Muirtown Locks in Inverness are on the Beauly Firth end of the Caledonian Canal, and comprise four closed chambers bordered by five lock gates. By increasing or decreasing the level of water within each chamber and opening and closing the gates in order, it is possible for boats travelling along the canal to be raised or lowered to the height of the next chamber, then the procedure is repeated – a bit like a water staircase for boats.
We were walking along the canal side the other day as two boats were descending through the system of locks, so I took a few pics with my camera phone. By the time we arrived, the boats had already gone through the first chamber and had started their descent towards the Beauly Firth.
The first image is taken from the middle of the first lock gate, which when closed creates a narrow pedestrian ridge across the canal, looking towards the Beauly Firth. The second is taken from the next lock gate along, looking down on the boats as the water level reduces to the level of the third chamber, shown in the third image. The fourth image shows both boats in the third chamber, and the fifth shows them in the fourth chamber with the lock gates closing behind them. The last image is of the boats waiting to descend through the last chamber to the lowest water level below 🙂