After a week of prevailing South Easterly storms, ferry cancellations and endless thumb twiddling....I finally found a break in the weather. The infamous "weather window".
I pushed aside the mountain of doubt and uncertainty, took a huge gulp and just went for it. Ferry...check, fuel...check, crew...check then uncheck, then check again. Sunscreen packed, tea, coffee and some Vegan sandwiches. We were ready to go.
It was a pretty hairy sailing North on the old NorthSouth boat. She took a few big rolls up towards Peterhead, then a further large one off the Broch. I was thinking what the heck am I doing, but I trusted the old salty sea dogs who I had sought guidance from the night before, and I relied on my years worth of Meteorological studies at the Nautical College, plus MSW wasn't showing any red....so it all seemed pretty ok to just keep going.
I woke up in Lerwick without even hearing Orkney. Beautiful clear sky, a slight jabble from the South East, but pretty much a fine day. I had my Vegan breakfast on the Ferry, plus a fine coffee. I then took many photos of the beautiful scenery as we arrived into Lerwick. Sunrise in Shetland is pretty much unbeatable.
I was then first off the gangway. My friend Maurice waiting to take me to Aith. We made it to Aith not zero mezanters at all and the Sceptre was all fired up ready to go. I packed my bag loaded with boaty things and myself and the previous owner set off out from Aith Marina at 08:14 local time. We had to do a wee bit of ice breaking as we left the berth, but Sceptre managed fine. I went up on to the flybridge and arranged my GoPro that my awesome partner bought me for my birthday a couple of years prior to this adventure.
Victor the previous owner piloted us out of Aith, gradually building up speed until the two Ford diesels were humming a sweet tune. We ventured in past Horses Holm, a very famous island with a hole right through it. We then navigated around the Eshaness Cliffs, then up towards the north of Shetland. We then made our way down through Sullom Voe, before proceeding through the sound at Yell. We managed to get the tide with us the whole way. We arrived in sunny Lerwick at 14:00, well within the time we had allocated ourselves. She never missed a beat. Absolutely cracking sail round and a great vessel so far. Hope it all goes to plan. Fingers crossed. It is quite scary being a first time employer, with a couple of crew members relying on you for work....but it is going to all work out I hope.
Please join us for a trip this year. #visitshetland2018