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Coal-Burner Answer

September 21, 1986

I thoroughly enjoyed the Aug. 10 article, "Skipper Has the Key to the Lochs" by Linda Stewart. Last May, visiting Loch Ness, I took a walk from Drumnadochit to Urquardt Castle and met the custodian, Ian McDonnell. In the distance upon the dark waters of the loch I noticed a plume of black smoke above a small craft which appeared to be making a steady pace north toward Inverness.

I asked McDonnell if a boat was on fire. He assured me that all was in order and that we were seeing a coal-burning trawler called a VIC32 and it was for hire on day trips through the lochs. He said there had been another but it was gone, and he believed the one we were viewing was the last working VIC32 in the world. I was intrigued and had very little luck in tracking down further information after returning to the United States, but your article certainly satisfied my curiosity.

GIACINTA BRADLEY KOONTZ

San Diego

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