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  • Bluedome
    section quite gingerly carefully kicking steps and feeling very glad we had staffs with us A slip could have taken us a long way If I d had an ice axe I d have used it However these difficulties also marked our passage into the wilderness separating us from the easy valley trails and helping us shake off the world outside They warned too that however benign the climate these were real mountains and we were out here on our own Beyond the pass we undertook a high level walk above the upper Merced River basin a fine little used route known as the High Trail that undulated in and out of the forest Leaving the basin we climbed to another pass 10 600 foot Vogelsang dropped down Rafferty Creek to Tuolumne Meadows where we resupplied with food then wandered through Matterhorn Canyon and the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River before finally returning to Yosemite Valley via the last twenty or so miles of the John Muir Trail The exact route we took didn t matter though and we altered our original plans several times There are eight hundred miles of trails criss crossing the Yosemite Wilderness We covered just 130 miles of these I imagine that all of them are worth walking while the scope for cross country travel is almost infinite No the point of the trip was not to complete a certain trail or a walk from A to B but to immerse ourselves in wilderness To live for however brief a time in the present our senses attuned to the winds and the wildlife to the scolding of the squirrels the screeching of the jays the clicking of deer hooves the delicate whispering of breezes in the aspens the trickling of tiny creeks and the roar of mighty waterfalls Yes and the whine of the mosquitos the buzz of rattlesnakes and the rustle of unseen animals in the bushes at night that just might be bears And beyond the sounds of nature there lay the silence of nature a silence profound and deep Much of the time my companion Mark and I walked apart I vividly remember walking alone beside the roaring cataracts of the Tuolumne River to enter a thick grove of massive ancient conifers and feel as though I d walked into a blanket so all embracing so physical was the total silence Rock snow river lake forest a simple yet infinitely complex world a world where every piece fits together to create a perfection and beauty so far beyond the creations of humanity as to be almost inconceivable It is this mixture that I love not the trees alone or the mountain tops or the lakes but all of them in harmony And the Sierra Nevada the range John Muir called the most divinely beautiful of all the mountain chains that I have ever seen is still one of the best places to find this To be part of such wild beauty

    Original URL path: http://www.bluedome.co.uk/Trekking/bigtreks/trekyose/trekyose.html (2016-02-10)
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  • Bluedome
    to the South Rim via the North Kaibab and Bright Angel Trails both Corridor Routes After breakfasting on a litre of water and a muffin I set off down the Hermit Trail carrying three litres of liquid and feeling more nervous than I m used to at the start of a backpacking trip This felt a very strange place My previous experiences didn t give me anything I could relate to this Everything so new I can t judge it I wrote in my journal Steep switchbacks led down to tree dotted but waterless Hermit Basin where the trail levelled off The Hermit Gorge is inaccessible at this point so I followed the trail on a long traverse high on the side of the canyon through the red Supai cliffs a breathtaking walk along a series of narrow terraces Below lay the major barrier of the Redwall a very steep 500 plus foot high limestone cliff stained red by seepage from the rocks above A series of tight steep switchbacks known as the Cathedral Stairs eventually descended a break in the cliffs This descent takes you onto the Tonto Platform and into a different world So far I was very aware I was descending steep cliffs into what looked a vast but still narrow and closed in canyon Once on the Tonto Platform this impression vanished This gently sloping terrace dotted with pale green desert plants is wide enough to give a feeling of space just like being on a high mountain plateau The sense of being in a canyon disappears There are indeed cliffs all around but rather than two confining walls these make up separate mountains and ridges split by deep side valleys Whilst I knew that beyond the farthest highest tree topped cliffs lay flat woodland I couldn t see this and my belief in it was purely rational My emotions responded to the world I was in a complex exciting colourful mountain world My body however responded to the temperature Although mid October it was hot very hot I spent four days wandering along the Tonto Platform from Boucher Creek to Lonetree Canyon following its sinuous course in and out of the many side canyons camping beside the few trickling creeks in the shade of spiny Catclaw Acacia trees and thickets of Tamarisk bushes and revelling in the hot desert air and the sharp purity of the dry terrain The massive cliffs rising all around changed continually in the detail of their shape and colouring Yet in general form they were always the same and clearly part of a huge pattern Occasionally far below the winding green line of the Colorado River could be seen walled by the steep dark foreboding cliffs of the Inner Gorge There are a few breaks in this barrier and I followed one the canyon of Monument Creek down to the river where