Day 57…Escape from the Crinan Canal…back to the wide open seas…now at Gigha Island. Sunday 22nd July.

Well it rained all night! Our berth in a small basin above Lock 14 was under the shelter of lots of overhanging trees. Good in some ways…not so good in others..the rain stopped about 5am this morning but the tree drips and drops continued for hours. A very wet, grey and misty morning with a coolish southerly breeze.

Once we had moored up at Lock 14 yesterday evening..all the speculation was that we might not get out into the sea again for a while re the drought conditions and shortages of water in the canal.

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The sea lock at Crinan viewed from Loch Crinan to the left.

We visited the Sea Lock Scottish Canals Office at 9am to inquire as to our future movements. We were informed that there might be an outbound sea lock event at about 1pm …which was more than we hoped for.

We adjourned to Crinan’s one coffee shop where Mike had three bacon rolls and coffee…T had two. Mobile signals were a problem in Crinan but the cafe obliged with an excellent WiFi service. So second coffees were had and the blog was duly published indicating the possibility of being trapped in the Crinan Canal!!

 

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The very nice little coffee shop at Crinan…solace for the weary sailor with bacon rolls!!!

Chats to other sailors and showers in the new Crinan facilities block were taken as well as “prepping” the boat for sea ( was this wishful thinking on our part??? ).

At 12.40pm two Scottish Canal staff appeared and indicated they were going to lock us through Lock 14 and into the Crinan basin…yippee!

Thus Poli Poli left her mooring under the dripping trees and followed two smaller yachts into Lock 14. At about 1.30pm we were through and safely into the huge but very narrow sea lock..and the gates closed behind us, the water level started falling and …in no time at all, the great big reinforced sea lock gates opened… and we sped out into the wide open sea…well actually Loch Crinan. Wow… it might have been grey and horribly dull with a coolish south westerly blowing..but did we feel good…yes we did! The Crinan Canal was certainly an experience to tick off … but I don’t think, out of choice, we would want to do it again.

For the next four hours, with good tide behind us, we motored to Gigha Island..to the west of the Mull of Kintyre. Motored ..well guess what..the south westerly went southerly so we were head to wind. It was with some relief that we tied up to a mooring buoy in Ardminish Bay on Gigha Island. Relief to have escaped the Crinan Canal. So Scottish meat pies and baked beans for supper on board!

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We are now having a rest from the above sort of experience…after doing the 16 locks on the Crinan Canal.

Distance sailed today: 28 n. Miles.

Distance from Eastbourne: 1,387.7 n. miles. Including the 9 n. miles of the Crinan Canal.

 

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