Cruising the Caledonian Canal with a Moonen 72
In 2012 the ultimate goal for the owner of the Moonen 72 named SJS (ex Lady Jalinka) was to cruise the Caledonian Canal. This meant a cruise around the British Isles in three weeks! After a full day of supplying the vessel with food, drinks and spares we departed from the marina of Heusden. In Stellendam we encountered a first set back in the plan. There was too much wind to open the bridge over the lock. We needed to sail over the Spui towards Hoek van Holland to enter the North Sea. With a strong windforce of 6-7 we headed to our first destination; Brighton. Passing the South coast of England with stops in Plymouth and a night at anchor at the Scilly Islands we moved on towards Milford Haven.
From Milford Haven we sailed to Dublin, Ireland. A visit to the Guinness Brewery is mandatory of course! Next stop was Isle of Man. Good timing, because the Isle of Man Motor Race was also planned during our visit.
From Isle of Man we set course to the Isle of Jura and sailed through the high landscape of Scotland to our first destination of the Caledonian Canal; Fort William. Here we checked in at the Canal Authorities and got our travel scheme with designated berthing spots along the route. With the Neptune Staircase in front of us we started to take this hurdle. A lock system consisting of eight locks, taking about 90 minutes to pass through the entire lock system.
Sailing over Loch Arkaig and Loch Lochy we got to the Laggan locks. Sailing on towards Fort Augustus to enter the famous Loch Ness. No sight of Nessie though.... With a night over at Inverness we headed back to the Netherlands via Newcastle. A very intensive three weeks sailing with zero defects. This shows the unprecedented reliability of a Moonen yacht.