Highlands & Islands

Traffic jams no more: Lochaber man who paddles to work

Paddle boarder Carl Habrel Image copyright Peter Jolly Northpix

Carl Habrel loves his commute to work.

The 48-year-old paddle boards from his home in Banavie to his work in Fort William.

Paddle boarder Carl Habrel Image copyright Peter Jolly Northpix

The operations manager for the School of Adventure Studies at West Highland College UHI takes less than an hour to make the journey on Loch Linnhe.

He says: "I have been a paddle boarder for about two years and try to board into work about twice or three times a week if conditions allow.

"Most days it takes about 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the wind and tide.

Paddle boarder Carl Habrel Image copyright Peter Jolly Northpix

"I enjoy the peace and tranquillity of connecting with nature before heading to my desk for the day.

"And the wind down after work when heading back home again. It also adds a fitness dimension to the day."

Paddle boarder Carl Habrel Image copyright Peter Jolly Northpix

But the outdoor pursuits professional says he is mindful of being safe on the water.

"I take spare clothes and sometimes wear a wetsuit when the water is cold in the winter and spring," he says.

"I also take a waterproof mobile and a VHF. The safety precautions are in the knowledge beforehand of the weather, tides and particularly the wind strength and direction."

He adds: "I tend to board in very calm conditions near to the shoreline where I am very unlikely to fall in."

Paddle boarder Carl Habrel Image copyright Peter Jolly Northpix

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