Lifeboat exercise in Stromness Orkney

The Lifeboat crew at Stromness very kindly signed the joint OGA/RNLI forms which at the end of the year will be presented to the RNLI in Poole Dorset, the Headquarters of the RNLI. The Crew then very kindly invited us for a fast tour of the entry to Stromness harbour – I will let the images tell the story…

The Stromness Lifeboat crew preparing for exercise
The Stromness Lifeboat crew preparing for exercise
All kitted up and down to the Lifeboat
All kitted up and down to the Lifeboat
Off on the real exercise
Off on the real exercise
Our Cox for the evening ride...
Our Cox for the evening ride…
IMG_4544
The control room under the bridge
The control room under the bridge
Leaving the Harbour with just a little wake ...
Leaving the Harbour with just a little wake …
Picking up speed
Picking up speed
22.5 Knots in pretty quick time
22.5 Knots in pretty quick time
View astern
View astern
Our leader, suitably impressed, is escorted off  (nerves still intact)
Our leader, suitably impressed, is escorted off (nerves still intact)
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Isle of Lewis to The Orkney Islands

Kinlochbervie - Loch Inchard on the Scottish mainland
Kinlochbervie – Loch Inchard on the Scottish mainland
The Lighthouse at Cape Wrath
The Lighthouse at Cape Wrath
Gordon at his command post !!
Gordon at his command post !!
Wind against tide surfing our way to the Orkneys (in the distance)
Wind against tide surfing our way to the Orkneys (in the distance)
Stromness on Orkney. Midnight and still light !
Stromness on Orkney. Midnight and still light !

Having travelled as far as Stornoway aboard Naiad, have now transferred to Tantina II.
Lunchtime on Monday we left Stornoway and headed North towards Cape Wrath, but on the way decided to overnight at Linlochbervie  Loch Inchard. The next morning heading north towards Cape Wrath to get the tides right we eventually rounded the Cape and got the sails up for a “stonking sail” towards the Orkneys. Once the wind vane was set all there was to do was to enjoy the sail. A much bigger boat came within 200 metres powering her way through waves heading in the same direction. The time of our entry into the Harbour at Stromness was critical as there is at Neap Tides a 5 knot current running against us before it turns. So safely in the Harbour a dram was called for and duly consumed. A rest day today before heading North once more with favourable winds according to the forecast (No Comment!)

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Stornoway Wind Bound

Sailing a "Stogh" a traditional long line fishing vessel
Sailing a “Sgoth” – a traditional long line fishing vessel
Hebridean views
Hebridean views
Beaches to die for !!
Beaches to die for!!
A trip round the Harbour
A trip round the Harbour

We have been here now for almost a week – Naiad, Tantina II, joined by Bonita, Windbreker, and latterly Minstrel. The weather has been in the main dry and warm but also some rain. We have been enjoying the entertainment that our hosts have provided through Gerald and Sue ably assisted by Ian and Christine from the “Sail Loft” who have opened their house for showers, internet connections and of course the glass of wine or two!! On Saturday a parade of sail was held and after the Prizegiving in a local pub Windbreker hosted a “Clam” party with approx 30+ people on board. Mike Shaw and his wife Marion joined the skipper and crew of Tantina II and Naiad for dinner in a local hostelry, so missing out on the Clam party.

I have no images of the “Clam party” but Bonita has added a few to their blog I believe, maybe also a video.

Videos of the “Sgoth” have been posted on Youtube courtesy of “Bonita” .

Tomorrow it is intended to head North once more, but for the past few days we have had northerly winds which have hindered our progress.

The Shetlands – here we come, all being well.

