Day 17 – Into Corpach Basin

The weather continues to be cold, wet and windy. The plan was to just lock down Neptune’s Staircase today and tie up at Corpach Reach, then do the double locks and the sea lock tomorrow.

We locked down the staircase with three other boats and the very helpful lock keepers walked our stern line down through each lock. There are a total of eight locks in the staircase and about halfway down a terrific cafe and bistro at The Moorings Hotel. Places to eat and drink are not very regular on the canal. Bear in mind it is the Highlands here and the population is tiny. Fort Augustus is busy but other than that you have to search out places to eat. If you’re doing the canal then I can really recommend The Moorings.

When we reached Corpach we spoke to the lock-keeper who wanted to get us down the double lock into the basin. But not until 1pm. This affected our plans as we had intended to catch the train from Corpach into Fort William at 11:20am. So we had a couple of hours in the boat hiding from the relentless rain. It feels like it has been raining now for nearly two weeks.

Down the double lock we were pleased to find we had shore power in the basin. My little boat is a lot more comfortable in cold conditions on shore power as I can have the electric heater on and we also then have an electric kettle and toaster and a TV.

The next train to Fort William was at 5:15 and we went for a walk in the rain back to the cafe at the staircase to kill some time. Fort William is worth a visit. We had a meal at the Wetherspoons there but I couldn’t keep it down and was sick for the fourth time this trip. Pam said in the 36 years we’ve been married that she couldn’t recall me ever being sick and I think she’s right. The stress and the boat motion has left me with no appetite.

I’ve decided that tomorrow is my last trip in the boat. Solo sailing in a small boat around the UK is too much for this sedentary office worker. For my health I need to cut the trip short. I’ve arranged to sell the boat once I reach Dunstaffnage Marina near Oban. She’ll be coming out of the water and going onto hard standing until she finds a new owner.

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