Monday, April 26, 2010

Loch Ness

Loch Ness, and some of the other traffic on the canal
This one a AWS Ocean Energy generation unit!

[Kyle]So we finally got to sail across Loch Ness. The wind was not forecast to be up to much, so we put up the screacher so we could catch what there was. I was determined that we were going to sail at least a mile in that loch, even if it took all day.

Once we got out there, the wind was actually blowing from the northeast at about ten knots. It was the wrong direction, but I didn’t mind the idea of tacking for a bit until it died down. It would be a nice way to see each shore. The wind managed to stay steady all day and we managed to sail the entire length of the Loch by tacking into the wind. Our track looked like we were very neatly trying to sew together the two shores of the loch.

It was almost impossible for either of us to enjoy any of this fine sailing because the weather went Scottish on us. From the moment we cast off in Fort Augustus, it got colder and colder and rainier and rainier. Since we were going into the wind, it felt even worse. The clouds lowered and lowered until we could only make out the bottom 30 meters of the hills until they disappeared into the scud. Our charts said the hills on either side went up over 400 meters. “It must be pretty around here”, we thought.

We had to tack just often enough that there wasn’t quite enough time in between to go inside and put on more warm clothes or heat up something warm to eat or drink. By the far end of the loch, I couldn’t feel my extremities and I was shivering pretty badly. Once the engine was warmed up for the canal at the other end, the most important item became crank the heat way up. Never has heat felt so good.

We got through the necessary bridges and locks and tied up at Caley Marina in Inverness about half an hour before they closed. This meant we could pick up our batteries and get them installed that day. I really wanted to get that done because I wanted to run our Espar heater without having to worry about killing our one remaining house battery. New batteries come fully charged!

From Caley, all that remained for us of the canal was a short section filled with locks and bridges. They keep saying it’s going to be sunny, but it keeps raining. To be fair, it’s not really raining hard enough to get wet unless you stay out for a while and the sky does have kind of a semi-bright patch where the sun could be. One of the lockkeepers squinted up at it with me and proclaimed, “Aye, tha’s sunny.”

1 comment:

Mommy Dearest said...

Your constant battle with cold, rain and dreary weather lays waste to my own perception that it is mostly sunny in Scotland most of the time. HA! And from here, you are going to Norway. Hmmm. Those warm days in the BVI have to sound pretty appealing to you right now. I figure that by next weekend, I can swim in the pool without having to heat it first. Wish you were here.