Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Round GB 2021, Day 53. Eilean Dubh into the Crinan Canal.

Although I was booked to go through the Crinan Canal on Monday I was able to enter on Sunday (the passage fee includes 4 nights berthing if spaces are available), this was good news as I would be able to get a shower and start the transit at 08:30 on Monday giving me more time to move south after passing through and hopefully to get ahead of any rush - although the canal is quite at the moment.

The trip up from Eilean Dubh was uneventful in very light winds, I was in no hurry and had the tide under me so I sailed until I was close to the entrance so the 6.3 miles took 3 hours.

A9m Achilles Sancerre at Crinan
Passing Crinan Habour, the sea lock is just past the white
building on the left.
A9m Achilles Sancerre at Crinan
Approaching Crinan Sea Lock
Achilles 9 metres "Sancerre" entering the Crinan Canal
The owner of the Achilles 9m "Spearfish", based in Oban, was good enough to come down to meet me and we enjoyed an ice cream and drink together before the tables were in shadow and it started to get cold.
A9m Achilles Sancerre in the Crinan Canal
These gates are now electrically operated but the manual levers
remain, I assume "just in case" and to act as counter balances.
Most are manually operated.
A9m Achilles Sancerre in the Crinan Canal
There is quite a rise through the lock, there would be more than
this at low water springs.
The basin is used as a holding area and for overnight mooring.
A9m Achilles Sancerre in the Crinan Canal
The boat on the left was in Peterhead when I was there but left
on the second day before the wind got really strong as they
were going through the Caledonian canal, much closer than
my next leg to Orkney.
The canal can handle boats up to 88 ft long and there was a yacht in the basin of at least 60ft when I arrived but it left before I could get a picture. I did get pictures of VIC32. The Clyde Puffers were general cargo boats servicing the Islands from the late 19th century into the 1950s, older readers may remember the tales of the "Vital Spark", originally stories in a paper and later a comedy series on TV. The "VIC" boats were commissioned by the Admiralty during WWII as "Steam Lighters" to help provision the fleet.
A9m Achilles Sancerre in the Crinan Canal
The Clyde Puffer VIC32 (right) in the basin. She is one of very
few Puffers still with a steam engine in working condition.
A9m Achilles Sancerre in the Crinan Canal
The first lock after the sea lock, like the last few it is operated
by the staff, the majority you have to work yourself manually.
Achilles 9 metres "Sancerre" in the Crinan Canal
I moved straight out of the basin and moored just above lock 14
ready to go in the morning.

Click here for the trip through the canal.

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