At 10pm the previous night …the forecast rain arrived 12 hours late! It rained all through the night and most of today Friday. So a soggy trip north.
We were planning to leave at 9am but the marina fuel berthing system involved moving the boat twice and then moving between various offices to pay…so we finally departed East Loch Tarbert at 10.15am. Once out into Loch Fyne we met more rain… slow drizzly form of the stuff..and over time it certainly wet you …wetting rain! Visibility was also very poor so we put all our navigation lights on.
The pic above …a flat sea ( Loch ) , no wind and the hills of the passing Kintyre peninsula hidden in rain and fog. All grey as well.
Whilst T did the helming and navigation, Mike in his wet oilies…made phone contact with the Scottish Canals people and started to sort out our options once we had reached the small town of Ardrishaig…which marks the entrance to the Crinan Canal.
It took no more than an hour and half to sight the green and red Channel markers for the big sea lock at Ardrishaig. We first tied up at a waiting pontoon outside the lock, before climbing a very steep ladder up to the Crinan Canal Office.
The other side of the white gates…a big drop down is the sea lock at Ardrishaig. When we arrived there was one other boat in the sea lock…with a baby on board.
The sea lock, the boat with a baby on board.
Poli Poli tied up to the waiting pontoon outside the sea lock. We had to wait a long time …we arrived at the sea lock about 11.45am but the first sea lock was scheduled for 2pm.
Pic above, the new fender boards worked a treat…protecting the fender covers and fenders from the horrible sea lock wall. Well done Richard !
We had decided, after much discussion with the very helpful Canal staff to go through the sea lock…. and then tie up in the basin the other side and spend the night at Ardrishaig. Thank you Mia and Kristoff for all your help and guidance..you are both stars!!
Poli Poli in the sea lock with Jupiter…baby aboard!!
At 2pm precisely the huge big seaward lock gates closed with a huge clanking noise …and then the big sluices the other end were opened to allow water from the canal system to surge into the lock. …thus filling it up and raising Poli Poli to street level.
The lifting of the road bridge came next and at last we were on the move. We motored out into a small basin. Jupiter…first into the lock, therefore first out…had first pick and chose the only space on a standard marina type pontoon.
We had to moor up against a low wall …which was not difficult and in the event turned out to be a nice spot.
Poli Poli moored up against the wall in the canal basin at Ardrishaig. The cockpit tent has gone up to try and dry all the sodden, wet oilies!
After visiting a local hotel for refreshments…we returned to the boat..and in no time at all a French boat had decided to raft up against us . Three retired gentlemen from Brittany.
We leave at 9am tomorrow Saturday for Crinan and then onto an anchorage for the night.
Total distance for the day : 9.7 n.miles.
Duration : 1 hour 30 minutes.
Distance from Eastbourne: 1,350.7 n.miles.