Speedwell of Rhu Ship's Log

22 nd to 23 rd of June 2011 - Papa Westray

Crew : Helen and Andy
Destinations : Laclett Bay.
Distance : 5 miles

In the morning we decided it was time to do something about the fact that our main compass was about 30 degrees off. (It had been probably since we fixed the steering in Loch Ness last year) Andy read the manual in preparation for this and we weighed anchor by 10.30. As we motored over to Papa Westray we calibrating the compass. We anchored in Laclett Bay, a nice sheltered spot at the south of the Island and had a well deserved rest on the boat watching the ferry come and go.

The following day we again rowed ashore with lunch and walking boots. We walked around Papa Westray visiting The Knap of Howar, the oldest standing house in Northern Europe. Unlike Scara Brae we could walk through the entrances. (Once the cows let us pass at least).

We then walked up to The North Hill RSPB reserve and walked around the coast. We skirted around Arctic and great skua nests and go some great views of the birds as they flew close over head to warn us off. On the cliffs at the north end of the island were little groups of black guillimots with their very red feet. Our walk then took us around a sandy bay full of common seals popping up to take a close look at us. It was very tempting to jump in with them as the water was beautifully clear and the sand was soft and inviting. However, we resisted, as it also looked very cold and I suspect the seals would have swam a mile. Toward the end of our walk we found some fulmars nesting on the far side of our stile. They were not happy to see us as we climbed over the wall, I jumped out of my skin as one screeched unhappily at me and Andy nearly got a leg full of fulmar snot.


As usual, our walk was a lot longer than we had planned. After agreeing not to walk mare than 5-10 miles a day after our last walk, this one ended up at about 13 miles. Well at least a days sailing to Shetland would keep us off our feet.

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