Saturday, August 17, 2019

On VIC 32 North-East through the Great Glen

Boating with a difference!  No, we haven't taken Zindagi up to Scotland, but we have just had an amazing boat trip north-east from Fort William up to Inverness, via the Great Glen, including Loch Lochy, Loch Oich and Loch Ness – and out onto salt water at either end!

Here is the VIC 32 at 9.45 on Sunday night, 11th August, at Corpach Basin near Fort William.  We arrived in the afternoon and were welcomed on board, shown our cabin and given the first of a series of really excellent meals, as well as meeting the crew of 5 and our 7 fellow-passengers.

The boat is unique, so why not follow this link to find out more?  We really can't do justice to it here !

Out through the sea lock and full steam ahead out onto Loch Eil . . .

. . . with glass-like tranquility ahead

Heading back to Corpach and the summit of Ben Nevis makes a rare appearance!

Into the first lock from Corpach, heading towards the Banavie locks – 'Neptune's Staircase'.

Starting up the staircase . . .

. . . and moored at the top.  Locks are still locks, just like on the English system, but these are big locks, thick ropes on the boat and every lock is manned.

Ed the engineer, enthusiastically introducing his beloved steam engine.

The saloon at night.  The candles are still alight, but all seem to have gone to bed!

View for'ard from the wheelhouse . . .

. . . with Alan the skipper at the wheel.  

We were all encouraged to have a go at the wheel,

so here is Val having her turn on Loch Ness – concentrating!

Buffet lunch just waiting to be eaten.  Really fantastic food!

Jim (first mate) eating on deck, while Colin and Alistair (cooks) prepare the next meal.

The Bridge of Oich.  Interesting suspension bridge of unusual construction. 
More details.

Moored below Cullochy Lock, overnight Tuesday / Wednesday.

Then down Fort Augustus locks . . .

. . . and into Loch Ness, all 23 miles of it!  But you can't see the other end because of the curvature of the earth!

And so to the basin at Inverness on Thursday evening.

But that was not quite the end of our trip . . .

We steamed out from the Beauly Firth, under the A9 on the Kessock Bridge, and out into the Moray Firth, hoping to see some of their famous bottle-nosed dolphins.

Yes, we did see some, as did these dolphin-watchers on Chanonry Point, but they were just a too quick for the camera !

So, back to Inverness Basin in time for another excellent lunch, before boarding taxi and minibus to take us back to Corpach.

Farewell, VIC 32 and your wonderful crew, and all our fellow-passengers.

I wonder whether we may meet again?

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