Thursday, June 6, 2024

2024 6th June Day 69, Still at Stromness and the weather prospects get even worse.

 Winds are still gusting over 30 knots and likely to get worse.

UK Met Office prediction for Saturday.
The current plan to save marina fees is to move to an anchorage on Sunday when gusts should not be much over 30 knots. I should be able to move south Tuesday or Wednesday although I may be pushing the recommended max wind strength for crossing the Pentland Firth given it will only be 3 or 4 days after spring tides, but I’ll be able to go at slack water and get through quickly with a following wind and past Duncansby Head before the tide turns against the wind.
Excel spread sheet calculating time check points to cross to
S to the mainland or west via Hoy Sound. Point of Ness is
just outside Stromness. Nos Head is between the anchorage
in Sinclair's Bay and Wick. See below for other points.
South bound I could start from Hunda Sound or an anchorage
off South Walls.

West via Hoy Sound is probably only a 30% chance as going home west about is 150 - 200 miles longer but there are lots of advantages:
  • shorter legs, so less need of rest days.
  • anchorages in easterly winds
  • Anchorages more likely to be available when sheltering from strong winds.
  • better scenery
  • some forecast models show I could make a lot of progress in the first few days compared to the east coast, seas are likely to be higher but less dangerous than the Pentland Firth and the next 10 miles or so.
  • And finally, statistically going east along the south coast is easier the going west from Dover.
But it could take a long time if the weather does not cooperate.

Having written that list, perhaps the chance is more like 50:50 depending on the weather forecast.

If going down the east coast I will probably then head straight to Peterhead arriving next day, to make the best of the weather window before the wind turns to the SE then E, just what I don’t want heading down the east coast, apart from the head wind it closes off the anchorages so I may again get stuck in expensive marinas, at least Stromness is relatively cheap.
ECMWF Forcast for Thursday evening.
This is turning into a very expensive and tedious cruise, To date I have been weather bound for 35 days from 76. Hopefully late summer will be better. In the meantime I am getting more adventurous on the cookery front.

Spag Bol, mince often has a long shelf life so it is useful when away from supplies for a week, but doing it properly uses a lot of gas so I just cook for 25 minutes after browning etc. Also you can’t really make just one portion so one goes into the electric cool box.
 
Quick Spag Bol. Scratch made with some leftover
red pepper, tinned baby carrots, onion, fresh mince,
fresh tomatoes, red wine etc.
Beef bourguignon, although strictly speaking this is Beef “COOP Chilean Red Blend”. Very tasty even so.
Scratch made, this one with all fresh ingredients.

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