying! The 'Active' kids would have loved this trip!

Sunday 22 August 2010

Loch Insh to Aviemore

Out in the boats again today just for our first experience in our kayaks on the river. BT Al came too! The kayaks are fun but we do like our open canoes. The three of us are planning on paddling the Spey from Loch Insh to Spey Bay in a 2 day trip. We like long paddling days so it should be good. Tomorrow us two and Richard Strivens are taking a group of youngsters and teachers from Tower Hamlets for a Spey trip. Camping at Loch Insh on Monday then the island just past the boat of Garten bridge on Tuesday and Boat of Bailliefurth campsite on Wednesday. They need to be away early Thursday morning. Looks like being a rainy few days!

Photos from yesterday

Ian had a very wet time on the Ben, whats new!! Not home until after midnight! Photos as promised.

Saturday 21 August 2010

Archery and Ben Nevis

Some of our previous 'Active' children wanted to canoe this morning but it was a tad too windy so we elected for Archery instead, which was great. Ian had a group to take up Ben Nevis for GB Charity Events and I heard from him at about 7.30pm when he and his group had reached the summit (they did not start until about 4.15pm). Always plenty of admin to keep me occupied. Photos to follow when Ian gets back!!

Friday 20 August 2010

More canoeing

We were sorting kit this morning then Ian took a family of 5 canoeing on the Spey from Kingussie to Loch Insh. Very windy it was too and he had to raft the boats to make any progress once they were going through Insh Marshes and into Loch Insh. Good experience for the family!!

Great Glen Canoe Trail

On Tuesday, BT Al, Ian and myself set off in our canoes from the top of Neptunes Staircase at Banavie to begin our 3 day journey to Muirtown in Inverness along the Caledonian Canal. The canal sections are very pleasant, more like a wide river. With a light wind behind us we crossed Loch Lochy easily and spent the first night camped at Laggan Locks. The next days journey included Loch Oich which is narrow compared to the others and very attractive. Fort Augustus was too busy for us and we hurried with the portage to finally make a start on Loch Ness. The waters were quite calm but we did catch a very wet, heavy shower just as we were about to find a suitable site to camp ie about 6 kms north of Fort Augustus on a shingle beach. It was a lovely evening and the last day started fine and calm too. Warm, easy paddling followed to Urquhart Castle where we pulled up for lunch. As we set off across Urquhart Bay the wind got up and a swell developed which kept us on our toes as it were! The bow wash from the big boats had to be watched for too. It added some spice which we all enjoyed thoroughly. Then the final section of canal all the way to the end. It has been a superb trip and one we would do again. All the locks and surrounding areas are well cared for and are an attraction in themselves. There was also lots of wildlife around.

Monday 16 August 2010

Our Kayaks

First proper paddle in our latest aquisitions, ie the kayaks we bought from Roger Aldred. Ian worked really hard to clean his up and there is a before and after photo! We might even take to this form of travel!

Tomorrow we are off with BT Al to paddle the Caledonian Canal in our open canoes and solo. We hope to cover 20 miles each day and be off the water by late Thursday. Watch this space!!

Sunday 15 August 2010

Retts Syndrome Association

It was a really pleasant day on Saturday when I was canoe rafting with the Retts group and Ian was Arching. Unfortunately we forgot the camera! In the afternoon we took the Baikie children out canoeing with mum too and they loved it. For such young children they are really good and 8 year old Harry is a very strong paddler already.

Today was glorious, the absolute best day yet this summer! Ian took the Retts group out biking whilst I did some Abseiling with them. They all had a brilliant time. We have been working with these guys for a few years now and never has the weather been so kind! They all help and encourage each other and we are made to feel like their best pals, a lovely weekend was had by all.

Wednesday 11 August 2010

Raining again!

Today Ian was on the Abseil tower at Glenmore Lodge with a family of four whilst I should have been abseiling at Badaguish with a group of folk from the Pennypit Special Needs youth Club. As we knew it was going to be a very wet day I had lots of Team Challenge kit with me and we did this instead - Undercover!! It went really well and the group had a lot of fun!

Monday 9 August 2010

Belfast Activity Centre

Yesterday was the best weather day we have had for ages and we took a group from Belfast Activity Centre to Kingussie for some climbing and abseiling. It was quite a challenge for them but they tried hard and all had a great day. Today Ian took them in rafted canoes down the River Spey from Boat of Garten to Grantown. Another new experience for them and they loved it. Hope to see them again next year!

Thursday 5 August 2010


We bought 2 Touring kayaks from Roger Aldred recently at an excellent price, mainly because we need to press on with the UKCC canoe quals and kayaking is part of it. Yesterday and today we have been cleaning them up and ordering bits from Dave at Endless River. We are quite taken with them and actually looking forward to getting them on the water. Should have taken photos of them before we started the clean-up, especially the white one! Must carry on, photo soon!

Tuesday 3 August 2010

More Archery!

On sunday we ran Archery late afternoon for the 7/16th Motherwell BBs who were brilliant especially as it was very midgy and wet. On Monday it was Archery again for a lovely family of 4, they were incredibly good! Megan, who had not been looking forward to it that much soon became an expert and consistently managed 2 or 3 in the centre every time. They became quite competitive in the nicest possible way! Today we were indoor climbing and abseiling with a group from Moor House in Strathpeffer, they all achieved a lot in the time we had and hopefully it has sparked an interest!

Sunday 1 August 2010

A fun week

To catch up a bit, on Thursday we had a really good session of Indoor Climbing at Glenmore with our very 'active' group. They do work hard at everything. On Friday we canoed in the morning with the same group we Arched with on Tuesday then in the afternoon it was the turn of the 'Active ' group! Considering the weather we have had this week, our group of wee ones have done brilliantly and we also have had a great time. Much fun was had on Saturday when working with a group of 'hens', some of whom we have seen before and they were very competitive at Orienteering, Archery and Canoe Rafting. Hope Aviemore survived their onslaught last night!