View of Loch Ness looking south west towards Fort Augustus
Monday 16 July Up the locks at Fort Augustus
Karen, with Rory, Rosie and Sarah, in Inverness
We spent our time in Inverness mainly in the Seaport Marina, Muirton Basis, in the Caledonian Canal. This canal is a sister canal to the Göta Canal, which, together with the Trollhättan canal and the great Swedish lakes of Väners and Vättern completes the inland waterways between Göteborg and the Baltic. Most importantly, when it was completed in 1832 this waterway enables ships travelling to or from the Baltic Sea to bypass the Øresund and thus avoiding paying the Danish toll.
The Caledonian Canal was completed ten years earlier, in 1822, after 19 years of construction. It links the east and west coasts of Scotland – the North Sea and the Atlantic, and saves a long and usually dangerous voyage around the North of Scotland for fishing boats from the north-east coast, small traders, and pleasure craft.
Skippers wife´s blog:
Inverness is the capital of the Highlands and although experiencing national cuts in subsidies it has a lot of promises for the future. It is the hub for hiking and all sorts of outdoor activities in the highlands. These outdoor activities mixed wirh nice pubs, good crafted beer, great friendly people with a good sense if humour, loads a nice whisky distilleries, golf courses for those interested in that, folk music in the pubs and men in kilts – what more to wish for? Except for a lot of wildlife in mountains, lochs and islands. Inverness can now offer a great museum, a newly opened Harris Tweed shop, the Black Isle bar where one can get crafted beer and stonebaked pizzas, the best folk music pub Hootanannies, Frasers the Butcher and also Fishmonger (in the Victorian Market<9 and Culloden Battlefield where the Scots lost the last battle towards England in 1….
One can cycle along the canal on the tow path all the way to Loch Ness
We had a lot of visitors during our stay! Alasdair with whom we also shopped dry goods in Wholefoods for many weeks! All organic and healthy stuff. Rory, Sarah and Rosie who liked to explore the interior of the boat. Tanera, Robin and the girls who also brought old gas containers from Aldarion with British fittings! Every country has their own gas fittings which is a pain in the neck, especially as few countries now seem to have gas centres that in the old days filled your own bottle with propane. Certainly this cannot now be done in the UK.
We also visited the upstairs in the Inverness Museum, which was very interesting. Here we saw interesting details and products from a cooperation between craft workers in Iceland and the Highlands and Islands, with interesting fish skin and Harris tweed creations, among others. This is also where the history of the Highlands and Islands since the middle ages is covered, and we found it quite well done.
We actually left Muirton basin on Sunday morning, with the first opening of the Muirton bridge. Muirton basin was actually a US naval base during World War I, and a hive of activity, including whisky making at that time.
We climbed through the four locks and, needing some pipe to connect the new hand bilge pump, we paused briefly by Jamie Hogan´s excellent Caley Marina to see if we could get some. Just as we arrived, so did Jamie himself, and we asked him if it was possible to get a piece of plastic hose. The shop was closed, but being an old friend and a nice man, Jamie went off back to get some for us, which he did quickly and efficiently, and without charge.
Onward to Tomnahurich bridge, where we had lunch waiting for the bridge to open. We moored at the small waiting area beyond the Maid of the Loch pier, where we spent the night comfortably and safely. Here Morten Opsahl joined the crew in the evening, having flown from Norway to Aberdeen and taken the train from there to Inverness, where Stuart Black met him and transported him to the boat.
More coming soon….,