I camped on gravel banks beside the roaring surge of Granite Rapids That the river could have created the vastness of the Grand Canyon doesn t seem so unlikely when you stand and stare at the raging water From the Tonto I descended the lower part of the South Kaibab Trail one of the Corridor Routes and therefore popular with mule trains and overnight hikers descending one day and climbing out the next The trail leads to one of the only two bridges across the Colorado both of them close to the confluence with Bright Angel Creek These bridges make this such a popular spot that on the north side of the river there s a campground where I pitched my tent and a lodge with bar and dining room called Phantom Ranch There s a ranger station too and it was here that my supplies were waiting me for the second half of my walk Two days took me from Phantom Ranch up the long North Kaibab Trail to the North Rim At first the path winds through a narrow gorge called TheBox then follows Bright Angel Creek through a wide valley to Roaring Springs Canyon where it begins to climb and curve round the cliffs on narrow terraces before switchbacking steeply up to the forested rim En route a side trip leads to pretty Ribbon Falls where the lime rich waters of Ribbon Creek have built up a moss covered cone of soft travertine rock below the cascade The North Rim is little visited compared to the south and by lateOctober all the facilities have closed for the season My four nights here on two sites right on the edge of the canyon were spent alone During the days I wandered along the rim watching the canyon below and observing the wildlife such as the beautiful Kaibab Squirrel with it s bushy white tail On one day I descended the rough little used Old Bright Angel Trail and was surprised at how much bushwhacking through dense thorny bushes was needed Although most of the canyon is a desert whenever you are near water there is much plant life My last two days were spent crossing the canyon from rim to rim in dull rainy weather a sign of the winter to come On the first day I descended the 14 miles and 5 750 feet to the river then on the second the 9 miles and 5 500 feet back to the South Rim By now I felt comfortable in the canyon felt I understood what backpacking here involved even felt that I fleetingly grasped a little of the reality that is the Grand Canyon The feeling of awe hadn t dimmed though Nor many months later has it done so yet The Grand Canyon remains perhaps the most incredible place I have been One day I must return Information Getting There Phoenix is the main airport for Arizona From there Nava Hopi buses run to Flagstaff and the South Rim of the Grand Canyon When To Go Summer is hot very hot Shade temperatures at

    Original URL path: http://www.bluedome.co.uk/Trekking/bigtreks/trekgcan/trekgcan.html (2016-02-10)
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  • Bluedome
    only couple on board shared Richard had the biggest cabin in the stern to himself and Bob took the very public berth in the saloon We were up early on Sunday morning and had a greasy breakfast in a portacabin cafe next to the harbour Richard took us through a detailed safety brief on the boat and asked me to plot a course out of Plymouth Sound I poured over the charts and almanac until I was confident that I wasn t going to run us aground on my first day of the course and then we set off The photographer who we had been told was going to be busy around us all day had gone home the previous day because the weather was too grey and dull he had got all the photos he needed from the previous course as they sailed down to Plymouth so we were not needed as photo fodder after all Once clear of the Marina Richard asked us to put up the mainsail for the first time It took us a long time but we got there in the end The wind was quite strong even in the shelter of the Sound and so the real challenge came putting up the headsail Richard called constant instructions to us to pull the right piece of string loosen or tighten clamps or winch in a sheet Even though I had sailed before the array of ropes was extensive and confusing the first time no self furling sails Everything was to be done manually on this boat best way to learn I suppose Frank seemed to find himself in the bows feeding the headsail into it s runners and that started a pattern for him He was often to be found in the bows whatever the conditions perhaps it was the only way he could escape from us all We practised a few tacks in Plymouth Sound before heading out into the unsheltered sea The wind was moderately strong force 4 to 5 and there was a reasonable swell We managed to put in a reef in the mainsail and change the headsail to a smaller sail in only about an hour and a half My turning point that day was when I was asked to plot a fix and set our course to head to Salcombe I must have spent about 15 minutes below deck Big mistake I hadn t properly found my sea legs and although I am not normally affected by the sea I came back up on deck and promptly threw up over the side I was in good company though Chris had already succumbed and she felt awful for the rest of the day although her sickness was partially from the sea and partially from something she had eaten the day before as she had felt sick during the night I consoled myself with the fact that most sailors have been seasick at some stage in their careers although I did feel as if I was letting myself down early in the course In fact the sailing that day was superb Once I was back on the helm and could concentrate on the horizon I felt fine