Scotland 2017 - Day 13

Caledonian Canal Cruising - Loch Ness, Fort Augustus to Kytra Lock


After the excitement of the previous day of rough seas and high-sea rescues on Loch Ness, we were looking for a quieter day. We left Urquhart Bay at about 0930 but Loch Ness was still very rough, so we ploughed our way out past the ruins of Urquhart Castle and through the waves to the tranquility of Port Augustus. Here the Caledonian Canal joins Loch Ness to Loch Oich along a stretch of quiet water. Port Augustus is a busy place with a flight of five locks to transit through. Thre was a crowd of boats ahead of us so we had to wait for them to ascend and for a crowd to descend (and for the lock keeper to have his lunch break) before it was our turn. By the time we had passed through the locks it was late afternoon so we went on a short distance and stopped at the isolated Kytra Lock for the night.

Urquhart Bay to Port Augustus

We motored through the choppy waves along Loch Ness for about an hour, reaching Port Augustus at about 1230. We were too late for the locking before lunch and the next locking was not until 1530. Time for a leisurely lunch and a walk around the locks. Port Augustus appears to be the stopping point for numerous coach tours of Scotland. There were a dozen small tur coaches stopped alongside the canal and six or more large coaches a block away. Everybody then walked along the short towpath from the bridge in the middle of the village to the mouth of the canal to take photos of Loch Ness. An annoying number of these tourists chose to walk along the floating moorings that our cruiser was tied up to, bouncing the boats around and peering into the windows like watching animals in a zoo. They appeared to be surprised to see people inside...

While waiting our turn to climb the flight of five locks we could watch other vessels going up and down.

Urquhart Castle ruins in the morning gloom.
Heading south on a rough Loch Ness we passed Foyers Power Station. .
More mad idiots rowing ona very rough loch.
Yet another rowing boat.
Looking ahead through the wind and rough water.
Nearing the southern end of Loch Ness.
Looking back to the northeast, the lake was still very rough.
Our cruiser safely moored at Fort Augustus.
Looking up the canal towards the locks.
Loch Ness.
Another view, with sign.
The canal system is well signposted.
But we had to wat nearly 3 hours to get through the locks.
The Fort Augustus flight of locks.
First there is a swing bridge...
Then five lock chambers.
There is the Jacobite Tour Ship again...
The lower lock gate open...
then partly closed...
And finally shut.

On to Kytra Loch

After transiting the five lochs we motored along a quiet section of the canal to the foot of Kytra Lock. It was now after 1700 and the lock keeper had gone off duty. We moored here for the night.

Another image of Nessie.
Now it is our turn....
We squeezed in with 5 other boats.
The swing bridge closed behind us and then we had to get out and "walk" out cruiser up the five locks - hence no photos!
In convey as we exited the top lock.
Views along the canal as we approached Kytra Lock for the night.
Moored at Kytra for the night.
Kytra Lock full of water.
The old lock keeper's house
And the other house
The chamber full of floating leaves.
Boats moored at the top of the lock.


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Last updated: 03/01/2018