Day I became on our brilliant
Sail on the loch was a real education
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