Saturday 24 September 2016
Inspired by the Dear Frankie film featured on the blog last week I decided to go kayaking in the Firth of Clyde around the Lunderston Bay/ Gourock and Cloch Point Lighthouse area. This is a photograph of the Cloch Lighthouse with the mountainous island of Arran in the background. Although in the morning it was calm enough for kayaking near the shoreline the wind picked up in the early afternoon, creating choppy conditions so I stayed local and kept well back from the shipping lanes. I only had a few hours paddling then it got too rough so I turned back to be on the safe side when the waves increased in size and the photos are a mixture of ones taken on the water then later on dry land. As I expected, being a wide open body of water it's not that sheltered for kayaks but I struck it lucky once again with a wide range of shipping passing down the River Clyde then into the largest and most complex enclosed estuary anywhere in the British Isles, which is the Firth Of Clyde.
I will go back to Gourock for day trips but it just means I'll have to find somewhere else to park, away from the shops and that seafront car park and arrive early elsewhere to get a spot. I can't understand why they changed a perfectly good system but they obviously have their reasons. Just makes it more inconvenient for me when planing trips from there and it speaks for itself that the 3 hour car park section was almost empty when I arrived with a few drivers entering, reading the rules, then leaving again whereas the unlimited section was packed solid with no spaces available. In effect what they've done is half the car park park size for day trippers. Seems like madness to me but maybe I'm wrong. I know councils countrywide are getting squeezed tight and have to find cash somewhere but as usual it's the ordinary punters who pay for it all.
Great video in this link showing the true size of this beast. Here's me thinking it was just one guy with a ladder and a spray can :o)
On a different topic here's an excellent short video of someone lucky enough to capture the big three on Suilven, a spectacular mountain in the far north of Scotland. A nice first sunrise, a sunset, then some faint Aurora Borealis then an absolutely stunning west coast second sunrise of the type I know and love but doesn't happen very often with this quality.This is a brilliant video and well worth watching until the end in full screen. The best big three combination I've seen in Scotland.
Saturday 17 September 2016
At Alan's suggestion we decided to go to Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park in Inverclyde, above Greenock, to walk 'The Cut', a flat balcony trail offering magnificent views over the sparkling Firth of Clyde. Above is a photograph of the soaring Victoria Tower, a small part of the larger municipal building underneath, and at a height of 245 feet, 75 metres tall, slightly higher than the tower on Glasgow City Chambers, both buildings completed within two years of each other in the late 1880s. As the largest of the three Inverclyde seaside towns clustered together in this vicinity, consisting of Gourock, Greenock and Port Glasgow it was a very wealthy place once as seen in it's wonderful architecture, church spires, and grand mansions rising up the hillsides from the coastline.
Obviously, New England is already taken but 'Albion' has also been suggested as a more forward thinking, less patriotic, future name for the country instead of Bonnie Scotland to reflect the recent demographic spread more accurately. New Poland also proved a popular choice and came in second.
Here's another excellent film about a young deaf boy and his mother set in Gourock and filmed around the town and up on The Cut. Easily as good as Local Hero, The Full Monty, or Gregory's Girl but less well known. It gets a score of 70 to 90 out of 100 in most film reviews I've seen and is beautifully filmed and acted. A modern and clever fairy-tale of sorts and well worth watching. P.S. the mother is English of course (damn, they get everywhere) but it's still a great enjoyable film about childhood :o)
Friday 9 September 2016
This is a gallery of photos taken over the summer months during several cycle tours around the Glasgow area and along the River Clyde. One thing about any large river flowing through a city port is that you are always likely to see ships and other river traffic on it, even though in Glasgow's case it's a tiny fraction of the water traffic that used to pass up and down the river in its prime. (Think a quiet minor road compared to a motorway at rush hour for a comparison)
Even with that being the case I was excited to see this large ship berthed at Govan Docks as it's one of the biggest to travel this far up the river in recent years. According to AIS shipfinder, a really useful free site for identifying international shipping worldwide and where they are in the world in current time. It's the AURILIA, a 9 year old bulk carrier weighting in around 40,000 tons and a mighty 225 metres or 738 feet in length with a bridge taller than the height of a ten storey building.. or love song... and if you placed it in a standing position, on its propellers, it would almost reach the summit of Edinburgh's mountain Arthur's Seat which is 822 feet high- but that's the mountain's height from sea level so there's not much in it at all.
In a short run of lesser known films I thought I'd highlight great original movies that, unlike many mediocre blockbusters which seem to be on all the time,every year, rarely get a screening but are genuine classics and well worth a watch. This first one is quite brutal and not for everyone as it shows the dark side of the American dream but it made an international star out of Jennifer Lawrence and it is a stunning tour de force. Great acting- great story. Every second tense and thrilling from start to finish.
Saturday 3 September 2016
Another 5:00am rise in Glasgow at the invitation of Graeme, David and Alex to bag Beinn Mheadhoin, a remote Graham across the Corran ferry and not the higher more well known one in the Cairngorms. We have been picking off Corbetts, Grahams and Donalds over the past few years in Ardgour, Sunart and Moidart but this was our first trip, or certainly mine, into the region known as Kingairloch. Beinn Dorain, 1076 metres, above, taken from Graeme's car.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glensanda. Full info on the area including this bizarre snippet about stags, in here.
In past years of youth I did a lot of rock climbing on the Buachaille Etive Mor as it's a hot spot among climbers for steep, highly exposed routes at all levels of difficulty. A great video here giving a real feel of this and also the camaraderie of climbing together as a close knit team. Worth a watch in full screen.