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Old 04 April 2009, 12:12   #11
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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
Paul
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Old 04 April 2009, 12:38   #12
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Err, aren't you supposed to take your time and enjoy rib cruising!

Anyway, enjoy the rest of your cruise - and get some sleep!
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Old 04 April 2009, 18:14   #13
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Sounds like really hard work for a holiday! Hope things run smother for the rest of your break. Enjoy your well earned rest.
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Old 10 April 2009, 05:15   #14
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Arrived safely back at Redbay

Hi
Got back to Redbay on Wednesday.

Have been asleep since arriving back!
With two of us helming there has been good opportunities for enjoying the scenary.
I will post a final section and some images.

The way the weather was we had to eather keep pushing on - or wait over for an un-known length of time. Some of the smaller ports may have lost their interest at that point.
cheers Paul
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Old 10 April 2009, 07:34   #15
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Originally Posted by Paul Beaurain View Post
Hi
Got back to Redbay on Wednesday.
Nice one lads!

After that last post, I'd have thought Redbay might spring for a full tank for your return leg. You can't buy PR like that...... it would look nice on their site with a pic or two to add colour.

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Old 10 April 2009, 08:43   #16
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Wish i was there!

Sounds like you are enjoying it! and you've certainly got the right craft..for some 'heavy weather'look forward to seeing some pics
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Old 10 April 2009, 13:04   #17
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Images Day 1 - Redbay to Tobermorey

image 1 - launching at Redbay.
image 2 - Arriving tobermorey

Departed 15.00 arrived at 19.00 conditions flat calm but overcast.
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Old 10 April 2009, 13:12   #18
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Images day 2 Tobermorey to Kinlochbevrie

Day 2
Beautifull day but increasing southerly winds (OK for going North)
image 1 Perfect conditions (on plotter you can see Eigg and Rhum)
image 2 Skye Road bridge
image 3 Monte Halls place (ex)
image 4 Kinlochbervrie - the pritiest place we visited
on arrival the harbour master said we were the first visitors this year!!
image 5 The view from our restuarant summed up a great day
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Old 10 April 2009, 13:21   #19
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Images day 3 Kinlochbervie to Stromness Orkney

Today was an early start at 03.30 - rounding Cape Wrath by moonlight. Perfect conditions on what was a beautifull dawn as we approached Orkney.
image 1 - Approaching Orkneys
image 2 Landfall at the Old Man of Hoy
image 3 moored up at Stromness
image 4 Bryn 'at Stromness'
After a great run we had arrived by 07.30 we had breakfast at 'Julias' and then did some shopping and used the first class showers etc. when we came out the fog had come down - to stay...we did the Meuseum at Lyness in the afternoon to learn more about Scarpa Flow and the Orkneys role during two world wars.
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Old 10 April 2009, 13:34   #20
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Day 4 Saturday 4th images Stromness to where?

Worst fears were thick fog.
So thats what we had. The tides through the Pentland Firth would only be favourable until 0700. So we got off 03.30 and ran with less than 100m vis for 3 hours. Bryn on radar and me on everything else. not much to photograph when its dark and foggy!
Image 1 dawn just arrived we have rounded Duncansby Head and heading for wick - Did we stop was it more dangerous to try to enter harbour an unfamiliar harbour or to stay out on an almost empty sea?
With dawn and some coffee and Bryn now asleep and vis lifting a little - we had flat calm so I chose to run for inverness. (forecast was NW 7 by lunchtime - backing SW later) so we were always running to keep ahead of the weather - you cant turn down flat calm when its on offer.
image 2 Arrived at Clacknaharry Sea lock (Kessock Bridge over Inverness Firth in the background)
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