Flashback Friday 11

19th to the 22nd December 2006. My solo open canoe trip along the Caledonian Canal – Fort William to Inverness.

Back in 2006, I was working at Kilvrough O.E.C. on the Gower Peninsula, South Wales. At the beginning of the Christmas holiday I had the idea of doing a quick visit to Scotland, to do the Caledonian Canal from Corpach, Fort William to Inverness. I borrowed this canoe from work, and a few other bits and drove up. I got lucky with the weather – there was a reasonable SW’ly wind for all 4 days, so with an improvised sail made form my 4 person shelter, I was able to sail most of the Lochs, including the entire length of Loch Ness. I had 3 great bivvys along the way. I had half a day on the 21st, after my morning on Loch Ness, to manage my logistics – I got a bus back to Fort William, retrieved my car, drove it to Inverness, parked it at the end of the canal trip, and got a bus back to my bivvy site for that night.

I was lucky with the weather, I was lucky not to capsize with the winds I had to work with – everything went like clockwork. My solo adventures didn’t always go so well! I recommend this trip to all canoe paddlers.

The Caledonian Canal – from Wikipedia

The canal runs some 60 miles (97 km) from northeast (Inverness) to southwest (Fort William). Only one third of the entire length is man-made, the rest being formed by Loch Dochfour, Loch Ness, Loch Oich, and Loch Lochy. These lochs are located in the Great Glen, on a geological fault in the Earth’s crust. There are 29 locks (including eight at Neptune’s Staircase, Banavie), four aqueducts and 10 bridges in the course of the canal.

21st Dec 2006. Morning of Day 3 on the shore or Loch Ness.

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