Nik throws in the towell – just too cold and too wet

You may remember that I posted some films from NIk about his journey around the UK in his boat. Sadly he has decided that Scotland in an unheated boat is a tough proposition and will be throwing in the towell when he gets to Oban.


It is always a shame when  a bloke gets to the best bit and has to stop filming

this is what he says in his blog

Day 15 – Fort Augustus to Laggan Locks

We were slightly worried that we wouldn’t get the first flight up this morning but we were the last boat in of six. It is a very good job that we moved the boat last night so we were closer to the front of the waiting pontoons because it does appear that this decides your position. Not when you arrived. So we might have arrived the previous afternoon but if someone cheekily pushes to the front on arrival they’ll beat you into the loch.

Typical of the conditions since Stonehaven it was wet and windy, the strongest winds saved for when we were motoring down Loch Oich. Thankfully the swing bridges and locks worked perfectly and we were soon moored up, with shore power at Laggan Locks. Very briefly the thick grey clouds became thinner white ones and we enjoyed lunch in the cockpit. Before normal service was resumed, the boom tent came out, and the rain started.

Given that we were finished by 2:30pm we decide to walk part of the Great Glen Way. In the end the round trip was about 10 miles. Then Pam managed to rustle up a great evening meal with the very limited ingredients that I still have on board. We really need to find a supermarket.

Day 14 – Down Loch Ness

Unrelentingly bad weather in Scotland is making this trip far too much of an endurance test. I was looking forward to the 20 mile trip along Loch Ness, but 30-35kt winds on the bow and unremitting rain made this yet another day of endurance with very little fun.

When we got to Fort Augustus at the South West end of Loch Ness we planed to go up the flight of locks. We radioed the lock-keeper and he said that the next lock up was approximately 4:30pm. Since it was about 2:15pm at the time we went for an explore and a pub lunch. Got back to the boat shortly after 3:30pm and radioed to confirm the time only to be told that because we weren’t there at 3:30pm and a commercial vessel wanted to come down, the next flight up would 9am the next day. We were less than impressed. At the bottom we had no shore power, but at the top there was shore power and that is why we wanted to overnight at the top not the bottom. Given that the night time temperatures drop to 8 degrees having shore power Papillon has an electric kettle, toaster, heating and water heating. Hardly the lap of luxury at the best of times shore power makes somewhere cold, wet and windy a lot more bearable.

I’ve made the decision that Oban is my final port and that after that the boat goes up for sale. Rivers and the Med appeal and the Western Isles on a 40-50 footer with a group of guys but not on a 24 footer solo. I’ve had a lot of fun doing short weekend sails on Papillon, but she is simply too small for an extended trip.



This is about Dylan Winter's Blog, Sailing around Britain.

7 Responses to “Nik throws in the towell – just too cold and too wet”

  1. 16 June, 2017 at 5:47 pmWalter Scott says:

    I was soo much enjoying your trip. Too small for an extended sail ?? OMG ! I have Westerly Centaur 26’…found all around the world, and have a look at what my friend Attila is up to in his 21′ Hurley…solo all the way from Ireland…currently traversing the Panama Canal into the Pacific. Raise your horizons !!! Plea
    se continue !!

  2. 16 June, 2017 at 5:49 pmWalter Scott says:

    C’mon Dylan…relight the flame !!!

  3. 16 June, 2017 at 9:32 pmdylan winter says:

    I am on the one river for the summer

  4. 18 June, 2017 at 9:00 amStephen Mundane says:

    Horrific! Watching this, people who’ve never been to Scotland in the summer might appreciate why you might need a Fisher 25 — unless they’re hard bastards of course.

  5. 19 June, 2017 at 12:50 amEd says:

    He needs a little wood-burning stove, or a big dog.

  6. 19 June, 2017 at 6:54 amdylan winter says:

    a wood burning stove would work – but tough in a modern 24 footer. A big dog, and I speak from experience, would mqke it even worse. It is not really the cold… it is the damp.

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