Saturday, 4 June 2016

Coast to Coast

We took part in the Sail Caledonia event which crosses Scotland, starting in Loch Linnhe and finishing at North Kessock on the Beauly Firth. The journey takes a week, with the boats being launched from Lochaber Yacht Club on Saturday morning and aiming to arrive at the community slipway in North Kessock by the following Friday afternoon. This was achieved with all the boats out of the water by 4.30 PM. A social evening was then held at Dochgarroch, with food, music and dancing, with everyone finally departing for home on Saturday morning.

The route uses the Caledonian Canal, which links a series of natural lochs, including Loche Ness and is commonly known as the Great Glen. The canal was completed in 1822 and includes 29 locks. It was designed by Thomas Telford. The event is very well organised and provides the opportunity to complete the journey in company of other boats. There is a support barge, which provides a venue for the social side of the trip, as well as music and accommodation if required. Evening meals are provided on board the barge for all the participants. A series of races are organised during the week and boats are given the opportunity to complete the whole journey using just sail and oar.

The weather was fine all week apart from a sudden shower on Monday and some drizzle on Thursday evening. However, the wind blew from the NE all week, so some long upwind legs had to be completed.
Corpach Locks - the first night

Neptunes Staircase

Sunday Evening - Garlochy Top

Round the Cans Race - Laggan

One boat came all the way from Switzerland

Descending Fort Augustus Locks

South end of Loch Ness

Travelling through the last series of locks in Inverness

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