Tuesday, May 28, 2024

2024 May 28th Day 60, Loch Eriboll to Sand Side Bay, Dounreay


I was awake so left at 03:45 to get ahead of forecast rain pm and strong heads winds that didn’t arrive. There was no realistic chance of making Hoy Sound before the tide changed when the race and “Rost” is dangerous. So I was heading for Sand Side Bay with Scabster harbour as fall back if the exposed anchorage was untenable. The impossibility of getting to Hoy Sound was confirmed 8 miles from Sand Side Bay even after a quick passage under engine due to there being no wind, shortly after I was able to sail for a while.

Leaving Loch Eriboll at 05:06 after the long trip down the loch.

Strathy Point, about half way, sea birds probably there as currents
produce some turbulent water of the point.
The Orkney Islands from 25 miles away 

The approach is a bit worrying as the anchorage looks v bad until directly offshore.

The bay and anchorage is hidden behind the odd shaped cliff
on the right. Dounreay power station centre.
Not shown on the charts or mentioned in the CCC pilot is a small, old drying harbour in use by locals (but not visitors I assume) https://www.caithnessandsutherland.com/fresgoe-sandside-harbour-sandside-bay/
The anchorage coming into view, the harbour on the right.
Fresgoe Harbour
Fresgoe Harbour
The Anchorage.

With "only" 25 miles to get there and the tide an hour later there would be plenty of time to get through Hoy Sound next morning. 
33 miles in eight and a quarter hours.
Click for Stromness.

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