2017 Events

GGCUA and Seaport Marina Quiz night – 11 November

A riotous night of testing questions devised by demon quiz giant Jackie

quiz night


Scottish Waterways Trust Storytelling workshops – September and October

September 7th – Training day with Gordon MacLellan    1000 till 1600.

followed by evening sessions on Tuesday evenings from 1830 till 2000:  September 26th, October 3rd, 10th and 17th.

Then a finale with our ‘Tales by the Fireside’ event in Dunain woods on the evening of Saturday 21st October, 1830 till 2000.


Sail Caledonia 2017 – May / June

2016 Events

19 December 2016 –

biking film night play list;

Afghan Cycles Trailer

Sarah Menzies Tedx talk on being film director of Afghan Cycles –

Shanon Galpin talking about the inspiration that started the film ‘Afghan Cycles’  –

bfi film documentation of a 1929 womens cycle race at Herne Hill cycle track  –

bfi film on cycle touring club outing in 1956 – http://play

Danny Macaskill’s new film with Red Bull –

Megamoon; a honeymoon tour cycling travelling the length north across the US –

‘Horace and the Rough Stuff’, Iceland; from 1933 to the present day, 3 journeys in the same landscape –

University challenge talent… after a heavy night out –

Bryan and Kaia; four collie legs beat two wheels downhill in the forest –

14 February     Storytelling ‘Bold Daughters’

Alice Fernbank, Nicky Haire and Charlie Menzies present an evening of music and storytelling

28 May – 4 June    

Sail Caledonia

a raid / race from Loch Linnhe to Beauly Firth for boats powered by sail and oar

30 June      wedding party

11- 14 August    

Year of Architecture

Cruise from Inverness to Dochgarroch with an architectural sculpture aboard

2015 Events

23-29 May 2015      Sail Caledonia


2014       EVENTS

7 March 2014      ‘Climbing and Adventure Film Night’

Susan Guest is bringing together a series of exciting and curious climbing and adventure films, so come along at 8pm, bring a friend, popcorn and your own drinks.  See below for the flavour of the night;

24 – 30 May 2014       Sail Caledonia

Loch Ness Barge will be a support boat for the traditional boat ‘raid’ from Fort William to Inverness;

16 December 2014        Boats Boats Boats Film Night

A list of films shown;

2 from ‘Keep Turning Left’ a sailor’s blog

Tyler Bradt’s highest waterfall in a kayak

Sean Ziehm-Stephen featuring in Jim Hopes ‘The Sea Wants To be Visited’ and his trip to explore rivers in Sri Lanka 2011

a love surf movie ‘Riders to the Sea’ on Youtube

free diving/performing ‘Defending the Vandenburg’

free diving in to the depths with ‘Free Fall’

Vertical Sailing with the immortal Bob Shepton and 4 wild climbers ‘Never say Never’

Bryony Shaw windsurfs with the help of … er Volvo?… on the West Coast of Ireland

Keep Turning Left the blog by Dylan Winter, ends the first section with ‘East Coast Gaffers and smack’


‘An Sgoth – from Tree to Sea’ the epic building of a skiff called ‘An Sulaire’ in Stornoway, showing the last man on the island with the knowledge of ‘how to’ working with an apprentice

a fragment of ‘Faultline’; an artist’s impression of the steam powered puffer Vic 32

‘Seawards the Great Ships’, Glasgow ship building forming an echo to the building of the skiff, but on a huge scale in an urban landscape.  Not just documentary, but a stunning visual feast from 1961

2013   EVENTS

30 March 2013  film night

2 films shown to a full boat of ice cream eating people

25 May 2013 – 1 June 2013  Sail Caledonia 2013

a week of being a support vessel for a traditional sailing and rowing race event, travelling from Fort William to Inverness along the Caledonian Canal

1 June 2013 – Pirates of Penzance – Scottish Opera

a 20 minute version of the Operetta at full tilt and to a full boat

6 July 2013  AGM of the Great Glen Canal Users Association

31 July 2013  Storytelling and Music 

Alex Patience returns with a night of storytelling and music to a boat of bewildered sailors just off the sea and regulars to her events.  She is next to be seen at Belladrum Festival.

13 August 2013 Boat Tours and Artists Talk 

see around Loch Ness Barge, Stan’s Titanic Museum, Shetland Yawl New Dawn and hear from Nicola Gear what it is like living aboard Loch Ness and being an artist

15 August 2013 ‘The Monster Canal’ 

The Waterways Trust talk on the wildlife and history of the Caledonian Canal

16 August 2013    Artists talks and films

talks by;

Sam Harrison (works with schools and teachers to bring new perspectives on the special places and stories which are part of the local landscape)

Ian Stephen (poet, artist, boatman, storyteller)

films by;

Mary Somerville

Misha Somerville

Fabiano Marques

details below;

Mary Somerville; 2 animations; ‘Don’t Fox with the Dog’ and ‘Something Somewhere’

My animations are often about how I and others come to terms with and relate to new environments, and once the stage is set I can allow the character to explore it’s sense of place. On my recent residency aboard the Loch Ness Barge I decided to base the character on Star, the resident boat fox-dog, and using the boat itself as the stage-set, lit only by natural light and a head torch (amongst the only lighting available onboard after ‘lights-out’ when the generator was turned off), I started to play. The project began when I shut myself in the dieselly dark depths of the engine room. Whilst we drew, thought, played music, laughed, ate courgettes and conversed on the floor above, it kept doing it’s thing (details of which remain a mystery), reminding us of its existence only by the drone of the generator (in the key of A flat). The simultaneous exploration of the new, memory of the old, the obvious and the hidden, the attempts to understand the technical goings on, and the general sense of adventure aboard gave rise to this animation, named after a comment made one sunny Tuesday which made me laugh for hours. Fabiano made the soundtrack using an array of musical instruments, some cups, tables, sighs, and anything else that was lying around at the time.

