An intrepid canoe journey and bushcraft day for 4 people and one sausage dog. We began with some tandem paddling skills practice and journeyed south on Loch Lomond past the historic village of Luss. As there was a strong south westerly wind racing up the loch today, we rafted our canoes together so that we could more easily make the crossing to the islands. As we made the journey, we talked about Ben Lomond (Scotland’s most southerly munro), Conic Hill and the highland boundary and the various ways to ward off midgies, including the midge-repelling qualities of the plant Bog Myrtle.
We chose a beach on Inchconnachan and were pleased to see a plentiful supply of driftwood washed ashore. After finding a safe and clear space and collecting a range of tinder and kindling, the group showed great perseverance, getting some of the best parks I’ve ever seen from a flint and striker, until the fire was alight. We made ourselves long skewers and cooked sausages over the fire, roasting sweet potatoes in the embers. We talked about the various methods of filtering and purifying water and also found some sphagnum moss and chatted about its anti-bacterial qualities. We came across blaeberries growing behind the beach and also some Bog Myrtle.
Once we had made sure we were leaving the beach as we found it, we returned to Luss in our raft and I think only Pippa the sausage dog was really glad to be back again.
It was the perfect day. Calm and sunny; ideal for open canoeing. It also meant that there were no restrictions on where we could go, so the group decided that a three islands trek was on.
The first visit was to Inchloanaig to view the ancient Yew trees planted under the orders of Robert the Bruce. The second was to Inchcailloch to visit the old lodge house owned by the Colquhoun family and to try and find one of the elusive Loch Lomond wallabies!
Finally the group paddled over to Inchtavannach and enjoyed a wild food foraging before returning to Luss.
It was an excellent safari paddle, taking in a wide variety of local heritage interest too.
Showers and sunny intervals were the order of the last Monday when the ‘Gould consortium’ took to the Loch on their safari.
The breeze was a little challenging, but the group were strong enough to get out to Inchtavannach to explore the island. Ascending the hill ‘Tom-na-Clag’ was a little awkward with the summer undergrowth, but the group were fortified with wild fruits and fresh water found on the way.
Well done all. You handled the boats well in tricky conditions and made a great adventure of the day.
Drinking water from natural sources.
I enjoyed a great family day out on the 6th of September with Mum, Dad and their two young adventurers.
We met at Wild by Nature’s usual starting point at the Lodge on the Loch hotel, Luss. Once the initial briefing had take place we collected our equipment and we were off to track wallabies on Inch Connachan!
With a northerly breeze we made good progress and were soon on the island. Fortified with fresh blaeberries we entered ‘silent mode’ and stealthily followed the wild trails to the island summit. Although no wallabies were seen, we did see fresh spoor which suggested they hadn’t long been there themselves.
As we returned to the canoes we did, however, discover the the mysterious ‘Blood Hand Rock’ – see the picture below!!
After this fearful discovery we quickly headed off to complete the circumnavigation of Inch Connachan. Our intrepid explorers had to work hard this time against the wind in order to get back to the Luss shore, but they showed excellent grit and determination and reached the home port with smiles still on their faces.
Good fun and a great adventure. Thanks to you all.
Places: Luss, Inch Connachan
Fauna: Heron, Cormorant, Canadian Geese, Gulls, Wood Ants, Malard Ducklings
Flora: Sphagnum moss, Wood sorrel, Western Atlantic Oak, Blaeberries, Scots Pine
The weather forecast was not good! However, undaunted, Laura and Steve were up for the challenge. Rather than attempting the usual open crossing to the Islands, we hugged the coastal route south to the quaint little village of Ardochly, on Loch Lomond side. After resting there we rafted the canoes and let the wind take us across to Inch Tavannach – the island of the monks. After exploring the island and climbing to the top of ‘Thom-na-Clagg’ – hill of the bell – we paddled hard across wind, back to the mainland close to mouth of the River Luss. My congratulations to Laura and Steve for the determination and skill they showed. The challenge greatly added to the day’s event. Good paddling. Gold star each!
Chillin’ on Inch Tavannach
Places: Luss, Inch Tavannach, Ardochlay
Fauna: Canadian Geese, Gulls, Merganser Ducks, Swans, Oyster Chatcher
Flora: Sphagnum moss, Mountain soft rush, Hawthorn, Atlantic Oak, Birch Bark, Old Man's Bear Lichen, Horse's Hoof Fungus