and we made very good progress eastwards along the coast towards Salcombe The conditions were a bit strong for practising manoeuvres so our main objective for the day was just to get to Salcombe I managed to plot our course into the bay without throwing up again lining up all of the right transit markers and avoiding the shallow ledge at the entrance to the bay The tide was rushing out of Salcombe bay at a great speed and Richard took the helm to guide us into a raft mooring next to Jim s boat Salcombe Bay is very beautiful It was very busy with other yachts and dozens of dingies The dinghies were finding the strong tidal current quite a challenge and I did wonder how often they got swept away The town of Salcombe nestles at the bottom of some gentle hills and was clearly a popular tourist location To judge by the number of sailing shops by the waterfront selling branded sailing clothes and shoes as well as the chandelries it was obviously well frequented by sailors as well as the tourists In some ways it reminded me of Cowes perhaps it was just the presence of the same chains of shops and the wide choice of sea food restaurants and bistros Once we had moored we packed the boat up for the night Sail cover halyards back on the right D rings topping lift tightened headsail zipped up into its bag and ropes delicately coiled into just the right pattern onto the handrail Our boat looked very tidy every night I felt I needed a shower so I followed the crew of Jim s boat to the Salcombe Yacht Club going over to the town pontoon in the harbour taxi A gentle walk up the hill to the Yacht Club afforded an excellent view back across the bay The sky was clearing and the sun tried to come out brightening up the scene at my feet The shower was much needed and I retraced my steps to join the others outside a pub for a much needed drink We ate a very disappointing meal in a second very smokey pub A pity I m sure Salcombe had better food to offer but the best places were either full or closed because it was Sunday I slept like a log that night The first day at sea had worn us all out The next day Monday we were up very early We had discussed our plans in detail in the pub and decided that we wanted to try to get back to the Solent to see the main race for the America s Cup Jubilee Regatta that was due to go past Yarmouth at about 2 30pm on the following day Tuesday This meant that we set ourselves two long days of sailing the first from Salcombe to Weymouth probably as much as 70 miles and the second from Weymouth to Yarmouth probably another 50 miles The first of those sails was at least ten hours even with the tide running with us for alot of the time so we needed an early start Monday was to be my day as skipper plotting the course and making the decisions about which sails to use As it turned out the winds dropped a little and Richard decided that the conditions were ideal to put the spinnaker sail up This was a sail I had never put up before so this was a new experience for all of us But once it was up we glided along at over seven knots Once we had cleared Start Point it was a long run across Lyme Bay As we approached Portland Bill we took the Spinnaker down and Richard made us practice some manoeuvres We put in one reef then two then took then out again Then I had to put in a reef single handed just so that I would know how to Then we did it all over again swapping around so that we all experienced different parts of reefing The tidal currents are strong around Portland Bill and we had planned to approach just before the tide changed direction so that it would help us in towards Weymouth We timed it perfectly and the current swept us around the headland and past the furious tidal race which was milling around in all directions and throwing out erratic waves and currents It was easy to see why many ships had perished in those waters There are hundreds of wrecks around Portland Bill sailors who had shown no respect for the power of the sea We arrived in Weymouth at about 8pm and moored adjacent to the town quay but six boats out from the pontoon You can always spot a sailor by the bruises on their legs in a line about six inches above their knees They have got these from climbing over dozens of hand rails to get from their boat to the shore I acquired a few in Weymouth We could see the importance of land mooring lines when we moored in Weymouth Each boat had moored slightly skew to the shore and by the time we tried to put in our ropes we had trouble finding a clear sight between the boats to the pontoon As soon as the boat was sorted we tucked into our chilli con carni which had been bubbling away in the galley as we sailed I then went on a very important mission to find more gin and tonic Sailing and G T seem to go together If you don t drink G T then there isn t much hope for you as a sailor We sat on deck putting the world to rights until quite late Weymouth very kindly sent up some fireworks late in the evening and we had a ring side view A large proportion of the Dorset population trooped home afterwards along the town quay On Tuesday morning we were up at 6 30am and I should think by the noise we made leaving that most of the rest of the harbour was awake by then as well The day was hot and the wind seemed lighter again than it was the day before Bob took a hand at some navigating but we all expressed some concern when he declared that we were approaching the Needles when in fact it was only Old Harry He went below to start plotting a new course We made good time to the Needles and Richard starting testing me on recognising