The Lady of Avenel is an 102ft square rigged brigantine. She was on the East coast of Scotland, and needed to be on the West Coast. So a group of us assembled to take her through the Caledonian Canal, from the North Sea to the Atlantic. This whole journey was about 190km or 120miles.
I joined the boat at Inverness. Travel to Scotland was disrupted by rail strikes. To be sure of arriving on time I arrived a day early. This gave me a chance to look around Inverness. There’s a huge river, the River Ness, and a castle and an Art Gallery. I stayed in a lovely hotel, Fraser House, on the river: recommended.
The Lady of Avenel was on the Canal at Seaport. The first Locks were Muirtown Locks, taking us uphill from the North Sea.
Here is the view as we entered Loch Ness:
I was making these sketches very quickly. The boat kept moving, the light kept changing, and then it rained.
The sketchbook I was using was a Seawhite A5 Travel journal.
The patterns on some of the drawings were made before the trip. They are relief prints, using the corrugated paper from a coffee cup, corrugated cardboard, bubblewrap, and the net from some oranges. Sometimes these prints really enhanced the drawing, sometimes not. Here’s one where it worked:
I also made sketches on small pieces of watercolour paper, which I sent as postcards.
It’s a challenge to draw the rigging.
We had some shore leave.
The scenery of the Highlands, seen from the boat, was stunning. I tried to capture the light. All these sketches were made from the boat, which was moving, even when anchored.
It was an adventure.
I’ve sketched before on the Lady of Avenel, in the Outer Hebrides in 2016, and again in 2017, in Oban on a refit, and in Heybridge. I also made a series of postcards for the boat:
2 thoughts on “Lady of Avenel delivery passage, October 2022, Caledonian Canal”
Jane, this is fantastic and I’m very envious of your adventure. What beautiful sketches and water colours of both the Lady of Avenel and the stunning views. Congratulations! Best wishes Paul
Thank you Paul! Yes it was an amazing trip and a great group of people. I enjoyed sketching onboard. The constraints of having to sketch quickly on a moving boat sometimes produced unexpectedly satisfactory results.