Update for everyone
Its now Saturday 16.30 we are Fort Augustus on loch Ness.
Some adventures we have had so far.
We have been keeping ahead of the weather changing - which has moved our pace on a bit. So now is the first half day.
Quick summary so far, will post more when back and some images.
Day one Wednesday 1st.
Fly to Northern Ireland collected boat and had chat with the good people at Redbay.
In the water for 15.00 - how far and easy going was it going to be.
We targeted Gigha then crinan all went well and with the tide with us and a southery 4 we made good progess to Tobermorey arrived at dusk.
Thursday, Fueled up Left Tobermorey for as far north as we could get.
Brilliant day the sun came out and stayed out - wind increased during the day to Force 6. Run up Sound of sleet, around Kyle of Lochalsh and on past Applecross (saw Monty Halls croft) then up north. Heavy going from here, we stuffed once in a big way - and despiet the cabin - we had water everywhere! we had to run 30 deg off the waves then 'tack' and run 30 degrees off the waves the other way. Hid behind Hanna Island and then made good progress into Kinlochbevrie. Arrive 16.45, disscuused fuelling and got fed from the Ice plant where they feed ice and red to the fishing boats.
The harbour master did way we were the first baot to visit this year!
Cape Wrath has a reputation, and we wanted to respect that, the problem was the favourable tides were from 01.30 or 13.30.
so we got up at 3am and left at half past. we run out into still airs but some rolling swell. In the dark you see nothing so even 10 kinots seems fast. Slowly we built up our speed and ran at 20 kts. Steering by a chart plotter and compass is real hard work, so the moon added a welcome reference to steer byWe rounded The cape while in the dark and the seas flattened out to dead flat. Steered for Old man of hoy and awaited the dawn.
Clear and sunny we made the hoy just as the sun was up. Problem now in leaving at 3am not 1am was the tide was wrong in the sound of hoy. we had huge standing waves and as the depth dropped from 60 metres to 8 they were breaking. But we got through and into Stromness for 07.30. Within 1 hour the whole place was fogbound for the whole day.
looking at the forecast we could see big winds coming in for Orkney. initailly we had until sunday noon. but each time we looked the arrival was to be sooner. It meant keeping moving or waiting a week in Orkney!
Saturday (today) again the Penland Firth tides needed to got right. we were up and realised that the fog was still here.
WE left at 03.30 and followed a preset route. I have never seen such poor visibility. We ran out and had a few scares and false alarm scares also. We ran at 17 kts. just on the plane.
Duncansby head wa not seen, but the waves were big and iregular and with fog and darknes very disorienting. we could take any more so planned to bale out for Wick.
Bryn was flagging so I got his sleeping bag out and he was gone. I stopped for 15 minutes and let me recover my senses. dawn was here but still fog. a regular wave pattern was developing so I could steer to this, just checking the compass/plotter from time to time.
As we headed south now for Helmsdale the seas eased and the vis improved
so I could now see a chance to get right down to Inverness before the Winds reached the forecast 6-7 possibly 8 in the East (from midday)
We arrived at the Caladonia Sea lock and locked in and paid our dues.
Stooped for a quick sleep andthen at 15.30 across lock ness to Fort Augustus. wind was on the nose force 6 short steep seas (jsut like the Solent on a bad day) so thats it for now.
We are two days ahead of schedule and are needing to slow up and enjoy doing very little
Upadate you at next intenet cafe I find