Scotland 2017 - Day 16
Caledonian Canal Cruising - Banavie to Invergarry Castle
Wednesday dawned another grey overcast day, but there were some small patches of blue sky. We topped up the water in the tanks, checked the oil and water in the diesel engine and started our return trip back along the Caledonian canal. We motored slowly, there was no need to hurry. We stopped just after the laggan Locks for lunch, which was just as well as the relief lock keeper then told us he was actually the Laggan Swing Bridge operator and he wold not be opening the bridge until after 1400. That gave us time to drift slowly down Laggan Avenue, through the bridge and out onto Loch Oich. We counted off the red and green channel markers, swung left after the third red one and tied up at Invergarry Castle, ready to stay there for the night.
Banavie, Loch Lochy to Laggan Locks
We left Banavie, Neptune's Staircase and Fort William behind and headed north-east along the canal. The Moy Swing Bridge was open so we continued on to Gairlochy Lock. The lock gates were closed so I moored at the pontoon and walked along to see the keeper. "Would you like to come up, I'll just open the gates" as he leant over and pushed the lever to start emptying the lock chamber. A few minutes later the gates opened and we motored in.
Laggan Locks and Laggan Avenue
After transiting the loch we moored at the same pontoon we had used to weather Cyclone Ophelia. This time the weather was much nicer, no wind and a few gaps in the clouds (for a short while). We knew the next obstacle, Laggan Swing Bridge would not open before 1400 so we motored very slowly down Laggan Avenue in the hope of getting a good view, and good photos of the trees and the reflections. This was partially successful but occasional wind gusts ruffled the water. Around the corner was the swing bridge and as we approached all the traffic on the A82 was stopped while the bridge opened for us. After the bridge the canal opens into Loch Oich. This loch is quite small, narrow and dotted with islands and shallows. The channel is marked with red and green buoys. After the third red buoy we swung left into the pontoon at Invergarry Castle.
Invergarry Castle is one of many ruined castles in Scotland. Invergarry was destroyed by Oliver Cromwell's men, rebuilt and later captured and partially blown up by the English Army after Bonnie Prince Charles was defeated at Culloden. While we walked up to visit the ruin, the deer on the hills across the loch could be seen and heard. There were four or five stags dotted around the hills that kept up their roaring until well after dark.
Last updated: 07/02/2018