Well I haven't really blogged properly for a little while so thought I should do an update. The lack of bloggage hasn't been because I've been inactive but because most of my trips have been to places I've already covered in previous posts and I didn't want to keep going over old ground. That said I feel some kind of a summary would be in order.
Back in February I went out over three days and two nights with Sean (first night) and Shuzz (second night). This was my maiden trip hammocking and I can't see myself sleeping on the deck much in future given the choice. We camped at our favourite spot on Wallaby island and were graced by the presence of Russell and Sandy the friendly wallabies that we've met before. They were very cheeky and Sean actually had to push Russell away as he had his nose in our food bag! (don't worry, we gave them plenty of treats).
Shuzzy has a hammock too and it was interesting to compare notes and first impressions. We both reckoned that an underblanket is going to be vital in cooler weather (we used our self inflating mats to insulate underneath but the wrap around nature of a hammock compresses the insulation on the sides of your sleeping bag and causes cold spots).
At the start of March I finally got my sailing rig and after fitting the thwart and mast foot to my canoe was keen to get out and try it out. I set off with my usual kitchen sink canoe camping load aboard for a two night trip. You can see my sailing rig in the blue bag lying on top.
I wanted to camp on Bucinch (a small island I've picnicked on a few times) but when I got there there was a couple already near where I wanted to set up so I paddled on to Inchcruin to another great spot I'd spotted previously. As I approached it looked deserted but as I was about to land a guy and his dog showed up and I spotted his canoe parked on the shore. I went in for a chat anyway and it turned out to be a member of the SOTP canoe forum I go on. He was just leaving but unpacked his stuff to make us a cuppa! What a nice guy! After a drink and a chat he repacked, loaded himself and his beautiful dog aboard his canoe and departed leaving me all alone.
I set up my camp and then the wind picked up so I quickly got into my drysuit and set off to try my sail out. It worked way better than I expected and this bit is in the video I posted earlier here
This is the canoe ready to go.
My next trip was to meet up with Stephen (one of the bushcrafter guys I'd met on my Loch Long trip when I returned Shewie's trivet). He contacted me to say he was heading onto the loch for a night to try out some modifications to his home-made canoe sailing set up so I decided to go too. I was at our meeting place first having sailed all the way from the car park. I dumped my bags under a tree then set off to sail back and meet Stephen. This is the video I'd already posted of my sail.
Suffice to say I was happy to push my luck a bit once I'd dropped my kit off and inevitably I ended up swimming! Still I learned a lot from that experience and once we set up camp we went back out for a further sail until the wind dropped and part of Stephen's leeboard bracket bent stopping the fun for him.
The next morning there was no wind so any thoughts we'd had about improvising a repair to Stephen's leeboard so that we could sail back were forgotten. I was happy to leave later on in case the wind picked up but Stephen decided to head off first thing to get home and start modifying his sailing rig based on what he'd learned.
The next trip was an overnight wallaby watching expedition with Val. We'd been out to see the wallabies before but Val hadn't experienced them coming right into camp. Val paddled her kayak while I took most of the luggage in my canoe.
The next day was beautiful and after breakfast we had a nice paddle back around the other side of the island.
As we paddled around the far side of the island an osprey swooped overhead and landed in a tree nearby, I've never seen an osprey before so was well chuffed!
Since then the weather's been unsettled and windy so I've been doing lots of windsurfing and also attending Shuzzy and his fiancee Jen's wedding.
I do however have a trip planned for the coming weekend.....................