July 31

Scotland (and Canada!)

To Oban in the rain and fog… We moored at the marina, which is actually on Kerrera Island, just across the bay from Oban town. There is a marina ferry regularly, and we alternately explored Kerrera Island and Oban. Another distillery (though no tour here for us) and some provisioning.

Pat and Kerry have to return to Canada, and I took a week out to visit family, at a reunion in Alberta and then to visit my daughter in Vancouver. It was a wonderful time with nice warm, Canadian summer weather. Both visits were exceptional!

Then, back to Oban, where I had some warranty work done on the boat, before I moved on to Dunstaffnage marina, just 5 km along. The weather got nasty again, so I stayed there for a couple of days, and set out up towards Port William and the Caledonian Canal. I had thought to explore moorings along the way, but the weather was unkind again, with rain and poor visibility, so finding that ideal mooring wasn’t possible. I explored 3 different bays, but decided to carry on up Loch Linnhe. Just as I was trying to find a mooring in Port William, I was called by the lockkeeper on the Caledonian Canal, wondering if I was going up, and if so, he would hold the lock for me. So, up I went. I stayed in the basin overnight, then up two locks and finally up Neptune’s Staircase (8 staircase locks) the next day. Lots of spectators, and the locks are all worked by Scottish Canals people, so really not a trying afternoon.

I’m now attempting to see Ben Nevis, the highest point in Britain, but it is (and has been) shrouded in clouds and mist, so no views (nor climbing) to be had. Port William is a cute, touristy town, obviously a center for exploring this part of Scotland. A stem excursion train to Mallaig is exceptionally popular, and fully booked for two trips each way, each day. I watched from the boat!

More in little stages as I cross the Great Glen- the Caledonian Canal through Loch Lochy, Loch Oich, and finally Loch Ness.

About Ed Mortimer

I'm a retired school teacher, now living on my Dutch cruiser in France. I'm touring as much of the canals and river systems as I can. This blog describes what I do and where I've been. I did spend 5 years on first a narrowboat, and then this boat, in Britain.
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