Argyll and Bute sea kayak trail completed

The Argyll Sea Kayak Trail runs from Ganavan, near Oban, to Helensburgh, with stopping points at Arduaine, Crinan, Ardrishaig, Tarbert, Buttock Point on Bute, Toward Castle and Dunoon.
The Argyll Sea Kayak Trail runs from Ganavan, near Oban, to Helensburgh, with stopping points at Arduaine, Crinan, Ardrishaig, Tarbert, Buttock Point on Bute, Toward Castle and Dunoon.

A team of sea kayakers is to paddle 175 kilometres from Ganavan to Helensburgh, via the Kyles of Bute, to mark the completion of the Argyll Sea Kayak Trail.

The trail will be officially launched in Greenock on Friday, July 25, at a reception for participants in the following day’s Commonwealth Flotilla.

The trail comprises nine launch sites across the Argyll and Bute area, including one near Buttock Point, the northernmost tip of Bute, which is only accessible by sea or on foot.

The relay team of kayakers will set off from Ganavan, near Oban, on Monday, July 21, carrying a baton along the length of the trail and stopping at various locations along the way to collect a ‘cache’ produced by local artists.

The baton and the items collected at each stop will then be taken from Helensburgh to Greenock, where Argyll and Bute provost and Bute councillor Len Scoullar will officially launch the trail.

The following day the members of the relay team will board the Clyde Clipper catamaran and join the Commonwealth Flotilla as it sails up the Clyde to Glasgow.

The Argyll Sea Kayak Trail, costing around £300,000, has been funded by the Coastal Communities Fund, Argyll and the Isles LEADER programme and Argyll and Bute Council.

The Buttock Point landing site - a wild camping spot with a fire pit and a composting toilet - has been built on land leased from Bute Community Land Company, owners of the community forest which covers much of the north end of the island.

The trail has been delivered jointly by the council and the Oban-based social enterprise Stramash.

The relay will not land at Buttock Point due to the limited access available to the site, though Dave McBride from ‘Kayak Majik’ will meet up with a support team in the Kyles of Bute at around 5.30pm on July 23 for a brief break on the 42km stretch from Tarbert to Toward.

The kayak trail relay details are as follows.

July 21, 10am-5pm from Ganavan to Arduaine (undertaken by Rob Brown and three apprentices from Stramash)

July 22, 11.30am-4.30pm from Arduaine to the Crinan Canal (Dave Bleazard, chairman of the Oban Canoe Club, and his wife June)

July 22, 5-8.30pm from Crinan to Ardrishaig via the Crinan Canal (Jolyon Gritten and members of the Mid Argyll Watersports Club

July 23, 7.30-11.30am from Ardrishaig to Tarbert (Andy Craven from Lochgair and colleagues)

July 23, 12.30-8.30pm from Tarbert to Toward, with a short pause in the Kyles at around 5.30pm (Dave McBride, Kayak Majik)

July 24, 10am-1pm from Toward to Dunoon (Phil Keetly from Sea Kayak Argyll)

July 24, 2-5pm from Dunoon to Helensburgh (Phil Keetly from Sea Kayak Argyll)