3rd May 2011 - Peterhead-Whitehills-Lossiemouth-Inverness

Jeff's blog of his life living aboard a yacht, at anchor, in the UK, with his wife, a dog and a baby.

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3rd May 2011 - Peterhead-Whitehills-Lossiemouth-Inverness

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The perfect weather conditions continued, so great progress was made over the last few days and we're now safely moored up in Inverness - about 100 nm from Peterhead. Only drawback has been the times of tides which has resulted in very early starts. I've been up at 3 or 4am every morning for the last 5 mornings. Bit jet-lagged as a result, which is ironic given our lack of speed!

Between Peterhead and Whitehills lies Rattray Head, an infamous area of dangerous seas. I'd had conflicting advice about when was best to round it, and was extremely sleep deprived when I was making the passage plan, so I fired out a post in another forum asking if anyone could confirm my plan sounded OK. I got up at stupid O'clock and before setting off checked for responses. There was one, it said it should be OK, so after gaining clearance to leave Peterhead "busy commercial port" we were off.

We zooped round Rattray head in no time at all, without incident. It was absolutely fine as you can see in this short (boring!) movie:


We arrived in Whitehills (an idyllic former small fishing port) at 11am, and zombied around looking at the sights prior to making a plan for our next leg to Lossiemouth, which necessitated another early start.

Another uneventful trip, another zombie plod about another gorgeous Scottish town (this time with an excellent sandy beach for one very pent up Lunar) and another passage plan again revealing the necessity of another early start - this time bound for Inverness.

This passage was more challenging than of late. We had to hit a tide window in order to make it through two very narrow stretches of sea where the current runs extremely fast and can create "overfalls" and whirlpools in adverse conditions. We hit it bang on and got conveyorbelted through it over 7 knots while being surrounded by dolphins which were either messing about in the swirling water, or catching disorientated fish, or both - they certainly didn't seem very interested in us this time.

So now we're in Inverness for a wee while. I've got some work to catch up on, and a stag do to travel down to. I notice that the estimated drive time back to Whitby from here is SEVEN! hours, so we've really managed to come a heck of a long way in Isabella in a very short time.

Bit of a milestone to be here really. It marks not only the end of our travels on the East coast, but also the end of our travels Northwards. It's downhill from here on! Are we in fact about halfway!!

Here's some stats since Whitby:

Motored: 53 hours 15 minutes (we've had so little wind!)
Sailed: 22 hours (bad form!)
Anchored: 2 nights
Marina: 10 nights (excl inverness)
Other: 7 nights
At Sea: 2 nights (plus lots of very very early mornings)
Mooring Fees: £255
Fuel: 85 litres
Logged: 337.5 nautical miles
Barbecues: 13
Fish: ZERO! (Need to sort this out!)

Some pictures...

Isabella in Whitehills - very narrow harbour mouth in background

Dolphin at Chanonry Point (Inverness Firth)

Final few minutes of the voyage to Inverness - sailing under the gateway to the Highlands, Kessock Bridge
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