After a good nights sleep I left early to try and catch a brief window of favourable wind. The weather has become absolutely everything in Scotland, I've been getting my forecasts via VHF as the mobile signal is weak, and at some point in every forecast for the last four days there has been a severe gale 9 occuring at sometime. I'm finding it a bit like playing chicken in deciding whether to go or not, as there are periods of relative calm, like this morning, before it unleashes again. You've just got to make sure you're hiding when it arrives.

I left fallen rocks and headed out accross the Firth of Bute towards Loch Fyne. I'd been sensibly advised to look at using the Lochs at Tarbut, to avoid the Locks on the Crinan, but the Westerly gale forecast would have meant punching hard into it, so I carried on all the way up the Loch to the Crinan.

I was nice to get back onto the canals, not just to paddle, but more because they are really social. Having had days of crossings and isolated coastlines, it was nice to chat people at the locks about the trip etc.

I decided to stop at a hotel in Cairnbaan. The trip has been pretty tiring on my kit, so I needed an opportunity to try and sort it. So far the tent's failed, my dry trousers have become damp trousers, and the sleeping bag could do wth a couple of hours on a radiator. This seemed enough of an excuse for a spot of credit card camping.

Tomorrow looks unlikely to be paddleable. The prospect of heading out towards the Gulf of Corryvreken on an ebbing tide in a SW 8, is a game of chicken that the weather will win...