Breakfast is at 8, when the bell rings. Every morning there will be cereal and porridge, toast and “something hot”. Today we had tattie scones (a kind of potato pancake), roasted mushrooms and some kind of sliced sausage. Part of the fun of breakfast was watching Nan try the Marmite at the urging of Chris, the first mate. At the same time, Simon, the chef, was saying all that stuff should be thrown overboard. Apparently you either love or hate Marmite. Nan took a “no thank you” portion, but seemed more or less OK with the taste (here she is next to Annie, one of the musicians on board).
At the end of breakfast, we talk about what the day’s plan would be for each person. Most folks elected to either walk or bike for the first three miles from Gairlochy to Bunarkaig. It was a lovely stroll on a gravel path through places like the Fairy Glen and the Dark Forest. The path also wandered close to the shoreline and I was able to put my feet in the waters of Loch Lochy. We were accompanied by Claire, the other guest on the boat with all us Eugene folks.
After three miles, we met up with the barge, which anchored in Bunarkaig Bay. Our bikes were brought to us on the rib (or the zodiac for you Americans). We biked another 5 miles around the former estate of the Cameron clan (Becky’s ancestors). Along the way, we stopped to admire a waterfall that was featured in the movie Rob Roy. While we were biking, Nan and Lori opted for some canoeing.
Once everyone was back on board, it was time for lunch. The spread consisted of a lovely vegetable soup with homemade multi-seed bread, a salad, some tuna mayo (which is tuna salad made with creme fraiche) and various meats. After lunch we again had a choice of activities. Most folks opted for “peruse, booze or snooze” and a few went on a challenging bike ride. There was also an opportunity to learn how to play the Scottish penny whistle. Ask Nan about that.
We arrived at Laggan Locks with some time to spare before dinner. There was a bar in a barge across the lock from us, so of course we had to give it a try. It was called the Eagle and it was an interesting spot.
There was finally some wi-fi available (for a fee), so I took the opportunity to catch up with a Skype call to Mom and an update to the blog. Mom is doing fine and is hoping that tomorrow’s grooming appointment will eliminate any remaining skunk odor from our dog.
Then came dinner. Again, it was a delicious meal with two choices. Fisherman’s pie was a mix of various seafoods: fish, octopus, mussels, prawns, etc., covered in a mashed potato crust. It was accompanied by cauliflower in cheese sauce and plain green beans. Dessert was a poached pear, followed, of course, by the cheese and crackers selections. Tonight we had a semi-hard Italian. Ha ha.
There was some good teasing of the young bosun, Robby. He made a spectacular throw with the tie-up rope while the barge was docking, which was witnessed by several folks. He also played the hero by eating the last poached pear so it wouldn’t go to waste, to lots of cheering from the guests.
Martin took out the big map and the antler again and reviewed the day with us, as well as previewed the options for tomorrow. We will go a much shorter route, which will open up some different possibilities. Here’s a photo of the crew: left to right, Martin (captain) , Chris (first mate), Robby (bosun), Norman (musician) and Annie (musician). Simon the chef was in the kitchen busily feeding all of us, so he isn’t in the photo.
Most of the crowd headed back to the Eagle barge bar for a dance party organized by Lori. I opted to stay in and catch up on … umm, washing my hair, repacking my suitcase, counting the mallards outside … anything except dancing. We’ve anchored here for the night. At 10PM the generator turns off and it’s bedtime.
(Having a little technical troubles with the photo uploads today. Hope they are ok.)