SY Hullu Poro

Boating & Biking Adventures

Crinan Canal

Coming from Oban we sailed south and passed a few more narrows with moderate tide rips. Our tidal calculation worked out and swiftly we entered the Crinan Sea Lock.

Crinan Canal is a short but intensive 9nm stretch (15 locks & 7 bridges), which connects Agrul and Bute with the Clyde area, in other words, Glasgow with Western Hebrides. It is a masterpiece of engineering more than 220 years ago, nicely embedded into unspoiled landscape. Not cheap but no doubt: pretty unique!

Fair winds…

Susan highly confident on the blowline.

Oban 2024

Tides again…

Our days on the Caledonian Canal are coming to an end at Corpach Sea Lock, the final lock back into the tides. The week was characterized by cloudy weather topped by Captain and Crew catching a nasty flu. Glad the weather has started to improve for us to enjoy a bit more of beautiful Scotland.

Fair winds…

Dochgarroch Lock

Our 2nd overnight stop after 5nm from Inverness is at Dochgarroch Lock. There are some stronger winds gusting up to 35kn from SW expected, which we want to pass through before proceeding onto Loch Ness.

Fair winds…

Wick => Inverness

We spent 24 hours in Wick and got an impression of this old seaside city. The glory Hering days have passed for long and we decided to take an overnight weather window towards Inverness. The ride along the shoreline offered some good light show. The approach into the Moray Firth was awaiting us.

We were spot on with our timing but the tidal & current data provided by Navionics need a bit more accuracy to maximize its benefit. It kicked in a bit later than forecasted but finally it was a 5kn current grabbing The Lady and pushing her through Kessock Bridge accompanied by some swirling waters.

The lock keeper at Clachnaharry Sea Lock was awaiting us for a straight run into sweet water at 8:30am. It‘s less than 12 month ago when we left this lock in opposite direction on our return from the Caribbean and the North Atlantic.

Fair winds…

Pentland Firth

Together with some other boats we left Kirkwall heading out to the Pentland Firth. It was a good sail under overcast sky. By chance we picked the Neap Tide and at the time we arrived at Liddel Eddy near the Pentland Skerries, the east going tide was building up and reached approximately 4-5kn.

With substantial help from the engine we just managed to stay clear off Muckle Skerry, the bow pointing 270 West and The Lady dancing and drifting 180 South in bubbling waters. With dry throat and shivering bones we finally picked the Southeast going share of the tidal stream, which spelled us out of the strait and cleared us from all shoals.

After further 15nm we reached Wick/Caithness in no time at top speeds beyond 10kn over ground.

A tidal experience we will remember for long!

Fair winds…

Kirkwall – Orkney Islands

Driven by the tide schedule, the mini flotilla left Fair Isle in the very early morning hours despite not much wind and therefore keeping the engine running  a bit longer than expected.

We had to catch an inbound current in time at “Lamb Head“ and “Ingale Skerry“ to finally pass “The String“ at slack water to minimize severe eddies happening in this spot, which is just 3nm into Kirkwall.

However, the sails finally took over under cloudy sky with sunny spells and the first passage highlight hit us straight away: ORCAS! Three friendly orcas! Passing by in less than 10m distance! Impressive!

Still a bit puzzled from this short but intense encounter the sky slowly closed while the wind speed increased and on the final miles of our approach into Kirkwall drizzle reduced visibility to minimum levels. Another demonstration how quickly the weather can change in this part of the world and reminding us to take weather forecasts with a pinch of salt.

Our arrival into the marina was remarkable with Charlotte from the office directing us to an allocated berth and receiving our mooring lines in now pouring conditions! Wow!

Our Northern Adventures continues!

Fair winds…

Fair Isle – Final Walk

After our final walk today and three pleasant, short nights on Fair Isle we will move on tomorrow. Orkney Islands are next on our journey further south.

There are seven yachts having the same plan. Most of them we already know from Lerwick. Flags from Norway, Netherland, Finnland, Estonia and ourselves are representing this little informal flotilla.

Fair Isle, a very fascinating island at the northern edge of the North Sea.

Fair winds…

Fair Isle Walking

Our walk today took us around the main parts of Fair Isle. From the Airport, to the Surgery Cabin, to the Grocery Shop, just to name a few. Its all here for the approximately 50 plus inhabitants living on this most geographically remote inhabited island in the UK.

The scenery is mind blowing, locals very friendly, Puffins very trusting and sheep…, no comment.

We are grateful the weather allows us to stay a bit longer!

Fair winds…

Land ho – Fair Isle!

The approach into the Fair Isle Marina was breathtaking, not only from the scenery point of view. It was also Spring Tide on the day and we arrived at SE currents setting 4kn on the nose few miles in front of the entrance. We are very excited to explore this island.

Fair winds…

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