Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Fresh Water Sailing

The sea lock opened for us at about 0750 this morning, and we moored on the canal at

Dochgarroch, taking a breather before the final lock before entering Loch Ness itself. The name canal is a misnomer, as the bulk of the journey is through four lochs in the Great Glen:Loch Lochy, Loch Oich, Loch Ness and Loch Dochfour. The canal sections has 29 locks, to raise and lower the boats up to 32m above sea level.

On this stretch, we encountered our first simple locks, swing bridges and staircase, where the top gate of one lock is the bottom gate of the next. Locks are hard work, even when the lock gates and sluices are operated for you by the British Waterways staff.

Each "locking" contains as many boats as possible, to maximise throughput and minimise loss of water. Our first experience contained eight boats, including ourselves. There we met up with another of the boats who had been stuck with us at Peterhead, plus a nice swedish couple who were off around the world. Scotland was their first experience of dealing with tides.

After Dochgarroch, we motored gently through the loch, passed Dochgarroch House and Aldourie Castle into Loch Ness. We have anchored just off Dores and are off to the pub.

57 22.931' N 04 20.180' W

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