16th to 19th of June 2011 - The Orkneys
|Crew :||Andy and Helen|
|Distance :||74 miles|
|We left our anchor at 08.00. The weather appeared pretty
we decided to head to Stromness in Orkney. The swell from various low
pressure systems out in the Atlantic was fairly big, but there was no
wind and it didn't feel too rough. We motored around Cape Wrath and
north east across the north coast of Scotland. We sat watches and each
had a bit of a kip on passage, although it only took about 12 hours in
the end. As we headed into Hoy Mouth we had 6 knots of tide helping us
around to the harbour entrance. We skidded beam on around the corner
into the harbour, where, after avoiding a few pretty racing dinghys we
found a pontoon berth.
|THE OLD MAN OF HOY
||THE OLD WOMAN ON PASSAGE
The next day we explored Stromness and managed to replace a worn and broken impeller in the sink drain. We visited the art gallery where we saw more Alfred Wallis pictures than we had managed to see in St Ives. There was also a fairly good collection of Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth and the art gallery itself was a really nice building on the waterfront. We also visited the museum, which had lots about the sea, lighthouses and the Hudson Bay Company.
following day we caught the only bus up the road to Marwick Head on the
west coast at 07.35am. We walked up to the RSPB reserve where there
were guillemots and fulmurs nesting on the cliffs and a monument to
Kitchener who was killed in 1916 when his ship hit a mine. Sadly the
locals were told not to send out a rescue party or to tell anyone
because there may have been secret papers on the boat.
|We walked along the west coast path to Scara Brae, which was
amazing. At 5000 years old it is the remains of a settlement older even than
the pyramids and Stone Henge. I could quite happily live in a stone house.
||SKAILL BAY BY SCARA BRAE
We then carried on walking back to Stromness along the cliffs. Despite it being over 15 miles and resulting in blisters and sore feet, it was worth it for the amazing sea stacks, cliffs, nesting birds and flowers.
YESNABY CASTLE, a sea stack and arch in one!
We walked back into Stromness for fish and chips, before getting back to the marina.
|The next day, on my birthday, we
bus to Maes Howe. This is a neolithic tomb, again over 5000 years old.
We then walked along
the road to see the Ring of Brodgar and the Stones of Stenness. The
whole area is full of neolithic archeological remains. They have
recently found another village on the Ness of Brodgar, likely to be
even bigger than Scara Brae, which is gradually being excavated.
By the time we got back to the main road our feet were getting sore all over again. After a lunch of short bread and Orkney fudge we got the bus back to the boat. We replaced the gas cylinder and food ready to go north the following day. Andy met the woman from Selene. They had taken 36 hours to get to Stromness, having sailed the whole way and having had to head out way north into the Atlantic.
A STONE OF STENNESS
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