We Can Do ‘By Canoe’

And we did – but not intentionally!  As part of the feasibility work we were carrying out on behalf of Oban based social enterprise Stramash, we arranged to meet their Chief Exec Niall Urquhart on the small island of Kerrera. Stramash have secured a long term lease on the island’s old primary school and are interested in developing it as a small residential centre to support the personal development work they do with vulnerable young people.

Kerrera sits just off Oban only 5 minutes ferry trip from the mainland but has remote wild beauty about it and would be a great place for Stramash to carry out some of its activities. We arrived, we spotted our first daffodils, we saw the school and became engrossed in enthusiastic discussion with Niall about the potential not only for the old school but also for the island to offer breathing space and inspiration for young people. There was food for thought aplenty thanks not only to what we saw but also to Niall’s preparation of a huge packed lunch, rolls, crisps, biscuits and more biscuits!Stephen and Christine Kerrera

Ninety minutes later but three minutes too late, we realized that we had missed the 2pm ferry back to the mainland and we knew that the ferryman was not a man for turning. We had had a meeting planned with West Highland Housing Association but were already thinking up our excuses when Niall came up with a solution: he would hail his chief instructor to bring canoes and we could canoe back! ‘No way’ said Stephen, a reluctant waterman, ‘Way’ said Christine a happy boater!

In the event, Stephen rose to the challenge and in calm waters on a soft sunny afternoon, under the guidance of Stramash, we paddled two rafted canoes back across the Sound of Kerrera and made our meeting with Lesley at West Highland Housing Association just in time for tea – and more  biscuits!

Filed Under: CLS, Project Development

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