The Islands of Scotland are amazing! I wish we could stay up here longer, visit further north, see the Shetland's or the Orkney's, but they are just a little too far out of our grasp. On another cruise, in another life, when we don't have kids aboard. While the kids have been great about seeing one scenic fjord or little loch after another, they only appreciate the scenery so long. They are longing for a little more action. Zander is dreaming of going to a rugby game in England and Porter and Ana are looking forward to visiting High Clear Castle (the set for Downton Abbey, which we have become huge fans of), among other stops we are hoping to make. For now though they have been troopers about visiting old castles, exploring abbeys from centuries ago, climbing peaks and paddling along shorelines. Oh yeah, and sailing! The sailing has been remarkably good and we have been lucky to have some south winds as we headed north and we expect to have some northerlies as we head south. Perfect timing! Timing is important up here with wicked tide rips rushing through island groups. We've been timing those and have had, at times, up to a 3 knot assist in current. The waters have been mostly flat as we cruise along towering cliffs, castles in ruins as well as a few refurbished and lived in, and quaint little villages. Scotland is a superb cruising ground and even late in the season, we've seen quite a few other local boats out here with us.
On the Island of Skye, our most northern point, we went into postcard picture Loch Scavaig, anchoring close enough to a waterfall that we were lulled to sleep at night with the sound of cascading water. The second day we climbed up to an alpine lake with the Cuillin Mountain range as our backdrop. While not the tallest range in Scotland, it is most certainly the most dramatic and we were not disappointed. The anchorage was small and a fair weather anchorage, but we checked the weather and had the anchorage to ourselves for a time. This will definitely be a top ten anchorage spot for us. In the evening we harvested mussels and had ourselves a feast. We went a shore hoping to have a peat beach fire, but picture perfect comes with a price and the bugs drove us off the beach. We beat a fast retreat and fortunately the bugs didn't bother us on the boat.
We visited a couple other locations on Skye and then at 57 degrees N, we turned the boat around and we are now officially headed for home, albeit via a very circuitous route. We are looking forward to all our Southerly ports, but it is definitely with a heavy heart that we turn from this very majestic cruising ground. While we cruised Mexico and the Caribbean you have this sense that you may be back at some point, in cruising Northern Scotland, I can say with some certainty, that we will probably not be back this way by boat, and this makes me more than a little sad. I for one, have really loved my time here.
The following pages chronicle the journey of the sailing vessel Pelagic and her crew. We are a family of 5; Michael, Amy, Zander, Porter and Anakena, taking our 42' Hallberg Rassy as far as we can comfortably go in three years. We left Oregon in September 2014, participated in the 2014 Baja Haha, continued on through the Panama Canal, into the Caribbean, up the coast of the US to Maritime Canada and from there crossed the Atlantic. After an arrival in Ireland we toured Scotland, then sailed down to France, Portugal and on to Morocco. In January of 2016 we slowed down considerably and enrolled the kids in a local Spanish school in Sanlucar de Guadiana for a few months. In the spring of 2016 we crossed the Atlantic towards the Caribbean. We are now in the Pacific, officially on our way home, albeit via a very circuitous path. We are currently in French Polynesia and looking at weather windows to Hawaii before finally making landfall back in the Pacific Northwest.
Currently our exact location is not available. Our spot coverage will pick us back up in Hawaii towards the end of May, 2017.
Our favorite sailing quote:
"If anythings gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there boss!" Captain Ron