Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Summer Cruise towards the Scottish Islands and possibly Orkney

Well, from the 4th July we should finally be allowed to stay on our boats overnight. By this time last year I had done the Jester Baltimore and had covered about fifteen hundred miles, this year zilch and the Jester Azores is postponed until next year so much of this years sailing will be crammed into one long summer cruise and perhaps a shorter one in the autumn. 

So on the 4th July I will, weather permitting, be heading west for the Scottish
Islands, then if the weather is kind to me I will go on to Orkney via Cape Wrath and home eastabout for a solo round GB trip, admittedly excluding N. Ireland although I am planning to visit a couple of placed there on-route.

You may notice that the post title says "towards" the Islands etc., that is the traditional way of recording the planned and hoped for destination in the ships log recognising that things frequently do not go to plan, especially under sail, and I will be very surprised if my actual trip matches the detailed plans I have, even with all of the alternates I put in the plan during the long days of lock down.

Marinas and port facilities in Scotland are currently closed, hopefully that will change before I get there in the second half of July but at best, meals ashore are likely to be few and far between so in the hope of lots of alfresco dinning I have fitted a cockpit table and am well stocked with food, water and diesel for 400 miles for minimal contact with the shore. Fortunately N. Ireland will be open so I can refuel and hopefully get fresh provisions there - but I suspect it could be busy.

With possible issues with cell phone coverage in many of the remote anchorages I am planning to use, the IridiumGo satellite system is ready to go and my track and current position should be available from the tab above.

In anticipation of this trip I had Sancerre's bottom cleaned on the 18th June, you can see how much crud builds up on a boat that is kept on the Hamble and not used, and this was just 6 months since I antifouled her and that included the winter months when weed growth is at a minimum.

Power wash at Hamble Yacht Services, June 2020.

Posts on route may be sent by email so formatting etc. may be a bit ropey with few pictures and none if submitted via satellite. Some of what follows was written in real time, some retrospectively so the tense keeps changing!