Categories: ArdrishaigPublished On: 27.05.2020353 words1.8 min read

The Crinan Canal – a big landmark in my journey around the coast of Great Britain!

Mark Robertson, (my 78th and final Harbour Master of 2019) has worked for Scottish Canals for 17 years and has recently taken over as HM of Ardrishaig – the eastern entrance to this famous canal. Overseeing 1,500 transits per year, the canal staff work very hard, but seem to appreciate their beautiful workplace. Mark’s most unexpected job so far has been re-building the collapsed Ardrishaig pier used for loading timber. £1.7 million later, it is back in operation. This cost does underline the liability of owning a harbour. No wonder so many harbours have been supported by large EU Grants over the years…. say no more!

As a skipper, the feeling of safety one gets as you leave the choppy Loch Fyne, and enter the calmness of the canal basin is palpable. The 9 mile canal was opened in 1801 giving commercial boats, fishing boats and latterly the Clyde Puffers access to the west coast islands and towns. Saving over 100 miles of sailing around the treachorous Mull of Kintyre, it is known as Britain’s most beautiful short cut and it certainly lives up to its name. Luckily I had my loyal friend Jamie to do most of the hard work opening and closing most of the 15 Lochs. It is actually a very odd feeling driving a deep keeled boat along a canal, which are usually only a few feet deep. However it was a very easy and relaxing journey, underlined when we popped out into the Atlantic Ocean at Crinan where there was a good gale blowing! Thank you Mark, Ian and team….oh and Jamie for his muscle power! #crinancanal #ardrishaig
About the Harbour Master Sailing Challenge: I am circumnavigating #GB in a #Nauticat attempting to visit every #harbour with a #harbourmaster #fundraising to #support @Seafarers_UK and their work in the #martime industry, supporting #seafarers and their #families.  You can #sponsor my #challenge by visiting the link in my bio. Thank you for your support!
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