Speedwell of Rhu Ship's Log

14 th of August 2011 - Back to mainland UK

Crew : Helen and Andy
Destinations : Wick.
Distance : 44 miles

After a 0600am alarm call from Andy we got the boat ready in a leisurely fashion and left our berth by 0645. We saw on the AIS that Tortuga had also left her berth in Elwick harbour and was slightly ahead of us. The wind was on our nose (this wasn't what the forecast had predicted), so we motor sailed. There was also quite a confused sea and swell as we made our way east around Deerness. We gradually caught up with Tortuga and it looked like we might be able to sail. Tortuga tried much harder than us and had her genoa out quickly. We managed to get a photo of Tortuga sailing as we passed Copinsay and hoped she might do the same for us. It is not often you get the chance to get a photo of your own boat with all the sails up.


Anyway, the wind died a bit and, as it was very rolly, we quickly furled in our genoa and motored well out to sea away from the tidal race through Pentland Firth and around Rattray Head. Tortuga continued to sail so we left her behind us. There was still a swell as we headed south toward Wick. It was obvious once we headed into the bay why you can't enter the harbour in an easterly wind, because even in a south south easterly the seas were quite up and down until the very last minute, when we passed around the harbour wall and through the narrow entrance into the outer harbour. We found a berth and had a beer in the cockpit with the sun shining on us. (Another first of the trip). Tortuga arrived a couple of hours later after an 11 hour sail, only motoring at the very last moment when the tide turned against them. After listening to the weather forecast we decided to push on the following day to Inverness.

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