navigational markers and buoys There are so many markers and buoys in the Solent that having a good understanding is crucial to safe navigation The cardinal markers and the coloured buoys pop up everywhere and entering the Solent I was able to practice spotting all sorts of different shapes colours and sounds The Needles are very impressive from the sea but also very treacherous if you approach too close The tide in the Solent is also very unforgiving and if you approach it at the wrong time it can be very hard work trying to make progress The tide was due to turn at about 3pm and we turned into the Solent at about 1 30pm timing it perfectly for tide and the America s Cup Jubilee Regatta race There were hundreds of boats out waiting for the race to pass by Some had dropped anchor and others were tacking backwards and forwards waiting for the boats to arrive We continued up the Solent to Yarmouth passing the entrance and dropped anchor ourselves just past the pier I thought I would test out my new sailing gloves on the anchor chain There was no electronic winch so we had to lower and raise the anchor manually Bob and I fed out about 16 metres of rope and chain and for about five minutes everything looked fine Then slowly we realised our scenery was changing the anchor hadn t gripped properly and we were drifting At almost exactly the same time the massive spinnaker sail of the first boat in the race appeared around the Needles and we decided to head out into the Solent for a closer look One after another the yachts surged past us To start with we thought we were sitting at the edge of the race but as the tidal currents grew stronger and the water became churned up by the number of boats out on the water the racing yachts hugged the shore line closer and closer so that some of them actually went up through the line of moored yachts outside Yarmouth harbour To stay in one position to watch we had the engine running forward steadily Occasionally a yacht would come straight for us and we had to quickly manoeuvre out of its way The boats were all large but nothing in comparison with the J boats of which there were only three taking part in the race After about an hour the first of the J boats rounded the Needles it was a magnificent sight with a huge spinnaker sail and an army of people hanging off the side or pulling on ropes Unfortunately for us the boat decided to take a more northerly course through the Solent and so we didn t get a very close view There was no way we could have caught her as she was moving through the water at a tremendous speed We did see Australia 2 at close quarters and two British crews on the new America s Cup Challenge boats We became convinced by the end of the afternoon that the boats that were sailing the fastest and most efficiently were those that were dressed in uniforms such as matching T shirts Clearly the feeling of a team spirit is helped by looking like a team After nearly two hours of watching the race I took our boat into Yarmouth and we moored on a pontoon I thought I was getting quite good at mooring by now but I knew there was still room for improvement We packed the boat up and headed for the showers Yarmouth is a very picturesque town We were all too tired to cook so managed to get a table downstairs in Salty s one of the best seafood restaurants in the Solent With our G T s cooled by some fresh ice we rounded off the evening with drinks on deck The next morning Wednesday we breakfasted ashore and reprovisioned the boat I was then tasked with plotting our course to Cowes taking into account the tidal set and drift Crossing the Solent without plotting a tidal vector can take you into dangerous areas or leave you some way from your intended destination The tide can race around the Isle of Wight at a great speed and carry you off course very easily I could see that taking the speed and direction of the tide into account was essential when plotting a course in these waters I certainly found my way around the various charts and tables by the end of the course On the way to Cowes we practised making fixes using hand held compasses we were definitely in the Solent As we approached Cowes we could see another race preparing for the off and I played dodgems with dozens of sailing and motor boats jockeying for position outside the harbour Cowes itself was packed and we didn t even attempt to stop at the marina heading past and up the river Medina a little way to refuel Another perfect mooring With full tanks we headed further up stream to the Folley Inn mooring on another pontoon The ferry man was very chatty as he took us over to the pub a large boat that had run aground a few days before had just managed to slip free on a high tide and he was very pleased to see it move Lunch but no G T I needed to keep my wits about me In the afternoon we were to practice bumps and grinds followed by a five hour night sail I was clearly feeling the pressure I left the pub early to swat up on lights on boats and marker buoys I knew Richard would test me We practised bumps and grinds all afternoon For the uninitiated that means mooring practice I practised squeezing the boat into the smallest of spaces on a pontoon and then when I had done it I did it again and again Best way to learn I would have liked a current or strong wind to practice against as well but it was a baking hot day with no wind so we couldn t arrange that The others had a go in a bigger space Chris was excellent and could have squeezed us into any space without a bump even stern up to the pontoon Then we practised some rope tricks We had