Saturday 24 June 2023

Caledonian Canal

We are still in the Canal at Banavie, we have not moved and are unlikely to be able to move until Monday when they will have another attempt to open the swing bridge. When we went round the UK 10 years ago, Bonita went round the top, via the Orkneys. This time, planning some complicated crew changes, I thought going through the Canal would be quicker and more reliable. Well, maybe not. We are envious of the little boats that were able to get under the bridge by lowering their masts and have enjoyed fair winds today on Loch Ness. This morning we said goodbye to Alastair who had helped so much with cruising around the islands but had sadly run out of time. He left on the train from the minature Banavie station. Sian and Ant have generously said they will stay with the boat until we get through the Canal..
We went to Fort William today on the train and looked around and did some shopping. It turns out that Fort William is twinned with the city of Hiroshima in Japan.
The Caledonian Canal seems to be twinned with the Rideau Canal in Canada. Both are well known to our friend Trevor who now lives in Ottawa, but apart from that there seem to be few similarities. 
The Caledonian Canal was designed and built by the Scottish engineer, Thomas Telford (1757-1834) and was a very substantial undertaking for the time. Telford was one of the most eminent engineers of his day, and the first president of the Institute of Civil Engineers. Less well remembered than his more mercurial contemporary, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, it could be argued that his contribution to engineering and the general wellbeing of his society was just as great.


  1. If you happen to be stuck on a mooring waiting for a bridge to open, take some time to read this story about John By & the Rideau Canal. Like my dad & Allen Beckett, he was a very practical Sapper...but with an unqie and highly independent remit! Check this out: More at and Wikipedia