Flashback Friday 11
Posted by Max Hunter on 21st December, 2018
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.