Day 1+Night 1+Day 2
First leg 39.5 hours from Levington Marina to Hartlepool with a brief stop in Lowestoft for lunch and to wait for the tide to change. Then the rest of the passage in one go.
Wind was good for the first couple of hours and we made good progress under sail but then it changed and we had to motor into port. Wind for the rest of the day was right on the nose and the seas made it a bit of a lumpy passage for the next 8 hours until it settled down to almost dead calm during the night.
Watches of 2 hours on and 2 hours off during the night passage. Feeling tired but proud I didn’t hit any wind farms or gas platforms during the night while the skipper was asleep.
Lots of other wildlife, Porpoises, Guillemots as well as the Puffins. Would have included a picture of Hartlepool marina but there’s nothing interesting to see.
Sorry Hartlepool you do have something interesting, the Royal Naval museum which includes the HMS Trincomalee a Leda class frigate built just after the Napoleonic wars and an old Paddle Steamer. Journey today was Hartlepool to Blyth. Good sailing in the morning but then the wind changed to the rear so skipper demonstrate how to rig up the Code Zero sail to make more use of what wind there was, another new bit of knowledge gained. In the afternoon we had some company, 2 dolphins decided to bow wave surf with us for about 5 minutes, an amazing sight, let’s hope we get more of them as we keeping heading north.
Blyth to Eyemouth via a lunch stop at Holy Island. Wind very light so had the engine on most of the day, never mind the day was lovely for watching the wildlife. Saw a pod of 10 dolphins up really close as well as more seals, puffins etc, Learning lots of new techniques from the skipper. Off to Peterhead tomorrow.
Eyemouth to Peterhead a passage of 100 miles. That meant another 4:30 departure. Wind was not great and was from astern most of the day so we goosewinged the sails and did the best we could for a while but then went back to the engine as it was a long passage and we wanted to get into port before dark. Seas were too disturbed to see much in the way of seals and dolphins but there were a few brief glimpses. I also tried out the sextant which the skipper is teaching me to use.
Images are of Dunstanburgh Castle, Holy Island Castle and Eyemouth harbor entrance.
Peterhead to Whitehills, which is near Banff on the Moray Firth, a 40 mile passage.
We were able to sail it most of the way until we started to head due west and straight into the wind again. The exciting bit was watching 3 RNLI lifeboats and a search and rescue helicopter looking for someone who had made a Mayday call, but didn’t give their location, working a grid pattern only a couple of miles away from us.
Turns out it was probably a hoax call, what idiot would do that sort of thing.
Whitehills to Inverness, journeys end.
Departed Whitehills as soon as it looked safe to do so. Touched the bottom in the middle of the harbor as there was a little lump so reversed off and kept to the side next to the fishing boats. Very few sightings of the famous Moray Firth bottlenosed dolphins. Very light wind today so had to motor it all the way which was a shame.
Arrived at Inverness marina at 17:00.