Stronsay, like the rest of the Orkney Isles gets a LOT of wind!
[Kyle]From busy Kirkwall, we sailed to the quiet little village of Whitehall on the island of Stronsay. The day started with a lovely sunny, downwind sail through narrow, winding channels that had us passing close by the nearby scenery. Once in the wider Stronsay Firth, we ran into a six knot current that required us to turn forty degrees further into the wind to crab across it. The clouds rolled in and with our forward speed added to the wind, the day suddenly turned a lot less pleasant. At least the current and the wind were in the same direction so the waves were a lot smaller than they would be when the tide shifted. The water was still a swirling, boiling mess, though. We would sail from one eddy to another and the boat would yaw wildly. Maryanne commented that all of Scotland was like the notorious Hell Gate in the East River in New York. By the time we see that place again, it’ll be nuttin’
We pulled into Whitehall, a village of about twenty buildings and found a spot to tie up along the wall by the ferry dock. Maryanne called the harbour master and he said he would meet us in an hour when the ferry arrived. In spite of having the time, he was completely unprepared. Everything is kept in great, shifting piles on his desk, in his car, on the floor. He was unable to find any of the paperwork necessary to charge us for our stay and promised he’d get to us tomorrow. The only thing he did actually find was his record of who stayed when. It turns out we are the first boat to have arrived this year. That explains why it was so easy to find space along the wall.
I love beating the crowds.
Whitehall, Stronsay, Orkney Isles