been tying ourselves in knots all week perfecting the bowline clove hitch or sheet bend so now we tried some others including throwing ropes and creating lassos to catch buoys Dinner was early and eaten on board We set off for our night sail at 8 30pm kitted up in our life jackets and night eyes I had written out our course for reference identifying the main marker buoys and lights to look out for to take us to the Hamble We left the pontoon and put up the mainsail in about four minutes flat including mooring lines coiled fenders stowed we were getting good Cowes was not quite as busy as we left and we headed off into the darkness Actually it wasn t dark at all There were pinpricks of lights all over the place On shore the buildings were lit up some of the big yachts were lit up like Christmas trees and the sky was clear so we could see the moon and the stars Trying to spot the right marker buoy in that backdrop wasn t easy but the course I set took us straight to the right marker buoy and we continued on towards Hamble As we came into Southampton Water Richard announced that he was going to set me a task to blind navigate our way into the Hamble I was not to use the GPS system and I couldn t see where we were going We started on the west side of Southampton Water I sat below at the nav table and my instructions were relayed to the helmsman Chris I gave her a course and she followed it until the depth sounder started to get shallower When it reached 1 2m we slowly

    Original URL path: http://www.bluedome.co.uk/WaterSports/DaySkipper/index.html (2016-02-10)
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  • Kite Surfing in Scotland and BKSA information
    information The beaches are huge and empty the sun shines and the wind is almost perfect what are you waiting for The following information is from the BKSA website full contact details are at the foot of this article Safety First Be Safe wear a helmet Kite surfing is an extreme sport and is therefore potentially dangerous to both the Kite Surfer and others The BKSA encourages responsible members Code of Conduct Many people use the beaches and water around Britain for a variety of activities and kitesurfing a k a kiteboarding can be potentially hazardous unless certain precautions have been taken This voluntary Code of Conduct has been developed in association with the Exmouth Kite Surfing Club and is based on common sense and co operation Beach Management Flag System supplied by Hayling Island Kitesurfing Assocation Kitesurfing must never be attempted unless you are a competent swimmer hold third party insurance and have undertaken proper lessons from a BKSA IKO qualified instructor Kitesurfing Road Rules Be sure that you can handle the prevailing weather conditions and never sail in offshore winds If in doubt don t go out The upwind rider gives way to the downwind rider The rider on the port tack gives way the rider on starboard tack Kitesurfers using the seafront should give way to other water users and retreat to a safe zone outside of the navigational channel when other craft approach The seafront can get exceptionally busy both on the beach and in the water No matter how competent you are or good the conditions look never risk the safety of others If in doubt don t go out Always maintain a 50 metre downwind safety zone between yourself and other craft In the event of coming into conflict with other water users stabilise your kite at 12 o clock Top of the wind window Never kitesurf within 50 metres upwind of any moored vessel Never kitesurf in or near to the bathing areas and swimmers buoys and boat moorings Never practice jumping on land or close to the beach When returning to the beach give way to riders who are launching General Safety Guidelines The BKSA very strongly recommend that a helmet or quality head protector is worn at all times while kite surfing Check the local weather conditions before riding and ensure you fully understand the tidal currents and how they might affect the riding area The currents off many British seafronts can be more like a fast flowing river and are potentially dangerous If you lose your kite or board whilst on the water always report you are safe to the rescue services so they do not waste time and money looking for you It is recommended that you write your name address and contact number on all your equipment Always keep your lines away from people animals and craft on land or water Do not leave your equipment unattended on the beach and be polite to other beach users Always

    Original URL path: http://www.bluedome.co.uk/windandsurf/index.html (2016-02-10)
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  • Bluedome - Costa Brava watersports kayaking sailing kite surfing wind surfing
    culinary and cultural heritage sites Empúries We travelled from Heathrow to Barcelona but there are many other low cost air travel options Flights from the UK also go to Girona and offer a shorter transfer to the northern parts of the Costa Brava The roads in June are quiet once you get away from the rush of cars around Barcelona The motorways are well built and are all toll roads many Catalunians object to them because the tolls that are paid go to the central government and not to the regional administration As such the locals try to avoid the toll roads thereby reducing the volume of traffic Cheap car hire is widely available especially in low season We had the chance to try a Catalunian campsite for the first time on this trip and found it to be a very relaxing few days The object was to spend two days with the PWA World Windsurfing Championship who were based at La Ballena Alegre 2 The tour was using the campsite as a base and the competition was run on the beautiful beach less than a few metres from the nearest tent or bungalow Facilities are very good and the site offers everything you need to keep yourself occupied and fed The PWA Wind surfers loved the place because it had so much to do away from the events themselves Sadly the day that was selected for a full on session watching and photographing the heats we had no wind On a coast where you can almost set your watch to the rise of the thermic winds we managed to pick a day when nothing blew The manager at the Club Mistral windsurfing centre was very sure that we would not see a windsurfer so we decided to just relax

