57:29.44N 04:15.84W - Clachnaharry Sea Lock

Madeleine and Martin
Wed 23 May 2012 19:49
It was indeed a wet start to the Caledonian Canal! We dragged ourselves away from the suitably named “Corpack Basin”on Monday 14th and the crew were at action stations immediately. Eight locks of the Neptune’s staircase had the docking skills honed, much assisted by Isaac – “Gate Open!” Through the Moy swing bridge and onto Gairlochy under the watchful eye of Ben Nevis and brothers at all times. Rachel’s birthday on Tuesday saw the party hot foot for the fairly glen and back for kippers and chocolate cake. On in the afternoon through Lock Locky and thence to Lagan Locks – the summit accomplished with a deft rope throw from Rachel, Isaac in the other hand! Wednesday through the narrows of Loch Oick stopping at Abercalder for a leisurely tow path stroll. And so to Fort Augustus, panned by the critics but not that bad. A slow day going nowhere on rainy Thursday except out to lunch in Fort Augustus. Friday, down the FA staircase with crewman Tom running the show from the canal side and bringing the papers! As any old lag will tell you, locking down is much easier than locking up. Out into Loch Ness and a bracing sail to Drumnadrochit for the lunch stop. Onto Dochgaroch lock (try saying that three times on the RT) in a  freezing north easterly with driving rain – and then the lock mistress, bless her, changed her mind at the last moment; fenders, skirt and mooring ropes off the port side and onto starboard. Crew close to mutiny. Isaac unmoved, “Gate Open!” Saturday was a late start with an easy run with the river Ness alongside or rather below side, through the Tomnahurich bridge, down the Muirtown locks and into the Seaport Marina –“not much rain today”. Sunday started well with sunshine and a meal out in Inverness but T,R and I suffered a five hour delay at Inverness Airport arriving home eventually at 0100 Monday!. A fine trip enjoyed by one and all despite the mixed weather. Happy memories of fabulous scenery, friendly lock keepers and bystanders, even the atmospheric rain clouds!  Able Seaman Isaac stole the show and is sadly missed – as are his Mum and Dad of course.