Loch Venachar by Open Canoe

Loch Achray, Black Water & Loch Venachar
A voyage of discovery
22nd February
Andy, Elizabeth & Bill met at the small carpark at the extreme western side of Loch Achray.
It's the popular start to Ben Venue so they were a point of interest for the early morning walkers.
Loch Achray - Black Water - Loch Venacher
Loch Achray is very picturesque and therefore popular, especially with bankside fishermen. It's normally sheltered - but today a stiff westerly breeze was blowing.
Loch Achray and Ben Venue from the east
Bill had brought his golf brolly as an improvised sail but found it difficult to hold and steer at the same time. 
When the canoe was on a dead run he had an impressive turn of speed, unfortunately it wasn't always where he wanted to go! The wind was strong and it blew his brolly inside out several times before eventually shredding it.

A river called the Black Water leads from Loch Achray into the western end of Loch Venachar.
There is a large reedbed at the outflow so it's a bit of a guess as to where the loch ends and the river starts; you feel a bit like Bogart/Hepburn in the African Queen.
our own Hepburn and Bogart !!
The plan was to canoe down the river to Loch Venachar.
Successfully negotiating the reeds and leeches you come to an 'Amazonian' stretch of water.
There is one small waterfall which was negotiated with ease, but alas no pictures.....

Overall it's very gentle with hardly any rapids, ideal for beginners.

Loch Venacher is about 6 kilometres (3.7 miles) long with a max depth of around 100 feet.
Its south shore is covered by woodland containing forest tracks, some leading over the hills to Lake of Menteith others leading back to Loch Achray, The Trossachs and Aberfoyle.

Future cycle trips? Perhaps....watch this space.

On leaving the shelter of the river and entering the open loch there was a noticable increase in the wind.
It was a constant Force 3, and gave exciting sailing!
Rafting up, a tarp was hoisted between two spare paddles.
Speed became 'real'. A fantastic feeling.
You can see Bill's wrecked brolly lying in his boat.
This short video clip gives a an idea of the wind's strength.

Having been blown along in record time the landing was on the stony beach at the eastern end of Venacher.
It took about one hour to cover 5km along the loch, which is about a steady 3 knots.

Open canoes are great fun!

No comments: