Sunday, April 18, 2010

Loch Leven

Loch Leven

[Kyle]For our next couple of days, we made the short trip to the head of Loch Leven. It was another perfect, windless day with more amazing scenery. We passed the village of Glen Coe. With a backdrop of mountains covered in snow, it looked like a Swiss village from the water up.

Further up the loch, just before low tide, we passed through the Nan Con narrows, a pinch point where the loch both shallows and narrows and the tidal current goes rumbling through as a long rapid. Since we arrived just before slack water, we had just enough head current to slow us down a bit. I eased off the throttle to slow us even further so that if we found bottom (the chart was distressingly vague about the area), we would only give it a gentle nudge instead of a firm wham, then we could float off with the tide. Maryanne piloted us through, Caribbean style from a better vantage point on the bow.

Right at the narrows, there is a campground, for the residents of which we provided brief entertainment as we struggled through. I’m not sure what they made of us, but from the looks on their faces, it appeared they didn’t see too many American flagged catamarans headed up loch. Maryanne was very jealous of them as they were mostly busy gathering mussels for their dinners.

When we got to our intended anchorage at Kinlochleven, we found that the water was about 10m deeper than indicated on the chart, leaving us with no decent options that weren’t way too close to shore. There was one lone, sturdy looking mooring right in the middle of the harbor, though, so we took a chance that the boat it belonged to (by the look of the mooring, we guessed it to be a big fishing boat) was probably not in for the season yet and picked it up.

The immediate area of the mooring at Kinlochleven wasn’t as pretty as our anchorage the night before, but the long views down the loch toward the narrows were stunning. As the sun passed that way on its way down, the colors gave way to a monochrome of blue, overlapping hills plunging into the loch. In the other direction, the snow on the mountain tops turned orange before fading, the mountain becoming a black silhouette against a starry sky.

The next morning, with the sky still dark, I got up early to watch the sunrise and get Footprint ready to catch the current going the other way. It was another flat, windlass day with the loch mirroring the mountains and sky above. We passed through the narrows this time at high water at full cruising RPM. The campsite was just getting up and we saw a couple of disheveled heads poke out of their tents into the cold, crisp air of morning to see what we were. The morning crowd seemed to be a different group than the day before and looked like they didn’t see too many American flagged catamarans headed down loch at sunrise.

By the time the sun was just starting to get high enough to take the chill out of the air, we were back at the mooring field by the bridge, where we were again offered a mooring, this time the next one over. That left us with the remainder of a beautiful lazy day to make a big pot of soup, read, catch up on the blog, nap and enjoy the scenery.

1 comment:

Mommy Dearest said...

Breathtaking ;-)