And they are off
At 1900 on the Thursday evening we had a perfect wind with 20knts westerly to take us out the Forth and a forecast of southerlies for the rest of the trip. We shot off on a broad reach round Inchkeith then goosewinged and cleared Fife Ness in 4 hours. The wind fell light and around 4am we put up, the first time for me, the spinnaker which had resided in my attic since buying the boat. With much trepidation up went the snuffer and she flew like a dream in the new day!
A spinnaker dawn
We carried the spinnaker in freshening southerly winds until off Rattray head it became quite strong with a fairtide we hit 10knots over the ground. Discretion overcame valour and we goosewinged in towards Wick to maintain best speed. As the evening came the wind lightened so up she went again. We ended up reaching at great pace up towards Copinsay and over the line just past Mull head at 04.24 on Saturday morning. A motor into Kirkwall for a breakfast drink and sleep.
The prizegiving previously planned for Monday night was brought forward to the Saturday and we were shown great hospitality by Kirkwall sailing club where we spent a good evening with the other crews. The results were announced and it turned out we were second in class second over the line and second overall. The winning boat being "Sulumar" from Fisherrow. Well done them for hanging on to that kite all the way!
We were very pleased to have a repectable second place as Aros More does not and will not wear her race kit very often!
Thanks to the race organisers, the other boats and Kirwall sailing club for making it such a memorable event. Thanks also to Joe, Brian and Eddie (the spinnaker brothers) for their commitment and patience.
All the competitors at Kirkwall
On Sunday morning light northerlies were forecast which was too good to miss for our trip west so we left in foggy conditions through Einhallow sound for the west coast. We had to motor on a flat sea all night and arrived at Gairloch early on Monday morning. A days rest with beautiful weather was enjoyed before leaving on Tuesday. Initially planning Plockton we met strong headwinds so headed off the wind and down the sound of Rassay to Portree. A pleasant place for a stop but we pushed on next day in headwinds and rain to Isle Ornsay which has good shelter and a good pub.
Next day a short trip to Mallaig where Eddie and brian left by train for home.
Joe and I left for Tobermory again in rain but lighter winds. From there we headed next day down to Oban marina where I am now safely tucked up as a gale is blowing through.
I had a great visit from David Bushby the previous owner-builder with whom I enjoyed discussing his past and still ongoing adventures.
Paul Lough joined us later for a run ashore for tea and giving Joe a lift home next day for a well earned rest.
A great trip round and hopefully the start of a great long slow trip home.