Caledonian Canal with sailboat

July 8-10, 2021

We had decided to go through Scotland, on the Caledonian Canal with our sailboat instead of sailing around Scotland. One of the reasons is the time saved and also cool to sail through Scotland and on the Loch Ness.

We arrived to Corpach quite late, after the locks had closed for the day. There was a small dock we could moor against next to the first lock. It wasn’t the best spot but it was good enough.

We had pre-booked and paid for the canal before we arrived (at the Scottish Canal website). We showed our paperwork to the personnel and proof of payment.

The following morning we went in to the first lock at first time slot. In Corpach there are three locks you first have to go through. Quite soon you arrive to Neptune’s staircase, a  set of 8 locks. We timed the stairs good and could enter the first lock when we arrived. It was quite tiring to go up the 8 locks and once we were up we moored up on the side of the canal and went for lunch.

caledonian canal sailboat
In the first lock of the Neptune’s staircase.
caledonian canal sailboat
Making our way up the Neptune’s staircase in the Caledonian canal together with two other sailboat s.

We continued along the canal and after a couple more locks we reached Loch Lochy (love the name). By the time we reached the end of the lake it was evening and the locks closed. We stopped in the village Laggan and had dinner at a restaurant boat.

Cozy interior.
The food was simple but good.
Thomas found a friend.

The following morning we got up and continued along the canal. After Laggan there is a really pretty part with trees on both side of the canal.

caledonian canal sailboat

We reached next lake – Loch Oich and sailed through it.

At Loch Oich.
Passing though a lock at the end of Loch Oich.

By lunchtime we reached the staircases at Fort Augustus and we started going down (we had been going down one or two single looks before Fort Augustus). At Fort Augustus it was 7 locks we had to go through. Much easier going downstairs than upstairs.

Fort Augustus is located next to Loch Ness. We moored up along the canal after the staircase and ate lunch in town and took a walk around.

Moored up in Fort Augustus.
The staircase in Fort Augustus.

Next up was Loch Ness. The weather was not very nice and it is a long lake. We did not see Nessie but the cool steep mountains next to the lake. We reached the end of Loch Ness in the evening and tied up for the night.

Urquhart castle.

In the morning we sailed the final part of the canal until we reached Inverness. We took a walk though town, ate lunch, did some grocery shopping and fueled up. We left the canal and Inverness in the afternoon and started our sail towards Sweden.

For us it took almost 2,5 days to sail through the Caledonian Canal. We timed the locks really good most of the time and almost never had to wait for a long time. We paid 3’265 SEK for the canal (320€ / $392), for our 35 ft boat.

 

 

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