Speedwell of Rhu Ship's Log

5th of July 2010 - Caledonial Canal - Day 2

Crew : Helen and Andy
Destinations : Dochgarroch Lock.
Distance : 5 miles

Today we were up in good time for the first bridge opening, around 0930, and through the 4 Muirtown Locks. We went through with one other boat. It took us a while to get a system of handling the ropes. After the first lock Andy got off the boat and I was on my own whilst Andy and the lock keeper held the ropes and walked. This seemed to work quite well, although Andy did nearly fall into the lock when he almost missed a step down. Andy remembered to jump back on the boat before I left the last lock without him.

We headed down the canal toward the Tomnahurich Swing Bridge, having been pre-warned that they would be having their lunch when we got there. That was fine by us and we did the same. We chatted for a while with the guys in the boat behind and it turns out they are also heading for the Western Isles and gave us a good tip for the most remote gastro-pub with it's own moorings. That is definitely for us.

After getting through the bridge we pottered down to Dochgarroch Lock. Andy tried to radio but got no response. As the lock was open and we had been advised to go through whenever locks are opened to avoid any hanging around, we did just that. On the other side we found a berth, but after seeing the lock keeper were told we couldn't stay there and if we couldn't find a berth further up we would have to go back through the lock. That is precisely what we had to do, so for the first time went down in height. We felt we were getting pretty good with locks by this time. We found a place to moor next to Steve and John who had been following us from Seaport.

Some of our other neighbours turned up later. One boat appeared to be full of teenagers. They spent most of the evening walking around in the rain talking on their mobile phones. Oh yes... and having showers.

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