On the final sailing day of this leg, our crews descended the eight locks of Neptune's Staircase.
Built by Thomas Telford, along with the rest of the canal, between 1803 and 1822, it remains the longest staircase lock in Britain and a fitting end to the astonishing mix of natural beauty and civil engineering that is the Caledonian canal.
Once permission is granted to enter the staircase, it takes around 90 minuted to descend (which seems a long time as you can walk the whole way in around five), however there is always work to be done as the vessels need carefully leading through each gate and holding fast as each lock empties into the next.
As is becoming a tradition on the round Britain, our crews met for a final meal together before some return home the next day, and some remain for another leg. There is always an eclectic mixture of people making up our crews, with the common factor being their love of being on the water and their want of adventure, and this week has been no exception.
As the crews change over, there is time for our skippers to undertake any repairs that may be needed aboard, and this week was no exception. Ashanti's bilge pump had been misbehaving for a few days and, thanks to our good friends at Marinestore, there was a shiny new one waiting for us as our boats reached the end of the staircase and our skipper Colin had it up and running within moments.
A great big thank you to all of the people who have supported us so far on the sail4macmillan round Britain cruise for Macmillan Cancer Support, both on board and at home, we really appreciate every one of you, and your support will make a huge difference to the lives of those affected by cancer. To those still to join us, we can't wait to meet you!
If you wish to support our crews on their voyage, and help Macmillan Cancer Support continue their vital work with those affected by cancer, please follow this link to our justgiving page: