Archive For The “Europe” Category

Isle of Mull

Isle of Mull

The Isle of Mull gave us our first taste of the dramatic Scottish coastal scenery we’d been hearing so much about. In just one morning we saw spectacular waterfalls, a striking sea arch and imposing cliffs. After exiting the Crinan Canal, we sped north in the high-current Sound of Jura and anchored at Loch Spelve…

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The Crinan Canal

The Crinan Canal

The Crinan Canal is a 9-mile, 15-lock passage between the Scottish villages of Ardrishaig and Crinan. The canal came online in 1801, largely serving commercial traffic and allowing them to avoid the longer run around Kintyre Peninsula and the exposed and current-swept Mull of Kintyre. Today the lock system is used by recreational boaters either…

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James Watt Dock Marina

James Watt Dock Marina

We had an excellent month-long stay at James Watt Dock Marina in Greenock, Scotland near Glasgow. The marina was convenient for making train trips to explore Glasgow, Edinburgh and the West Highlands, and was a secure place for Dirona while we returned to Seattle for a couple of weeks. We also took a few deliveries…

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Falkirk Wheel

Falkirk Wheel

The Falkirk Wheel was completed in 2002 to connect the restored Union and Forth & Clyde Canals, replacing 11 locks that once covered the 115-ft difference in level. The wheel is a unique rotating boat lift that raises and lowers vessels between the two canals. Falkirk is essentially on the route between Edinburgh and Greenock,…

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Edinburgh

Edinburgh

Edinburgh came into being beneath Castle Rock, a rocky crag overlooking the coastal route to central Scotland from northeast England. A fortification existed there since at least the 7th century, and a royal castle since the reign of King David I in the 12th century. Today Edinburgh Castle is one of Scotland’s most popular tourist…

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Return to Seattle

Return to Seattle

We left Dirona in Scotland, with Spitfire at “The Resort”, while we returned to Seattle for a couple of weeks. This mostly was a work trip for James, but we did find time to enjoy the city, make a day trip to Victoria, and receive and pack over 200 pounds of boat spares to bring…

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West Highland Line

West Highland Line

The West Highland Line was voted the world’s best train journey by Wanderlust Magazine. The trip runs through the scenic Scottish highlands and across the Glenfinnan Viaduct to Mallaig on the coast north of Oban. The Glenfinnan Viaduct is the dramatic span crossed by the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter movies. We had wonderfully…

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Glasgow

Glasgow

Impressive Glasgow Cathedral is one of the few cathedrals in Scotland to survive the 16th-century Protestant Reformation mobs nearly intact. The building is huge and seems to go on forever. On a day-trip to Glasgow from Greenock, we toured the cathedral, took in the city views from the adjacent Necropolis, and spent several hours walking…

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Greenock Arrival

Greenock Arrival

We booked a berth at the James Watt Dock Marina in Greenock near Glasgow way back in February while we were still in Daytona, Florida. Five months and 4,500 miles later, we’re actually here. En route, we met up with the only US-flagged vessel we’ve seen since leaving Newport, RI. Nordhavn 55 Odyssey arrived into…

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Rathlin Island

Rathlin Island

Rathlin Island is Northern Ireland’s only inhabited island and also is home to one of the largest seabird colonies in the UK. The West Light Seabird Centre is perched on a clifftop above the lighthouse at the western end of the island where visitors can take in the spectacular scenery, watch the thousands of seabirds…

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Causeway Coast

Causeway Coast

Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland consists of over 40,000 hexagonal basalt stones that lead from a cliff foot into the sea. The dramatic site inspired legends of giants building the causeway to reach Scotland across the sea. Led Zeppelin fans might recognize the above scene from the Houses of the Holy cover. We had sorely…

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Arranmore Island

Arranmore Island

Our stop at Arranmore Island was as much to avoid an upcoming weather system as it was to tour the island. But it ended up being an incredible stop. We really enjoyed our bike tour of the island and a dinghy trip to Burtonport on the mainland, met many of the locals, and really had…

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Donegal Bay

Donegal Bay

The area around Donegal Bay has some of the most spectacular seascapes in Ireland, including the dramatic Doonbristy sea stack off Downpatrick Head and the soaring cliffs of Slieve League. Many people feel the Slieve League cliffs are more dramatic than the better-known Cliffs of Moher. They certainly are higher at 1,952ft (595m) compared to…

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Rounding Erris Head

Rounding Erris Head

The two-day run from the Aran Islands around Erris Head had an unusual diversity of sightings. Natural features included waterfalls, dolphins, plenty of dramatic seascape, and Ireland’s highest sea cliffs, the 2,168ft (661m) the Cliffs of Croaghaun. On the man-made side, we saw a ruined Cromwellian fort, an abandoned village and whaling station, three major…

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Inishmore Island

Inishmore Island

Inishmore Island, in the Aran Islands near Galway, Ireland, has several attractions. By far the most visited is Dun Aonghasa, a dramatic semi-circular fort built right to the edge of 300-foot cliffs with sweeping coastal views. And a popular way to tour the island is by bicycle. We saw literally hundreds of bicycles for rent…

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Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher

The spectacular Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland’s most well-known features and popular tourist destinations. The cliffs extend for five miles, rising over 600ft from the water surface at their highest point. More than a million people visit the cliffs each year, but relatively few have an opportunity to view them from the water….

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