Beautiful Scotland

Position 56º 06’ N 005º 33W Crinan Canal, Scotland

It is time for new adventures! After some rainy and cold but very nice days in Dublin Safari and MaggyV took off to find new adventures in Scotland the day before yesterday and First Mate Sofia is joining! Odin is now complete again after the arrival of Hella and Anna-Luna and they will gradually make their way back home to Norway. Safari and MaggyV are planning a quicker route and wish to reach Norway little faster which suits me perfect in order to be able to come home to Cantare again in time before our arrival in Sweden. Just noticed that it is less than a month left of our adventure, time flies at the moment, it is really scary! I had a wonderful time with Odin and would love to continue sailing with them, however, it is so much fun to join two of my new best friends, Lars (33) and Cecilie (27) on Safari and not to forget their crew at the moment, Glen (55). Maria and I met Safari in Puerto Mogan, Gran Canaries and we have ever since had a great time when seeing each other in the Caribbean! I will now sail with Safari to Norway and then Maria and I are planning to catch up in Copenhagen. I would like to thank skipper Lars and his son Nicolay on Odin for a wonderful time while sailing to Dublin, I had a great time and Odin sails beautifully! Hope to see you very soon again!

We left Dublin at lunchtime last Thursday and had around 200 Miles a head of us to Crinan Canal in Scotland. Occasionally we had 20-25 knots of wind against us and it was little rough coming out in Irish Sea and later North Channel. Despite having strong headwind and disturbing waves Safari’s Volvo engine (55hp) kept good speed (7 knots) and we quickly moved north together with MaggyV. We tried to plan the tides the best way to gain as much co current as possible and our calculations were right, yeah! During the night we passed Belfast on our port side and on starboard side England approached. The traffic to Belfast was rather busy and unpredictable fishing boats seemed to be everywhere. “Red or green over white, fisher tonight” – a little rhyme that was practiced during the night while keeping a good look out. Coming from the Atlantic Ocean where you hardly see any other boats you need to adjust a little when entering the traffic zones again. We crossed the North Channel and put a waypoint in Firth of Clyde and sailed north with the island Arran on our starboard side. Since Safari’s ordered electronic charts hadn’t turned up we navigated in true old fashion style with detailed paper charts! So much fun when you haven’t done it for a while! Onboard Safari Lars and Cecilie have different tasks. Before setting out on this sail adventure had hardly sailed before and they bought Safari 8 months before taking off and in order to be able to sail away so quickly the two novices decided to focus on different things. Skipper Lars for example learned the boat and its functions carefully while Cecilie studied navigation and other more theoretical subjects like communication. I am so impressed by how they have managed to fulfill a sailing and travel dream and how good sailors they have turned out being, Lars and Cecilie is a passionate dream team (I am really looking forward to the wedding invitation)!

After 30 hours we reached Adrishaig and the entrance to Crinan Canal. The local pubs in the little village of Adrishaig were soon visited by the Norwegian (and Swedish) Vikings and the evening turned into late night with Scottish songs and Whiskey. It was a bunch of tired hangover sailors that at lunch time entered Crinan Canal, one of Scotland’s most picturesque waterways. The tiredness however soon drifted away while motoring in the indeed fantastically striking canal. The canal is 10 nautical Miles and consists of 15 locks and 7 bridges and most of them you operate yourself. Locking is really fun and got me thinking about the wonderful chill canal ride Maria and I had in the Netherland’s canals. Cruising down a canal is very relaxing and especially nice in this beautiful Scottish landscape. We arrived at the last lock this late afternoon and tomorrow we will continue up north through the Scottish archipelago towards Fort William and the Caledonian Canal. Loch Ness is part the Caledonian Canal, I have been there once before but that time I didn’t meet Nessie, the lake monster, Maybe I will be luckier this time?

Over and Out from a Scottish paradise (with out palm trees though) /First Mate Sofia

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