I AM intrigued by Pat Kane’s piece on a new ten pence coin bearing an image of Nessie (Here’s to Nessie! Why we’re all in thrall to Scotland’s mystic monster, The National, March 3).

While not putting forward any theory, I did have a strange experience on Loch Ness. We were spending a holiday weekend with friends in Turriff, and were invited to visit another friend who had a cabin cruiser, the Rubicon, on Loch Ness.

It was a lovely day and we cruised down the loch to Drumnadrochit, where we had lunch.

In the late afternoon we cruised back and just off Foyers the boat’s owner, Jim Hunter suddenly said: “We’re running out of water!”. He switched the depth sounder from fathoms to feet and it was as if we were approaching the shore, but we were in the middle of Loch Ness!

The ladies came out of the cabin to see what all the excitement was about, and we watched the depth sounder coming up and sticking until there was only eight feet under the keel. There were six adults, four of whom have since died, and three boys – I am talking at least 30 years ago.

In any event the eight feet depth lasted probably about five minutes, then the echo sounder went back to no recorded depth; as soon as this happened Jim opened the throttle and we departed the scene, sharpish.

We saw nothing, we heard nothing, and we discussed what had happened. My Turriff friend finally said: “There was something big underneath the boat.”

I sent a letter to the Loch Ness Investigation Bureau in Foyers recounting this experience but I did not receive an acknowledgement; I know I have a copy somewhere in my loft as I came across it some years ago – I am not in the habit of throwing things out, as my wife continually reminds me.

Jim Lynch

A NOTE in response to Vonny Leclerc’s article (Outraged men must be allies against harassers, The National, March 5).

An interesting view Vonny. I agree with everything you say but wonder if progress can be made regarding male sexual harassment. It is about respect for others (women) and the ability to manage one’s own sexual desires and frustrations (male).

Many men can of course do this, but others – particularly if they have been drinking on taking drugs, or are in a position of power – seem unable to. As an individual I would speak up if I saw a women being harassed for whatever reason.

I see that there was an article in the same edition of the paper about some women’s fear of walking, cycling or using public transport during quiet periods (Fear stops women cycling, The National, March 5). This is the same thing, and is a shocking statement on our society.

Back in the dark ages when things were a bit more brutal there was a church synod meeting held in the year 697 at a place called Birr in central Ireland. There St Adomnan, the biographer of St Columba, proposed that there should be protection for women and children in society.

The document even states “if a hand is put under her dress to defile her ... penalties should be put in the form of a fine. If rape then the man should loose his manhood”.

Things have progressed since then, however the problem still does exist, and I regret always will.

Robert Anderson
Dunning, Perthshire

NEIL Barbour’s letter about Nicola Sturgeon delivering the annual Cardinal Winning lecture (Letters, March 3) quotes the First Minister as saying that Catholic schools are “good for Scotland”.

He could also have said that every elected Scottish MP, MSP and councillor from the main parties would publicly say exactly the same thing if asked directly. They are all politicians and answering otherwise would cost votes.

At a hustings meeting for the local elections last year, I asked the candidates what advantages to our society were gained from providing state-funded faith schools. However, I asked them to answer without using words like “tradition” or “choice”.

All of the main party candidates refused to answer. One sitting independent councillor did say he thought that all state schools should be secular.

He was not re-elected.

Douglas Morton