Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Return to the Sea

We woke at 6am to a mixture of sunshine and clouds with light winds. The resident cuckoo was busy marking his territory.

Having made good use of the toilet and shower facilities provided by British Waterways we were on the road by 8.15 trundling our way past the next set of locks. To the East of us 'The Ben' towered over the canal its gullies still dressed with the last of the winter snows lending an alpine feel to the place.

Before heading off we logged in with Clyde Coastguard having said a final fairwell to Aberdeen yesterday.

The paddle down the canal was very pleasant and had a really mellow feel to it. After a couple of hours we arrived at Neptunes Staircase and swopped water for trolleys once again. From there it was only a short way to the sea lock and then the sea. We entered Loch Eil almost exactly 48 hours after our arrival at the start of the canal in Inverness.

We stopped at Treslaig for a breather and some food before heading down Loch Linnhe to the Corran Narrows. As we did so the wind picked up to a steady SW F3-4 negating any benefit the ebbing tide could offer us and making us work for the ground we were covering.

Three hours later we arrived at the narrows just as the tide began to turn. At the same time the wind suddenly died away. We stopped briefly for a quick stretch before pressing on before the tide could build up any strength.

Landing at Sallachan Point we stopped for a decent breather and some food. It was tempting to call it a day there but we were keen to make some progress down the Morven coast if possible so we pushed on. We passed Inversanda Bay and eventually pulled into a small secluded bay a few km further south for the night and suddenly found ourselves away from any communities or infrastructure for the first time in many days.

As we came ashore we noticed that Gavins rear hatch was taking in water again. A quick inspection of the underside revealled another crack in the hull down the other side of the skeg box from the previous problem. Fortunately the evening stayed dry and it was possible to effect a further repair, once again from the 'not pretty but effective' repair school.

Distance covered today: 40km
Total distance covered: 702km
Midgee ferrocity: 4/5. Hoods strongly recommended and eating only possible when walking about.

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