Scotland 2017 - Day 18
Caledonian Canal Cruising - Urquhart Bay, Loch Ness and back to the Caley Cruiser marina
. This was our last day of living and cruising on our own floating motel. The boat had been a comfortable home for a week, a little tight in some spaces but well appointed. It was easy to drive and steer, although with a shallow draught and no keel it tended to wander if you did not concentrate on steering. The speed limit on the canal section was 6 mph (10 km/h) and we could speed up to about 8-9 mph (12 km/h) on the lochs. We mostly chose to travel more slowly as we had plenty of time and could take in the scenery. We travelled the remainder of Lock Ness to the appropriately named Lochend and then looked out for the red and green buoys that marked the channel. That took us into Loch Doufour and on to Dochgarroch Lock. Here we had to wait until the lock keeper had finished his lunch at 1400 before he opened the gates and in we went. This was our last lock. Then we approached the Tomnahurick Swing Bridge. It was just before 3pm so the keeper waited a while before opening the bridge, cutting off all traffic on the A82. Before long we were back at Caley Cruisers and reversing out boat into its berth. They topped up the diesel tank - 95 litres, 2 litres short of their stated "average" of 97 litres for the Eriskay class of boat. We were able to stay on the boat overnight, ready to depart Inverness in the morning.
Was it worth the cost and time? Absolutely!! There is no other way to see all of the lochs in the Great Glen, to take your time and to do it all at your own pace and choosing.
Loch Ness in the sunshine
Our last morning and we awoke to bright sunshine and scattered cloud. How often does that happen! We were not in a hurry so had a leisurely breakfast and watched the ducks swimming around the marina. Mid-morning we departed and motored across to Urquhart Castle, which looked so different in the sun. Then we turned north-east and travelled slowly along the Loch Ness shoreline. We passed the Clansman Hotel where we had dropped off the half-drowned canoests and then on to Lochend, into the canal, through Lochdarrock Lock, under the Tomnahurrick Swing Bridge and back to Caley Cruisers.
Last updated: 08/02/2018