    Original URL path: http://www.bluedome.co.uk/costabrava/index.html (2016-02-10)
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  • Bluedome
    Reflex aground Things to do while aground Clipper gives a TV interview Race Update Snowdon First Leg Times and Positions Race Update Swellies 16 55 Charter leads the field first through the Swellies Simply Red second through after a sticky time Charter Continuum first to Whitehaven Thunderchild beats the light winds to be second boat to Whitehaven 14 30 Charter Continuum moves to the sea lock for a quick getaway at high tide 15 30 Bikes away to Ennerdale Midstream s runners in Ennerdale Simply Red s doctors enjoy the hills Race Update Scafell Tuesday 10 30 Three Peaks Out Takes a behind the scenes look Second Leg Times and Positions Tales from the sea Race Report 13 00 28th The Scars of Scafell Race Report Clipper leaves for Fort William Hustlers runners in Ennerdale Chic Nic take in their last run Charter Continuum still leads 29th 13 00 Thundachild four miles behind 29th 13 50 Rowing to Scotland Luing Report King of the Mountains Current Positions The three leaders at the Corran Narrows Charter Continuum Arrives first 00 03 Thundachild Arrives 00 52 Leopard Clipper Arrives 01 13 Mojo Arrives and more runners head for Ben Nevis Charter Continuum

    Original URL path: http://www.bluedome.co.uk/threepeaks2000/reports/raceindex.html (2016-02-10)
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  • Bluedome - Three Peaks 2002 index
    William in severe weather conditions The words and pictures will give you an insight into this great adventure race we hope you enjoy the story of the race Barmouth Friday Evening 14th June Barmouth Saturday Morning 15th June Start Report 1 Barmouth Saturday Midday 15th June Start Report 2 Barmouth Saturday Midday 15th June Caernarfon Report 1 Saturday Evening 15th June Caernarfon Report 2 Saturday Evening 15th June Robs Caernarfon Report Sunday Morning 16th June The Swellies Sunday Morning 16th June Swellies and Snowdon report plus more Swellies images Sunday Midday 16th June Whitehaven Sunday Evening 16th June Last minute escape for Lightning Reflex Whitehaven Sunday Evening 16th June More Teams Arrive Whitehaven Sunday Evening 16th June Last one in before Midnight Whitehaven Sunday Evening 16th June A word with Geoff West Ennerdale Moday Morning 17th June Runners and Riders in Ennerdale Ennerdale Monday Morning 17th June More pictures from the teams in Ennerdale Scafell 17th June Mondays Mountain Scafell Report Fort William Monday Night 17th June Lightning Reflex reaches Fort William T he Winners Are In Tuesday Morning 18th June Lightning Reflex runners back from Ben Nevis Caol Ila arrive Tuesday Afternoon 18th June and go for the Tilman

    Original URL path: http://www.bluedome.co.uk/threepeaks2002/index.html (2016-02-10)
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  • Bluedome
    satisfy the empire s equally voracious appetite for wool Highlanders were herded ahead of the incoming sheep to the coastal fringes where they were left to scratch a living from smaller and less productive crofts Many were encouraged to leave altogether and spilled onto ships bound for Canada and North America Thus began the Scot s influence in North America and many of these exiled Scotsmen became Voyageurs recruited by the two great trading companies The Hudson s Bay and The North West Between them these two rivals who later merged spread their influence and domain over an area equivalent to 1 12 of the earth s land surface in order to satisfy the developed world s insatiable demand for furs The Scots historian James Hunter in his books about the Scot s influence in North America draws many parallels between the highland clearances and the persecution of the First Nation Peoples of North America It is sad to reflect that in many cases the same Scots who were themselves persecuted and driven from their ancestral lands by the improvers became responsible for persecution and banishment of American First Nation Peoples onto reservations many of which exhibited the same degree of inadequacy to sustain a population as those crofts on the Scottish coastal fringes to which the highlanders had been banished In bringing the Great Trade Canoes to Scotland there is a sense of completing an historical loop It seems fitting to be using replicas of the Voyageur s canoes as the vehicle for our explorations of those places which many of the Voyageurs would once have called home During our first season we have travelled on Loch Shiel and into Moidart that most beautiful and secluded corner of the highlands where reminders of Charles II and old clan conflicts

    Original URL path: http://www.bluedome.co.uk/WaterSports/voyaguers/voyageurs.html (2016-02-10)
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