Loch Lochy, Caledonian Canal
Course Northeast Speed: 6 knots
Wind: Southwest, fresh
Weather: showers, mild Sea: slight
Yesterday morning we left Crinan Canal still uncertain whether to continue north up the west coast of Scotland or make for the Caledonian Canal. In the end the latter won out, the wind was fresh and blowing in that direction and we have limited time in which to cover a lot of territory this summer so I decided that if something had to go than northern Scotland made the most sense.
Decision made, we subsequently made excellent time to Corpach, arriving at 5.45 pm, just in time to make the last entrance through the lock into the canal. This morning we were underway at 9 am, having been roused by one of the lockmaster's staff, we were tucked in behind a small Royal Navy patrol boat and negotiated 10 locks, eight of which were all in a row and were appropriately named "Neptune's Staircase". About four miles of motoring (the engine is getting a much needed workout), two swing bridges and a further two locks saw us into a different sort of Loch, Loch Lochy, it all gets rather confusing, especially as bays also get called lochs in Scotland. I suspect the Scottish are not water people, anything wet gets called a loch, "hmm, this loch tastes rather brackish." The lochs are narrow and deep with steep hills flanking their sides.
By midday we were sailing the Loch, a fresh wind behind us filling the headsail and pushing us along at an easy six knots. Now we are secured alongside a pontoon in a little place called Laggan. Tomorrow we willl get through some more canals and Loch Oich and hopefully get as far as Fort Augustus.
All is well.
Over the last several days the noisy beast that lives under the floorboards has sprung back to life. I hadn't heard from it for such a long time I thought it was sick. But now that it insists on growling for much of the day I have had to move my office into the front of the boat where it is a bit quieter and I can concentrate. Speaking of which .. Zzzzzz.
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