Speedwell of Rhu Ship's Log

3 rd of July 2011 - Round to the Sound of Yell

Crew : Helen and Andy
Destinations : Colla Firth.
Distance : 32 miles

The winds were forecast as North Westerly and we had a plan to head around the north west coast of Mainland Shetland, including Eshaness, where we had been walking a few days earlier. Part of this walk included visiting The Grind O' Navir, where the sea has scoured a huge chunk of rock from the cliffs and thrown it in inland with force. We had sat on boulders a metre thick which were piled up in several rows as you find on pebble beaches. I was a little worried as the swell of the ocean is quite new to me. The forecast was also telling us that the sea state would be 'moderate to rough'.

THE DRONGS St Magnus Bay

DORE HOLM St Magnus Bay

We had good winds to take us around Eshaness, but then it wasn't quite strong enough to power us through the increasing swell as we headed north to The Point of Fethaland, so we used the engine to supplement the sails. We motor sailed a course outside of the islands and rocks and, after a hard slog, made our way into the top end of Yell Sound. Things calmed down a little and we entertained ourselves by listening to Sullom Firth harbour dealing with an oil tanker who had just arrived in the Sound at the same time as us. This involved sending out a pilot and all their tugs.

We sailed down into Colla Firth where we found an idyllic anchorage in the south west corner and had lunch. The sun came out, the winds died down and we watched the terns and fulmars at play around us. We also dried out our wet weather gear and walking boots, which had been hanging in the forward heads. Touch wood, this is the only leak that lets in salt water at present. Our front windows only let in fresh water when it rains.

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