Thursday 28 April 2011

Fun on the Spey

Yesterday we had fun on the Spey with some lovely people! In the morning, our friend Penny came out for a jaunt around Loch Insh whilst Ian went with Nicola and her family down to Aviemore. Nicola works at the Belfast Activity Centre and we will be seeing her and a group in August. In the afternoon, Ian and I took 2 families and a young couple down to Boat of Garten. Everyone came back smiling so we think they were happy. It was wonderful weather and there was lots of birdlife around too!

Tuesday 26 April 2011

Loch Shiel to Loch Ailort

On Saturday, BT Al, Ian and I set off into a Force 3/4 SW wind to paddle Loch Shiel, showery and squally, it was fine for canoeing. Camped on the Rubha Leathan. Next morning, a pair of Eagles were circling close to our tents, hardly a wing beat and a wonderful sight amongst this splendour. We set off at 7.30am whilst it was calm and drizzly. The River Shiel was at a superb level for paddling and we were all surprised at how pleasant it was. The rapid at the end was like a mini 'washing machine' on the Spey. It was brilliant fun and much shorter than expected. We really enjoyed this section paddling across to have a look at Castle Tioram, then amongst the wee islands to reach the North Channel. Once past the Ford on this the weather brightened and became quite sunny and warm, and the outlook towards the sea was very inviting. As we came to the end of the channel, we spotted 2 otters who had been on the shore but dived in when they saw us. Once on the sea we headed North. There was a fair sized swell and it was amazing to be at a high point on a swell looking down on either of the other guys before being at the low point looking up! We kept well away from the shore as there were some big breakers all along it, even what looked like safe havens would have been impossible to land at due to these. Just like being on a roller-coaster and quite exhilarating! Once we turned the corner heading towards Glenuig we had the sea behind us and a gentler swell, managed to get a couple of photos then. Found a pleasant spot to camp past Glenuig where we watched otter, cormorant, black throated divers etc. A gentle 2 hour paddle on Monday took us to the take-out but not before stopping to watch 2 otters playing. This whole area is a paddlers paradise, and this trip in particular a fine way of experiencing it.

Friday 22 April 2011

Windy Loch Insh

Ian took some of our 'Active Kids' plus Carol rafted canoeing on Loch Insh today. They would have liked to have had a longer journey but it was too windy! Instead, they stopped to put up a tent and make a shelter using a tarp, before enjoying a fast ride back to shelter and more den-building!

Thursday 21 April 2011

Climbing at Creag Beag

Today we had our first outdoor climbing and abseiling session with some of our 'Active Kids' plus an Active Mum. It was a lovely day and challenging for some!

Fun on the Spey

Peter and his son Arran came for a paddle through Insh Marshes in the morning. Lots of golden-eye, a pair of goosanders, many sand martins and a few sandpipers around. Then in the afternoon we took a family of 8 from Boat of Garten to Grantown. Lovely, calm weather, lots of good chat and bird spotting ie curlew, sandpiper, oystercatcher etc as well as 3 hare running about. the children were very tired bunnies at the end but they have had a great few days of being out and about apparently!

Tuesday 19 April 2011


Today Ian was working for Alltnacriche, always a pleasant day! I met up with our Technical Advisor, Nancy to go through our paperwork to make sure we are still ticking the boxes in the morning and then ran an Archery session for a very nice group of 2 families. They quickly learnt what they needed to do to hit the target and there was no stopping them. Tomorrow we are canoeing!

Monday 18 April 2011

Catch up time

Lots of fun was had last week with 'Active Kids'. Rafted Canoeing, silly games, Archery, Treasure Hunt and Den building. Then on Saturday Ian did Archery for the Highland council whilst I had some Team Challenge fun with a group called 'Singing for Pleasure'.

Wednesday 13 April 2011

Active kids climb!

Some new children joined us today along with Niamh, Erin, Rachael, Georgie and Connor. They were well looked after by our regulars and had a brilliant time on the Indoor Wall. Rachael made it to the top for the first time and is looking forward to coming again. We had a wee walk afterwards to go and look for fairies but ended up playing hide and seek instead! All good fun and most will be canoeing with us tomorrow!

Tuesday 12 April 2011

Canoeing Loch Insh

Dawn and James came out with us this morning to learn a bit about canoeing. It was quite windy and bright, and the Ospreys are back! They were really interested and keen to experiment so progressed very quickly. We had to be careful not to bombard them with too much information!

Saturday 9 April 2011

Active Kids go biking

Forgot the camera, but Calum, Heidi, Jade, Rachael and new girl Skye all came biking in Glenmore Forest with us today. The girls and I worked on better braking and steering whilst Ian and Calum went for a bit of a journey which included some harder stuff. Met up a few times for the craik though!

More climbing & canoeing

We ran Archery for the Highland Council on Thursday. The groups were from Fortrose Academy so much fun was had by all! Yesterday we were Indoor Climbing with Emma, Mike, their family and friends in the morning which was a great session. 4 year old Sarah climbing in a red tutu, Thomas, Samuel and Finlay managing all the routes in style, Sophie & Dorothy being cheeky with the camera, wee Archie tying himself up in knots, Mike & Craig not in the least competitive whilst Emma & Coleen quietly got on with the business of climbing and belaying using the least amount of effort and having great poise! All change in the afternoon when Ian took a family out in rafted canoes on Loch Morlich, this included Ewan who is a wheelchair user but who really enjoys getting out doing stuff. Rather a wet end to this when the child in both dads brought on a splashing session. I had a more sedate afternoon with another group of Fortrose Archers. Great day for us!

today we are biking with some of our 'Active Kids'.

Wednesday 6 April 2011


Last week we did the new 4* Canoe Training with Stuart Bell of Beyond Adventure, it was an excellent course and we had a lot of fun. Yesterday I ran an Abseil session at Badaguish for a lovely family group who have one child in a wheelchair, the weather was good it was very enjoyable. Ian was out with another family group who we have seen for a few years now, out on Loch Morlich in Rafted Canoes. It was windy, but again they enjoyed the challenge, even their dog was having fun!