Antipole cruises

Inverness to Stronsay

We spent five days getting Antipole ready. She is now gleaming and the woodwork looks great.

As well as final stocking up, we had time to explore some of Inverness. We enjoyed a cycle ride along the banks of the River Ness and along some wooded islands in the river which are linked by footbridges to the banks.

A short shakedown sail shook out a few wrinkles. On the Sunday evening, we welcomed aboard Ynskje’s son Dan, who had managed to dodge rail strikes and travel up from the south by train.

Our first passage was to the small port of Helmsdale. With the wind coming off the mountains, It was a squally passage and we reefed and unreefed three times.

The gorse flowers have been really spectacular this year, completely covering the hillsides.

On the second day, we had an easier passage reefed and with the staysail set to Wick. Wick was once the largest herring fishing port in the world but that industry is no more. Today there is some activity serving the offshore wind farms and, since we were here in 2014, yacht pontoons now fill the harbour once jammed with fishing boats.

Lack of wind led us to stay an extra day. We had an interesting visit to the very excellent and extensive heritage museum. It really is worth a visit if you are in the area. Wick is also home to the Old Pulteney whisky distillery and we had time for a tasting. Dan generously bought a bottle of the 15-Year Aged for the boat 😀. Our day had been enhanced by a few hours of sun in the morning. As one local put it in a phone conversation overheard: “We have twelve days of summer here and this is one of them.”

On Thursday, we made a passage to Stronsay in the Orkney Isles. We passed safely east of the difficult Pentland Firth. It was a fast run. Even under these conditions, Ynskje manages to serve up magnificent lunches, which are very much appreciated.

Stronsay once employed 5000 people during the herring boom but today the population is just over 300 and the island is quiet.

Our track chart is available here.

That’s the news for now.

Ynskje, Tony & Dan

2 thoughts on “Inverness to Stronsay

  1. Alison Naisby

    Great to hear news of you & that Dan has been able to join you. Here’s to the next leg of your journey, with favourable winds & tides!

  2. heleen

    Hi Ine en Tony,
    Onderweg dus en geweldig dat Daniel zich bij jullie heeft gevoegd.
    Hier alles oké en ik ga ook een reisje maken: een cruise naar IJsland en ik start al op 11 juni. Hiervoor gekozen i.v.m. mijn rugklachten en mobiliteit: kan dan zelf bepalen welke excursies ik wel of niet ga doen en dan beslissen om wel of niet van boord te gaan.
    Anyway, voor jullie een mooie en veilige zeiltrip en ik hoor jullie wel weer.
    Liefs uit het Amsterdamse, heleen

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