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Plockton – Gairloch – Loch Shell – Stornoway

At anchor in Loch Shell
At anchor in Loch Shell
What are you doing here ?
What are you doing here?
Maggie leaving Gairloch
Maggie leaving Gairloch
Leaving Plockton Harbour
Leaving Plockton Harbour

Leaving Plockton Tuesday we headed north to Gairloch. Once more a very wind less day but hot and sunny where were to meet up with Gordon and Elaine on Tantina II. Shortly after arriving in late afternoon we received word that “Maggie” with Rik and Miriam on board were going to join us. They are on their summer cruise and the latest new members of the OGA before heading off to Loch Shell on Lewis. We spent the night at anchor before setting off for Stornoway. As we approached Stornoway with some wind and for the first time rain, our host Gerald greeted us playing the fiddle much to our delight on his beautiful gaff-rigged boat. Later in the evening Bonita arrived and rafted up alongside. Just heard that Windbreker will be arriving today.

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Tobermory to Plockton

Ready for off the Three Musketeers and Elaine {taking picture}
Ready for off – the Three Musketeers and Elaine (taking picture)
The sound of Sleat with the the Cuillins of Skye in the distance
The sound of Sleat with the the Cuillins of Skye in the distance
Tobermory 6.30 in the morning
Tobermory 6.30 in the morning
Approaching Plockton harbour
Approaching Plockton harbour

Once more on our journey north the weather holds up but entailed a 10 hour motor journey from Tobermory to Plockton. The sun was so hot at one stage I had to cover my legs although there was plenty of Sun Cream on. The approach through to Kyles and the journey through the straits was uneventful as we managed to get the tides just right, as we shot through to the Kyle of Lochalsh . Ross the Cox of the Kyles Lifeboat came down to the jetty to sign the RNLI Page. We would have liked to stay longer but needed to get to Plockton where waiting to greet us were old friends. However this did not go according to plan but later met up for a  last drink. Today is a rest day but in saying that Neal has taken some locals out for a day sail in the warm sunshine.The winds will be turning southerly we hope which will give us fair winds for our next major stop Stornoway.

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Campbeltown to Tobermory

Anchorage in Gometra on the Isle of Ulva
Anchorage in Gometra on the Isle of Ulva
Tantina II at anchor in East Loch Tarbert on Jura
Tantina II at anchor in East Loch Tarbert on Jura
Too warm for clothes!!!
Too warm for clothes!!!
At Anchor on Gigha
At anchor on Gigha
Washing the Bowsprit round the boat - Mull
Washing the Bowsprit round the boat – Mull
Sanday Island off the "Mull"
Sanday Island off the Mull

Naiad and Tantina II left Campbeltown on Monday June 3rd and sailed round the Mull of Kintyre to Gigha. On the way round the Mull Tantina sailed through approx. 30-40 seals awaiting breakfast on the courtesy of the tide. The mist eventually burned off and since then the weather has provided spectacular sailing sunshine and breezes. On Gigha the two boats met up with Bonita and enjoyed a lovely meal ashore.
Tuesday Naiad and Tantina 11 set off for Islay on their way to Gometra on the isle of Ulva. On the way Porpoises played around the bow of the vessel round the Ross of Mull. When we arrived in the Sound of Iona the Cathedral looked splendid in the sunshine, a breeze picked up as we sailed towards Staffa and Fingalls cave before before settling in for the night at the anchorage – it was this time for Naiad to act as hosts. Thurday morning dawned as we set sail for Tobermory. After a short time motoring we were able to enjoy a spectacular sail to Tobermory where once more Bonita was to be found.
All being well, Saturday morning we will head for Plockton via the Kyle of Lochalsh.

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The Scottish Token on its way to Cowes

IMG_3904   Ship in a bottle
Ship in a bottle

The Scottish ” Token”, specially made for the RBC challenge, is a scale model of Scottish fishing boat Reaper, it is now on board Naiad for its journey to Cowes.
After the spectacular party at the Campbeltown Sailing Club and its unrivalled hospitality we are looking forward to the next event on Stornoway.
The other image is of bottle of a malt whisky especially bottled for the RBC event, it tastes good to!
Tantina II and Naiad will be leaving for Gigha at 5.30 in the morning to get the tides around the Mull of Kintyre. Weather looks good.

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