We entered the lock at Crinan in the early evening and moored in the Crinan basin. Our trip through the Crinan canal cost £108 for a four night passage. The canal is 8.5nm in length with fourteen locks. From the Crinan end you lock upwards from 14 to 9 and then lock down from 8 to 1, you get help in the first and last cocks into or from the sea. You also encounter a number of swing bridges and these are manned and handled for you.
The bathrooms at the Crinan basin are brand new, nicely built and quite stylish, but without the basics such as a mirror, shaving point or hairdryer. I hope that they apply the same treatment to the shower facilities at lock 5, because they were clearly ancient and quite dirty!
Marian and I stayed on the boat and handle her in and out of the locks, Sean and Simon, handed the opening and closing of the sluice gates and locks. Marian and I had the easier of the tasks! Marian and I struggle on the first uplock until we were given instruction by a charming young man called Kieran who works for the Scottish canals waterways. He instructed us to fasten the stern line tight and pull up on the bow line as we rose. My goodness what a difference that simple instruction made to the rest of our trip! Thank you Kieran!
The weather was glorious we took it in turns on the wheel, half an hour about. We pottered down the canal at 1.5knots and enjoyed the scenery, we were in no rush, periodically we stopped at one of the many pontoons and went for a walk. On our second evening we stopped by lock six and ate dinner on a conveniently positioned picnic table by our boat, talk about idyllic. Sean and I made a vegetable crumble with a cheese and nut topping, thankfully enjoyed by everyone.
We didn’t have any electric points on route or internet, and in the Crinan basin none of us had any phone connection either.
We took the Crinan canal as a shortcut into the Clyde, we sailed up this way three years ago and walked the canal, knowing that one day we would have to return, the scenery is stunning.
On route we passed through Dunardry, Cairnbaan and Lochgilphead and this evening we are sat in the basin at Ardrishaig, all ready for our return to the sea tomorrow.
Please note that if you are cruising along at 1.5 knots, stopping overnight and are not connected to shore electric, watch your battery charge levels. On reflection of my whole trip some months later, if I was honest the trip along the Crinan Canal was beautiful but I found it a little too slow, dare I use the word boring!
My camera has just developed a fault, so all photos in future will be taken on my phone, as I already have a new camera at home awaiting my arrival back, so I will apologise in advance for the quality!
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I hope you enjoyed my blog article about our journey through the Crinan Canal, if you have any advice for fellow sailors perhaps you would like to leave a comment.
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