The morning was occupied with grocery shopping, buying a chart of NE Scotland from the Stornoway Shipping Company, and filling 490 litres of water. Then we slipped our mooring and headed to the fuel dock where we took on 157 litres of diesel - the first since Bangor in Ireland.
Once again the weather was very calm and we motored out into an amazing sea of light with fishing boats apparently floating in the sky, and pods of dolphins slowly curving through the water. They may have been sleeping, and they did not come to play with us.
Our destination was Loch Inchard and the port of Kinlochbervie, but as we progressed well I decided to head straight for the Orkneys, passing Cape Wrath while it was in a benevolent mood As we passed in the sunset, a shaft of sunlight illuminated the lighthouse, against the black 800 foot high cliffs of the Cleit Dub'h, and we toasted the Cape with a dram of Oban whisky and some Belgian chocolate.
|The black cliffs of Cleit Dubh and Cape Wrath, safely astern|
I took first watch until midnight, and the sky still showed a red sunset streak at that time, and then the moon rose preceded by an intensely red Mars.
Tuesday 23rd May 2016
When I came back on watch at 05:40 to relieve Justin it was daylight, and the Orkneys were visible twenty miles away, with the significant shape of Hoy dominating the skyline, withers cliffs of 1040 feet.. Astern the mountains inland of Cape Wrath were still visible 50 or more miles distant.
As we tacked back and forth into the headwind we could begin to see The Old Man of Hoy silhouetted against the sky, finally coming into Hoy Sound past the experimental tide power buoys just before their tide turned against us to deny entry.
|The Orkneys appear on the horizon|
|The Old Man of Hoy appears in the distance|
I called Stromness Harbour Control on channel 12 and we were allowed to enter, and found a finger pontoon to berth on.
Stromness seemed deserted as we strolled through the stone streets, amongst neat stone houses, and found our way to the Museum. It had interesting displays of ships and the local explorer John Rae, who had explored the Arctic learning survival skills from the Inuit.
We ate and drank well in the Ferryboat Inn, kindly treated by Justin, and then retired to bed exhausted.