West Coast here we come!

Sat 14 May 2016 19:46

JPEG image

View as we sailed down Loch Linnhe, Ben Nevis the big one on the right.

Saturday morning, waiting to go through final 3 locks and out to sea. This morning we have woken to clear blues skies again, but, for the first time in what seems like weeks, it is still.
That pesky north-easterly, with it's bitter, cutting chill has eased off and we have a beautiful summer's day.
We've really enjoyed our week in The Canal, stunning scenery, a great base to explore from, and a welcome change from the tides and waves of the open sea, and, every single person we've met have been thoroughly charming, helpful and laid-back.
Yesterday after Joe left, we got out the Brompton bikes, Chris finished repairing a puncture, (bit tricky, lot of cussing,and we headed off to cycle along Glen Nevis. I am just beginning to get the hang of some of this terminology, a ben is a mountain, a glen a valley, a sound is a sea passage between land masses, a loch is a watery dead-end or lake and a firth an estuary, (very) roughly speaking.
Glen Nevis is spectacular, as we cycled out of Fort William, the road was quite busy, we had a great view of Ben Nevis but weren't expecting much more. As the road wound it's way, it got narrower and prettier until we entered the Glen Nevis estate, where it became single track, we seemed to be stopping every 200 metres to admire the view, whether it be mountains, waterfalls, or to catch our breathe, it was quite hilly. We reached the end of the road, parked our bikes and started along the footpath which promised spectacular views of the cascading torrent of An Steall, a waterfall. It also warned that the path was "uneven, rocky and slippery with a steep drop to one side, fatal accidents have occurred here". The Scots don't mince their words! We were wearing sandals, so we reluctantly returned to our bikes and home to Bliss. This is top of the list of things we will definitely return to do.
Saturday afternoon. The lull was lovely while it lasted! We had a gorgeous sail (motor) down Loch Linnhe, and were tempted into Loch Leven, which looked an idyllic spot to anchor; a tranquil, sheltered bay. First we had to pass under a bridge, it had minimum 16 metres clearance. Chris has always said that he reckoned we needed 14 metres (air-draught) although he had never been able to confirm that! It was just before high tide, and the distorted perspective you get from the deck led to a very tense few minutes! I'm pleased to confirm that we are definitely under 16 metres, but not by much! Unfortunately we had 2 failed attempts to anchor and couldn't get her to hold in kelp so we retraced our ?steps, back under bridge, and continued our original plan of a couple of nights in Oban. We are real novices with the anchor, we're going to have to work on that to enjoy the delights of some of the more isolated overnight stops.