Caledonion Canal - Dochgarroch

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May 18th 2015
Published: May 31st 2015
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Inverness to Dochgarroch – 6.5nm

Entered the Caledonion Canal today – what a moment that was!! As we came to the entrance lock, we noticed there were people there with camera's and some were taking pictures of us. I thought that maybe this was an organised thing where you could buy pictures of your boat at the beginning and then maybe the end of the cruise....but no...shortly after, we found out the the tall ship “The Flying Dutchman” was also coming through the locks. As it was, we were delayed in the first lock for an hour as the swing bridge just up a little bit further couldn't open due to some problems with the trains. So the Flying Dutchman was held up outside the lock and we were stuck inside. Eventually we were let through and passed through the bridge...and another lock.

Just up a bit further was another swing bridge, but due to the delay, but the time we got up here, it was closed for the lunchtime peak hour traffic. So we just tied up to a jetty and had our own lunch. Soon after....the Flying Dutchman came up next to us..and headed for the bridge. She went through first and then into the first of 4 locks. We were told on the radio that we would also fit in the lock with her.

Going through the locks was an amazing experience. In the first lock, both Phil and I were on board controlling the lines as the water poured in. When we were level with the land, I had to hop ashore and 'walk' the fward line whilst a lock-keeper brought the stern. Phil was motoring the boat so we didn't actually have to pull it through. We walked it up and into the next lock. We did this through the 4 locks. It took about an hour to get through the whole system. The lock-keeper was telling me that we were raised up 9.8 meters and about 1.9 million litres of water was used each time. All the time we were in the company of The Flying Dutchman!!

So, just a short trip up the canal today to a place called Dochgarroch.

This was a lovely little place to stop. We were a bit later than originally expected, so just had a short walk around the place before retiring to the cockpit. Few showers today and then sunshine, so not too bad with the weather. Don't think we're going to get full sunny days for a week or so now.

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