Scotland 2017 - Day 15

Caledonian Canal Cruising - Laggan Lock to Banavie (Fort William)


Cyclone Ophelia hit in force at about 0230 and blew us around until about 0500 when the wind died and we could get some undisturbed sleep. After breakfast I wandered up to talk to the lock keeper. "Whenever you are ready, let me know. Its all safe to continue." So we and two other boats entered the lock chamber and started the downhill drive to Banavie at Fort William.

Laggan Lock to Banavie

Lock Lochy was surprisingly calm after the storm and by the time we had reached the other end the waves had gone. We arrived at the end of the canal, at the top of Neptune's Staircase, at about 1345. This was as far along the Caledonian Canal we were allowed to travel. We had lunch onboard and then walked down the flight of eight locks and found the fishing boat that had sped past us earlier in the day. We watched it exit the bottom lock and wait while the rail and road bridges were closed to traffic so he could proceed. We stayed the night tied up at Banavie, dining at the Moorings Bistro situated along side the canal.

Following the red and green buoys to get into Loch Lochy.
Views of the Highlands from Loch Lochy.
A yacht under motor in a lovely light breeze - isn't that cheating?
Looking back towards Laggan Lock.
We we came from...
And where we are heading.
Salmon fish farm.
The Gairlochy lock keeper.
The canal south of Gairlochy.
The large fishing vessel crept up behind us and passed in a rush.
Moored at Banavie, just above Neptune's Staircase.

Neptune's Staircase

The flight of eight locks at Banavie are popularly known as Neptune's Staircase. They are a wonderful example of Telford's engineering genius.

That's why he was rushing - to meet the lock time.
The fishing boat in the lowest lock chamber.
The road bridge, about to swing open for the fishermen.
The rail bridge had already opened.
The gate came down, the bridge opened and....
the fishing boat sailed through the road...
through the rail....
and off into Loch Linnhe and the open sea.
THAT tourist boat, again!
Crowded moorings at the top of Banavie.


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Last updated: 07/02/2018