5 August 2019 – Back down the canal

Start position
Fort Augustus
Finish position
Neptune’s Staircase
The question is whether can get all the way back to the top of Neptune’s Staircase today, so that we can aim for Oban tomorrow. We secure a spot away from the front of the lock on the way up and have no problems going back up past Fort Augustus. The downside is that we’re working through the locks with ‘Tenacity’, a commercial power boat with large polluting engines that are not switched off in the locks.
Across Loch Oich, Tenacity disappears away in front of us. We just catch the swing bridge operator going for lunch, so raft up with a couple of cruisers for an hour. Then it’s back across Loch Lochy. We see a couple of modern yachts trying to beat up the loch with just their genoas. It doesn’t really seem be working for them and certainly wouldn’t for us. It would cost us a day to stop and sail, so we keep motoring. The lock keeper at Garelochy calls ahead to the Moy bridge and books us into the 8am descent of Neptune’s staircase, so we’ve met out timetable.
We see that the 2 part Moy bridge needs a boat for the operator to get across the gap. Ben Nevis has its head back in the clouds as we approach Banavie. We’ve made good time, but we’re less happy to see ‘Tenacity’ also waiting for the morning descent.
Supper on board.
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