Speedwell of Rhu Ship's Log

4th to 5th of July 2011 - To Whalsay

Position Map
Crew : Helen and Andy
Destinations : Symbister Harbour.
Distance : 17 miles

After weighing anchor in sunshine, we sailed out of Colla Firth gently and with gentle winds. Our route took us through the narrows at the south of Yell Sound. The tides were very strong, so Andy made sure we got the timing right. We were able to sail for short periods, although the wind was quite light and mainly on our nose, which didn't help us dodging the skerries. Once we had got through the worst of the bouncy bits around Lunna Ness, we sailed south and Andy got out the fishing gear. Sadly, once more, a mackerel supper was not on the cards. We entered Whalsay Harbour in Symbister after passing our second yacht of the day in Linga Sound heading north. The harbour was pretty full of ferrys and fishing boats and the only suitable spot we could find to berth was between a ferry and scallop dredger on the harbour wall. Once secure we tried to find somebody to ask if it was OK, without much luck, but were reassured by some fishermen sorting out their nets that someone would soon come and tell us if it wasn't OK. We stayed on the boat just in case any one turned up and watched the ferries go back and forth to the mainland.


The following day the harbour master did eventually arrive and we paid £9.04 for up to 4 nights berth. He told us that he wasn't going to bother coming if we left early.The two big boats had also departed leaving us on our own. We had a walk and explored around the harbour. Eventually it started to rain. Charlotte arrived later in the evening, but they found a rare space on the pontoon so we didn't say hello. They were the only other yacht.

Whalsay is now doing quite well from fishing and they also harbour some of the big pelagic trawlers. There was a very attractive, rather luxurious looking one called Charisma moored up and I wandered past a few times in the hope they might invite me to have a look around. Despite all the doors being left open, I don't think any one was home. These boats cost millions of pounds and half a million pounds just to fill up with diesel, so they must have to catch lots of fish to make a profit. We also visited a small museum about the Hanseatic League as Whalsay was an important trading centre for these german traders for many and the old booth and dock have been renovated.

CHARISMA HANSEATIC BOOTH/PIER HOUSE MUSEUM

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