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  1. #51
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    SW Scotland
    Posts
    18,880

    Default Re: Crinan Canal, more hassle

    Quote Originally Posted by awol View Post
    I started in May heading for SIPR with a less than friendly forecast for the Mull. That's when I discovered the price hike to 140+(IIRC). Also discovered the 16 day price had not risen. Quick thoughts had the present trip, the Round Mull Race at the end of June, return from WHYW and how much my wife enjoyed the Caley Canal which made the 400 (again IIRC) a reasonable prospect. I added a couple of round trips west from Gourock to amuse family and 4 days in the Caley Canal to amuse my wife - only as far as Fort Augustus, and finally for SIPR the following year within 1 day of expiry.
    So 8 transits @ ~50 ea with all the effort I should have expended being throwing and coiling ropes + 4 free days of Caley was a relative bargain. One round trip was as far as the Sound of Luing when mobile comms returned and I was called home.
    I have only been through once since!
    Ah-ha. So 16 days means "16 days total in the canal" and not "16 consecutive days", does it? I had visions of you stoating two and fro for a fortnight to get your money's worth.

    When I first went through the old single/return system had just been abandoned in favour of consecutive days. Being a poor student then, I could only afford an 8-day ticket (I think they were 3, 8 or 15) so we belted round the outside as fast as we could and got back just under the wire. From memory it went Crinan - Colonsay (through Coirebhreacan) - Port nan Rn (the old one, at Ardalanish, not the new one behind Eilean a Chalmain) - Bull Hole - Puilladobrain - Crinan. Ah, happy days. A bigger boat and more money haven't made it any more fun.
    "Seamen are always wanting to do things the proper way; and I like to do them my way."

  2. #52
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    211

    Default Re: Crinan Canal, more hassle

    Scottish Canals have clarified the situation on Facebook, apparently inexperienced crews will set off in convoy between 08:30 and 09:30hrs, experienced crews can set off at any time and single handed boats are requested to employ a pilot. All boats must still book 24hrs in advance. I’m okay with this setup as it does not hold me back.

  3. #53
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    SW Scotland
    Posts
    18,880

    Default Re: Crinan Canal, more hassle

    Quote Originally Posted by Railbob View Post
    Scottish Canals have clarified the situation on Facebook, apparently inexperienced crews will set off in convoy between 08:30 and 09:30hrs, experienced crews can set off at any time and single handed boats are requested to employ a pilot. All boats must still book 24hrs in advance. I’m okay with this setup as it does not hold me back.
    The convoy idea seems fine, and is what has happened de facto for as long as I can remember, but the "must book 24 hours in advance" is a potential pain in the derriere.
    "Seamen are always wanting to do things the proper way; and I like to do them my way."

  4. #54
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Second Coast, Ross-shire, overlooking Gruinard Bay.
    Posts
    7,007

    Default Re: Crinan Canal, more hassle

    Quote Originally Posted by JumbleDuck View Post
    Mainly middle-aged men, showing the traditional enthusiasm and efficiency of poorly paid and badly managed unsackable public sector employees. See also: British Leyland.

    I exclude completely from this the (younger woman) lock-keeper at Crinan, who in my experience is unfailingly helpful, hardworking and efficient.
    As a once only, and first-timer user (both ways) in June/July 2013 I can only comment on this dire-sounding situation thus:-
    1. No-one was available at the Crinan Office to offer advice when I arrived at 16:00
    2. I went through with two other boats first thing next morning and was "out" around 15:00, in good time to motor to Tarbert (flat calm).
    3. On my return two weeks later at about 15:30, exhausted, frozen and bedraggled I was treated right-royally by the two extremely attractive and experienced young ladies who had me "in" and up to Cairnbarn in quick-sticks.
    (They even let me "steam" infront of their electric fire while they went out and did all the lock preparations.)
    4. I found the then "assisted passage" absolutely faultless and enjoyable.

    5. It looks like I'll be avoiding the Crinan, at least until they get this apparent B*lls-up sorted.

    Pity
    Kay Sarah Sarah
    5751.42' N 529.44' W

  5. #55
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    SW Scotland
    Posts
    18,880

    Default Re: Crinan Canal, more hassle

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Wilson View Post
    3. On my return two weeks later at about 15:30, exhausted, frozen and bedraggled I was treated right-royally by the two extremely attractive and experienced young ladies who had me "in" and up to Cairnbarn in quick-sticks.
    As well as the excellent woman lock keeper at Crinan, there was another excellent woman lock keeper at Ardrishaig for a few years. I don't think it's being women that makes/made them good, though, it's being rather younger than the embittered, cynical, bone-idle old lags.
    "Seamen are always wanting to do things the proper way; and I like to do them my way."

  6. #56
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Argyll
    Posts
    6,143

    Default Re: Crinan Canal, more hassle

    Book 24 hours in advance? What do you think will happen if like most folk who do not read Facebook you just turn up, they are not going to send you away. Once you are in the sea lock you have control of it they can't drive you out.
    The regular, on the water, staff are now down to around 7, 'backed up' by 4 who stay safely indoors in the Ardrishaig office (including two managers) All the rest including the girls with the legs who excite you guys are summer casuals, often students. The 'embittered cynical bone idle old lags' have good reason to be, employee management and relations is and has been disastrous, one does not have to work here too long to experience it, it is a very top heavy organization but despite this really badly run.

  7. #57
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Rockall
    Posts
    29,852

    Default Re: Crinan Canal, more hassle

    I and my "student colleague" were unpopular with the embittered lags, particularly the union rep, who considered we were depriving others of jobs. I stopped going to the Labour Exchange and had a job as Canalman Grade 1, so it didn't really bother me too much.

  8. #58
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Cyberspace
    Posts
    34,481

    Default Re: Crinan Canal, more hassle

    .
    The staff I talked to last week seemed to be of the opinion that management had little idea of the realities of yachting and canal transit.

    - W

  9. #59
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Central Scotland
    Posts
    2,301

    Default Re: Crinan Canal, more hassle

    I cannot find any mention of this booking system or the early convoy system on the SC website. Nor on their Facebook page (where I asked, but got no reply).
    I suspect this is fake news.
    Geoff. C.: Galvanizer and anchor manufacturer.

  10. #60
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Me Edinburgh, boat JWD
    Posts
    5,043

    Default Re: Crinan Canal, more hassle

    We'll, the flyer has been circulated widely. Copies at JWD, promulgated by the RGYC news posts, I saw it first on another trusted website. I think you probably pass as an experienced user!

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