Day 101, Rest Day in Stromness, Orkney Islands.Tuesday 4th September, 2018.

After the long sail yesterday from Kinlochbervie on the Scottish NW coast to the Orkneys via Cape Wrath…. we had a rest! Well…. Christine flew home to Surrey via Edinburgh and Gatwick, Mike and myself did all the laundry! Before that we had to move Poli Poli from our berth in Stromness Marina to the fuel berth to top up our diesel tank. This was quite an operation… but all went well and afterwards Poli Poli was safely back on her berth.

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Poli Poli berthed in Stromness Marina on Orkney. There is a very tall mast…well Poli Poli is at the bottom of the second tallest mast in the photo.

Lots of sunshine today…. and no rain. Very much high pressure weather…. clear blue skies and for once… all the colours of the landscape shone through. No more gloomy grey and all shades of darkness.

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The high street in the little town of Stromness on the Mainland island in west Orkney.

Tomorrow Wednesday, we will tackle Scapa Flow and the infamous tidal gate known as the Pentland Firth…. which separates mainland Scotland from the Orkney Isles. We will be heading south east from Stromness to the north east Scottish town of Wick.

7e62fbd2-3900-4cc7-85fc-d740556066ff.jpegScapa Flow may be seen as an inland sea surrounded by the Mainland, Hoy and many smaller islands. There are only two entrances/exits to Scapa Flow… from the west via the Sound of Hoy, which we did on Monday…. and from the south by way of the Pentland Firth and its infamous tidal streams.

We will cross Scapa Flow by keeping close to its western shores and exit the southern end into the Pentland Firth . Here we must pick up the east flowing tide which will sweep us away from South Ronaldsay into the North Sea. Then we make our way to the south and to the coastal town of Wick.

Scapa Flow is full of ship wrecks. There are many historic wrecks with surrounding restricted areas for example Cava Island. In order to make passage across Scapa Flow we have to report in to Orkney VTS VHF Channel 11.

Below is a photo of Scapa Flow…in the very far distance beyond the lighthouse. The landscape is low, flat andwindswept ……..and somewhat desolate.

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More on this tomorrow. We anticipate leaving the marina here in Stromness at about 1pm …. why so late? So as to arrive at South Ronaldsway at about 3pm when the east flowing tide will begin. Timing is critical here and we need to get our tidal calculations right.

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