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In search of Nessie

Bunarkaig Bay to Gairlochy

overcast 60 °F

This morning was all about more watersports and cycling in Bunarkaig Bay in Loch Lochy. Lots of sailing, paddleboarding, canoeing, and cycling. After lunch we weighed anchor and the barge headed towards Gairlochy, where we would spend the night. Three of us chose to walk the 3+ miles to the mooring spot where we met the barge. Dinner tonight was a typical Scottish dinner featuring a very good grilled haggis with some mashed root vegetables. (Only three of us out of 12 ate the haggis). After dinner we had a little celebration to thank the crew for an absolutely wonderful week.

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Posted by rpickett 16:02 Archived in Scotland Tagged loch to lochy gairlochy Comments (0)

In search of Nessie

Loch Oich

semi-overcast 58 °F

Our anchorage for the night was right near the ancient Invargarry Castle. This morning in Loch Oich was all about watersports - paddleboarding, sailing and canoeing. The weather was great and we all had a great time. My brother and I opted for canoeing. This afternoon, we transited the Caledonian Canal to the Laggan Locks, where we are spending the night.

After raids by the Clan Mackenzie in 1602 which included the burning of Strome Castle, the MacDonalds of Glengarry fortified Creagan an Fhithich. The result was an imposing six storey L-plan tower house, although the exact form of the earlier castle is not known. According to clan tradition, the castle was built with stones passed hand to hand by a chain of clansmen from the mountain Ben Tee.
During the Civil War Oliver Cromwell's troops under General Monck burned the castle down in 1654. Repaired, it was held for King James VII of Scotland from 1688 until its surrender to the Government forces of William and Mary in 1692. It was then held by the Jacobites during the 1715 uprising, but taken for the government in 1716. During the 1745 uprising it was again held by Jacobites and visited twice by Bonnie Prince Charlie.
During the Jacobite risings of 1745 to 1746, Prince Charles Edward Stuart – "Bonnie Prince Charlie" – visited the Castle shortly after the raising of the Royal Standard at Glenfinnan and is said to have rested there after his defeat at the Battle of Culloden, in 1746.[2] The MacDonells were closely involved throughout the Jacobite risings, Lord MacDonnell being a Member of the Prince's Council.[3] In the aftermath of Culloden the castle was sacked and partially blown up by troops under the Duke of Cumberland as part of his systematic suppression of the Highlands. However the stout walls refused to yield and have survived the centuries to serve as a reminder to their history.

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Posted by rpickett 16:27 Archived in Scotland Tagged loch oich Comments (0)

In search of Nessie

Loch Dochfour

semi-overcast 58 °F

We set off after breakfast entering a small Lake, Lock Dockfour. We transited into Loch Ness where five of us were zodiaced into shore for a 3.5 mile walk back to the ship. While we were walking, the barge sailed back to Loch Dockfour where others made use of the on board canoes. After lunch of soup, bread and a veggie haggis pastry, we formally entered into Loch Ness for our transit to Foyer where we are docked for the night. The highlight of the afternoon cruise was a sail-by of Urquhart Castle on Strone Point, one of the most visited ruins in Scotland.

The present ruins date from the 13th to the 16th centuries, though built on the site of an early medieval fortification. Founded in the 13th century, Urquhart played a role in the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century. It was subsequently held as a royal castle and was raided on several occasions by the MacDonald Earls of Ross. The castle was granted to the Clan Grant in 1509, though conflict with the MacDonalds continued. Despite a series of further raids the castle was strengthened, only to be largely abandoned by the middle of the 17th century. Urquhart was partially destroyed in 1692 to prevent its use by Jacobite forces, and subsequently decayed. In the 20th century, it was placed in state care as a scheduled monument and opened to the public: it is now one of the most-visited castles in Scotland and received 547,518 visitors in 2019.[1][2]

The castle, situated on a headland overlooking Loch Ness, is one of the largest in Scotland in area.[3] It was approached from the west and defended by a ditch and drawbridge. The buildings of the castle were laid out around two main enclosures on the shore. The northern enclosure or Nether Bailey includes most of the more intact structures, including the gatehouse, and the five-story Grant Tower at the north end of the castle. The southern enclosure or Upper Bailey, sited on higher ground, comprises the scant remains of earlier buildings.

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Posted by rpickett 16:10 Archived in Scotland Tagged loch dockfour Comments (0)

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