Day I be­came on our bril­liant

Sail on the loch was a real ed­u­ca­tion

Lennox Herald - - NEWS - Marc McLean

150616BOAT_TRIP_17 150616BOAT_TRIP_08 150616BOAT_TRIP_12 When­ever a stranger asks me where I’m from, I al­ways proudly boast ‘Loch Lomond’.

Tech­ni­cally it’s ac­tu­ally a wee hous­ing scheme a cou­ple of miles down the road. But we’re not be­ing tech­ni­cal. And any­way you can see Ben Lomond from my street - so I can get away with say­ing that, tech­ni­cally. I mean ba­si­cally. Since I’m so proud of liv­ing in one of the most beau­ti­ful places in the world you’d think I’d know plenty about our bril­liant Bon­nie Banks.

Well, I know there are 20 odd is­lands, that Inch­mur­rin was a nud­ist colony be­fore my time (still slightly rag­ing about that one)...and there are wal­la­bies bounc­ing about one of the is­lands too.

But that’s it. So I de­cided that learn­ing some proper facts about Loch Lomond was a must - be­fore the next stranger I meet starts dig­ging deeper.

Ar­rang­ing a com­pli­men­tary loch boat trip was also a must of course. Dur­ing this fine sum­mer weather. Dur­ing work­ing hours.

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs Na­tional Park re­cently an­nounced that it was launch­ing a new wa­ter­bus ser­vice, fer­ry­ing peo­ple from Loch Lomond Shores to Inch­mur­rin and Inch­cail­loch. That would do nicely, I thought. But that new ser­vice doesn’t start un­til next month, so my­self and Len­nox pho­tog­ra­pher Colin Garvie headed for Luss to catch one of the reg­u­lar wa­ter­bus ser­vices to Inch­cail­loch.

Or­gan­ised by na­tional park tourism man­ager Alex McCoskrie, he told me that the wa­ter­bus ser­vices are aimed at “open­ing up” more of Loch Lomond to vis­i­tors.

He said: “The wa­ter­bus ser­vice was set up by the na­tional park and the op­er­a­tors on Loch Lomond to en­cour­age vis­i­tors to ac­tu­ally get off the boat and explore the shore­line around the loch.”

Sweeney’s Cruises in Bal­loch run the Bal­loch-Luss and Luss-Balmaha wa­ter­bus ser­vices from May un­til Septem­ber. Cruise Loch Lomond in Tar­bet cur­rently op­er­ate ser­vices tak­ing in Luss, Rowar­den­nan, In­ver­snaid, In­veru­glas and the is­land Inch­cail­loch.

Inch­cail­loch - de­scribed as “a jewel in Loch Lomond” - was where Colin and I were headed last Wed­nes­day morn­ing.

We ar­rived at Luss for the 10am ser­vice and were wel­comed aboard Lomond Princess by skip­per Alis­tair Burns and crew mem­ber Eilidh Car­ruthers.

Dum­bar­ton man Alis­tair started work­ing for Cruise Loch Lomond 11 years ago.

“It started as a sum­mer job af­ter I left col­lege - and I’ve never left,” he said.

“The best part of the job is get­ting to meet so many dif­fer­ent folk from all over the world.

“For most peo­ple that come to Scot­land, Loch Lomond is top of the list so you get to meet peo­ple from places like the States, Aus­tralia, Germany, France and Spain, you name it.

“We have the loch on our doorstep and we do take it for granted, but the vis­i­tors do love it. Maybe not the weather, but the scenery.”

Steer­ing the ship and dou­bling up as tour guide, Alis­tair was the very man I

Wel­come vis­i­tors Rick and Barb Day, from Syd­ney in Aus­tralia

Alis­tair All aboard Burns and crew mem­ber Eilidh Car­ruthers View from the top Stun­ning scenery the from high­est point on Inch­cail­loch

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