3rd Dec 2015
Martin and Carrie of Caledonian Discovery gave P1/2 a terrific guided tour of one of their holiday barges, “Ros Crana”, which is currently being prepared for next season on its winter mooring at the top of Neptune’s Staircase at Banavie, Fort William. The boat is 44m long, which makes it 1m less than the maximum possible length for travelling along the Caledonian canal. The maximum length is determined by the dimensions of the locks which allow vessels to be raised and lowered to the level of the next stretch of water.
Martin explained that the canal was built to allow vessels to cross from one side of Scotland (entering from the Atlantic Ocean at Corpach) to the other (exiting into the North Sea at Inverness). Nowadays, the canal is still used by many different types of vessel, but by far the majority are holiday boats such as yachts and motor cruisers. Ros Crana is very much a holiday vessel, and is no longer used for its original purpose, which was to transport goods throughout the european canal system.
Our tour guides very generously gave up their time to show the children around the boat, both inside and out. It can accomodate up to 12 guests and 4 crew. We saw the wheelhouse, the cabins, the upper lounge and the lower lounge, along with a drying room and galley. All too soon, it was time to go, so we waved a fond farewell to Ros Crana and wished Martin and Carrie well. It was a super trip…thank you.