Archive For The “Scotland” Category

Northern Ireland Arrival

Northern Ireland Arrival

The 225-mile overnight run from Scalpay to Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland started and ended in positive current and calm conditions. We sped around the west shores of the Isle of Islay at 13.5 knots as the current flushed us into North Channel between Scotland and Northern Ireland. There the winds picked up to only…

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Stornoway Departure

Stornoway Departure

We departed Stornoway at the end of March for Northern Ireland. With the area’s frequent weather systems and strong currents, finding a window to run the entire way was a bit of a challenge. During a brief period of forecast improved conditions between two weather systems, we made a 30-mile run south to Scalpay. After…

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Stornoway

Stornoway

Our first visit to Stornoway in 2018 was only for a week. We hit the highlights of the town and the Isle of Lewis, but didn’t have time for much else. Our second visit in 2020 was much longer at a month, but we were busy with some major projects such as a changing the…

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Perimeter Trail

Perimeter Trail

Our final walk in Stornoway was also on the Lews Castle grounds, this time along the Perimeter Trail. Much of the trail follows the River Creed, and gave a sense of what the property might have been like in the mid-1800s when Sir James and Lady Matheson created the castle and grounds. We particularly enjoyed…

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Lews Castle Grounds

Lews Castle Grounds

Sir James and Lady Matheson created the Lews Castle and its grounds over a period of seven years starting in 1847. The extensive grounds encompass 687 acres (278 hectares) of woodland and included the widest range of exotic flowers in Scotland at the time. The subsequent owner, Lord Leverhulme, gifted the property to the people…

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The Iolaire Disaster

The Iolaire Disaster

The shipwreck of the HMY Iolaire was one of the worst UK maritime disaster during peacetime. The ship sunk Jan 1, 1919 in a severe southerly gale off Holm Point just outside Stornoway harbour. At least 201 of the 238 on board drowned (the ship was badly overcrowded and records poor, so the death toll…

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Cnoc Nan Uan Hill

Cnoc Nan Uan Hill

Cnoc nan Uan hill is just north of Stornoway, and an easy walk from town. The hill is the highest in the area and has sweeping views across Stornoway and the Isle of Lewis, along with a sobering reminder of the toll of war. Atop the hill stands the 85-ft (26 m) Lewis War Memorial,…

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Stornoway Arrival

Stornoway Arrival

After completing quarantine at Longhope in Orkney, we returned to Stornoway to refuel, provision and accept several deliveries. Departing Orkney is always a bit of a challenge in needing to time the strong tides as well as get a good weather window. We made the journey in two legs, with an 81-mile, 10-hour run to…

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Quarantine at Longhope

Quarantine at Longhope

We spent much of our two weeks at Longhope, Orkney in twelve days of quarantine required for entry into Scotland during the pandemic. The days aboard passed quickly, and were somewhat reminiscent of our time spent the previous year at the Isle of Gigha during the Scottish lockdown except that instead of the local fishfarm…

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Norway to Scotland

Norway to Scotland

Free from the ice, we departed Farsund, Norway for Orkney, Scotland on the first leg of our journey home to the US. Conditions were blissfully calm, especially considering we were crossing the North Sea in late February, and the passage was a relaxing and easy one. We finished the run with an exciting entry through…

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2020 Summary

2020 Summary

As with most of the planet, 2020 was for us a year of plan changes, adjusted expectations and unpredictability. In several ways our lives have changed notably, but much remains the same. Along with many fellow world cruisers, we experienced the unique challenges of being a visiting boater during a global pandemic. But overall we…

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Return to Norway

Return to Norway

It’s an unusual day when you get up in the morning to start a short coastal cruise, and end up making a 2.5-day crossing of the North Sea to an entirely different country. Given the current world situation, Norway was number one on our list of desired destinations, with its excellent hiking and abundance of…

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Loch Laxford

Loch Laxford

We very much enjoyed our month in Stornoway. It was wonderful to be fully fueled and provisioned again, with the bottom painted, the zincs replaced and the insurance survey complete, and we were looking forward to some relaxing cruising with our generator now back in full operating condition after replacing the cylinder head. Our first…

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Stornoway Haulout

Stornoway Haulout

The Stornoway slipway is a big commercial railway that can lift boats up to 50m long and weighing up to 850 tons. The railway cradle uses three pairs of hydraulic support arms to hold boats in place, making for an efficient lift process. Once the vessel is in the correct position, the arms are simply…

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Stornoway Projects

Stornoway Projects

The replacement parts for our failed generator arrived from the US into the UK two days after we reached Stornoway, but got stuck in the UPS system for another eight days. While we waited, we completed some other projects, including finishing off the wax job we’d started at the Isle of Gigha. We also arranged…

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Provisioning in Stornoway

Provisioning in Stornoway

We spent our first few days in Stornoway busily reprovisioning the boat. After six trips to the grocery store, sometimes twice in one day, we still had a few more items to purchase. But our list was down to a half page from three. We also topped up our propane and engine oil supplies, and…

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Stornoway Arrival

Stornoway Arrival

When we arrived in Stornoway, Scotland on June 9th, we stepped ashore for the first time since departing Portland, UK on March 22nd. While we were looking forward to revisiting Stornoway, surprisingly, neither of us was desperate to get ashore. The same versatility that made Dirona a comfortable and safe home for us over the…

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Isle of Skye

Isle of Skye

The Isle of Skye in Scotland’s Inner Hebrides is famous for spectacular, unworldy scenery. Hardly a boring vista exists, especially near the Trotternish Landslip on the northeastern shore. Several huge landslides took place during the post-glacial period, creating amazing formations such as the Old Man of Store and adjacent pinnacles, where the opening scenes for…

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