6 August 2019 – Down Loch Linnhe

Start position
Banavie
Finish position
Dunstaffnage Marina
Another long track planned today. A combination of Neptune’s Stairs, tidal gates and a goal of driving back down to Glasgow.
There are just 3 of us in the locks, including ‘Tenacity’. So we make good progress and are down the 8 stairs by 09:45, looking good for open waters by the planned 10:30. Entering the locks before the sea-lock, we see a lack of activity below us. There has been a hydraulic failure on one of the inner doors of the sea-lock. We’re told it’s a simple repair, but the engineer is an hour way. We wait alongside in the basin. Is our timetable going to crack at the last stage?
Exactly an hour later a maintenance van arrives, and within 10 minutes the gate opens. At 12:25 the last lock gate opens and we’re back into Loch Linnhe.
There’s a light headwind again and a tide to race, so we’re motoring. The wind dies away, but the tide holds up well. We were early for the tide on the way up, it seems to be late for us on the way back. We’re over 9kts through Corran Narrows, with another lift at the Lynn of Lorn. We watch the rain track down across the hills, but it largely leaves us in sunshine.
A call to Dunstaffnage confirms our berth and provides details of a potential fridge engineer. We’re round into Dunstaffnage bay in the last of the sunshine, having made up much of the time lost earlier in the day. The tide is initially alarming among the moorings, but is much weaker in the marina.
As S cleans the lock debris off the side of the boat again, the rain finally catches us. By the time we’re ready to disembark it’s pouring.
We’ve had a good week on board. We always knew that the timetable was tight, so that hasn’t been a disappointment. Although it would have been nice to get the sails out more than once. We’ve had remarkably little wind, rain, or midges and squeezed in on time. As a canal boat holiday it’s been a success.
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