12 Apr 2012

Day Paddle on Loch Lomond 7-4-12

HOW embarrassing? What with one thing and another (high winds and a viral chest infection and lazy-arseness) I've not been out on the water in my Kayak since January (Yea, I know!).
So, without further ado a still day, in early April, kick-started my 2012 Kayak season with a gorgeous wee 10km paddle on Loch Lomond.
After a launch from a VERY busy Luss beach, I decided on a route down the west bank as I'd not been down that way before, between the mainland and Inchtavannach past some lovely houses and villages.

After the recent storms and high water, there are many stricken trees blown over in the high winds earlier this year. Here's one just south of Luss.

Camstradden House.

The tower of Camstraddan House has long since disappeared, and has been replaced by a modern mansion built in 1739.
An addition to the old tower is mentioned in 1684. Whether the original tower occupied the same site as the present mansion, or is the one referred to by Camden on an island in the bay, is unknown. 

A house with a very special view...

The Quiet and quaint loch-side village of Aldochlay. We used to drive past here every time we went to Tarbert, for school holidays, and this is the site from where I launched during my first contact with a Kayak, when I went on a course from school to Blairvadach, near Helensburgh, in the mid 1970s.

'Standing in the Loch in the Bandry Bay is a statue of a boy, which many take as some form of memorial to a drowning in the Loch. That is completely wrong, and the truth is a very happy story.

William Kerr made the statue for a house in London, which he had been commissioned to build. Although by the late 1870's and 80's Kerr was a successful builder in London, as a child Kerr and his siblings had been orphaned and brought up very happily by a lady in Luss. When he was left with the statue surplus to requirements, instead of putting a hammer through it, he thought of his childhood in Luss, and at his own expense, brought it up and erected it in the Bandry in 1890.

There it still stands, as a memorial to these happy childhood days in Luss.'

You can just make out William Kerr's signature below the date of 1890.

A favourite view of The Luss Horseshoe with a 'Park Ranger' patrol boat 'patrolling'.

Ocht, a wee play with new buttons on my computer of the Luss Horseshoe, nothing to do with illicit pharmaceuticals from the 1960s!

Milney in Bandry Bay

On to the world renowned golf course at Rossdhu House, where I spotted an ancient chapel lying just to the northwest of the main house.
 The Chapel of St Mary of Rossdhu was dedicated in 1469 for Sir John Colquhoun of Luss who lived at Rossdhu Castle. A burial vault for the Colquhoun family is set below the floor of the chapel.

Canada (Canadian) Geese are pretty popular and in abundance at this time of year on Loch Lomond.

Lodges at Rossdhu House with Canada Geese having a 'gander'.

Seat of the Colquhoun Clan Chiefs - Rossdhu House (Golf Course and Spa).

Seat of the Colquhoun Clan Chiefs - Rossdhu House (Golf Course and Spa).

Seat of the Colquhoun Clan Chiefs - Rossdhu House (Golf Course and Spa).

I eventually paddled over to Inchmoan's huge south westerly beach and was quickly joined by a couple of 'Qwackers'.

Lunch guests

They got pretty 'gallus' and eventually were taking bits of food out my hand!

The view north from Inchmoan to Ben Lomond (summit under mist)

'Inchmoan was granted to the Colquhoun clan by Malcolm, Earl of Lennox, in the reign of Alexander II. Sir Robert Kilpatrick, of Colquhoun, married the daughter of the Laird of Luss, and their descendants became known as the Colquhouns of Luss.
 Despite the fact that there are ruins of a substantial building on the island, with walls still standing two storeys high, among the pines on the western peninsula, there is no record of anyone having lived on Inchmoan within historical times.
It is said that the ruined building was started by a man from the Vale of Leven early in the nineteenth century, but running out of money he was unable to complete it.'

'Standing gaunt and empty among the pines it conceals its secrets well. For centuries the mainland inhabitants of Luss used Inchmoan as their source of peat fuel, and in early summer it must have been a hive of industry with boats being rowed out, men cutting deep into the peat banks, and women and children stacking the peats to dry in the summer sun, later to be carried to the boats and brought home in autumn.'

The huge, deserted beach on Inchmoan.

The huge, deserted beach on Inchmoan.

The huge, deserted beach on Inchmoan.

On my last trip on the loch with Duggie and Alan, in January, we paddled through here and both Duggie and Alan did paddle through between the trees as the water was high enough to do so.

A couple of images to show how high the water in January was compared to early April, as Duggie sits checking the Capercaillie notices from the comfort of his boat.