Misha Somerville, 2 films ‘Snow. In Africa?’ and ‘Meall a’Bhuiridh’ (Hill of the Bellowing)

I was given an Olympus OM20 SLR film camera for my 18th birthday.  Some time later I discovered that taking pictures was a great excuse for seeking out the most interesting corners of the world.  I admired the great photographers for the breadth of experiences they had had, and their pictures inspired me to start doing the same.

Taking pictures gives you the opportunity to ask questions, of yourself and the viewer, to gain a better understanding.   But I couldn’t see answers to the biggest questions, on how this all came to be – us, the earth, space and time.  Any attempt to answer them simply seemed to prove our insignificance in space and time.  It seemed that the only reason we could be here was to try and experience the full spectrum of experiences life and world has to offer.  And for me this mean’t seeking out the other side- the dark side of the moon so to speak.  Photography was merely an excuse to do so, and potentially a means to inspire others to do the same as those before had inspired me.  It seemed like the ultimate privilege in life.

Fabiano Marques, the film ‘Faultline’ is made up of chapters, 7 of which will be shown

Marques was born in Santos, an important harbor city in the São Paulo State, Brazil, and is a nomad artist who have been traveling in and out of Brazil for many years. Marques deals with the development of and experiment with intervention systems from specific proposals or places.   The film ‘Faultline’ explores a trip on Vic 32, the last steam boat operating on the Caledonian Canal, in Scotland. The video is divided in chapters, having each chapter steamed by a song composed by the artist.  The film was made as a result of  a  Loch Ness Barge Art Residency, Summer 2011, Inverness, Scotland.


Bringing Place to Life: Place-Based Education
Dr Sam Harrison

Sam image_drawing glen
Exploring learning in the outdoors which develops senses of place, through
a combination of art and science education.

Sam runs Open ground specialising in place-based education and education
consultancy.  Based in Inverness Open Ground works with schools and
teachers to develop and deliver localised curriculum, bringing new
perspectives on the special places and stories which are part of the local
landscape.  From term long interactions with schools, teacher training
courses, and participative research, Open Ground works towards revealing
the distinct potential of each place.

Ian Stephen  A Journey to the Shiants


Biography;    Ian Stephen is from Stornoway, Isle of Lewis. Navigation and storytelling have long been central to his way of life and work. He is now working on a two volume book, Waypoints, which explores traditional stories, from Brittany to above the Arctic Circle. Voyaging has also been a main element in Ian’s drama (Seven Hunters, 2003) and visual art (short films included in Running Time – artists’ films in Scotland from 1960, Dean Gallery Edinburgh, 2010.)

In his talk Ian looks back on several passages, from his home town to the archipelago of the Shiant Islands, situated 18 miles south in the Minch. Poems relating to this route have recurred in his published works from Malin, Hebrides, Minches (Dangaroo Press, Denmark,1983 and most recently the 2013 Oxford Poets anthology. A two-minute video, taken at The Shiants, will introduce his talk.

22 August 2013  ‘Heritage Interpretation Workshop’ by Verity Walker

2012  EVENTS

27 January 2012                 British Waterways and Waterways Trust

                                               School Education Day

5 groups of primary school children create a timeline of the Caledonian Canal aboard the Loch Ness Barge as part of a day of activities based at various sites around the Muirtown Basin

24 February 2012             Film Night

a Seaport Marina residents film night saw ‘Vertical Sailing’ a fabulous film shown recently at the Mountain Film Festival

31 March 2012                  AGM of the Great Glen Canal Users Assoc

27 people aboard for AGM followed by social get-together

2 – 9 June 2012                 Sail Caledonia

Loch Ness Barge works as a support vessel, time to try out out the engine room refit with a trip to Corpach followed by a traditional boat event running from Corpach to Inverness!

21 August 2012                            Storytelling and Drawing Workshop

Ian Stephen and Christine Morrison led the workshop for HUG.

35 people aboard the barge for the day!

2011   EVENTS

9 April 2011                      AGM of Great Glen Canal Users Association

3 August 2011                  Stories of the North with Music

Alexandria Patience – stories & Donald McNeill – music

a relaxed performance event of Scottish Traditional stories – the sea and boats, love and loss, humour and likeable characters – all to original music

26 August                             Artists talk and slide show

Nicola Gear, Fabiano Marques and Mary Somerville show slides and talk about their work, followed by discussion

17 September 2011            This is not a restaurant.

An Open Day; open studio/open boat to celebrate the Brazil – Scotland art residency


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