Stromness 58:57.88N 03:17.63W
An early start to catch the tide into Scapa Flow whcih we
then pretty much had to ourselves. It covers a vast area - some 120 sq
km, and as a consequence of the war time Churchill Barriers is not particularly
susceptible to tide - other that at Hoy sound and the Pentland Firth - its
southern boundary. That and light winds early on meant we had a great sea
of flat water - so that when the wind picked up, we shot along, at one point
making 5 kts of boat speed from only 6.5 kts of true wind. The winds
continued to build and we had a great sail of almost 30 miles, heading East as
far as we could go and tacking back - and back on our pontoon in Stromness
Harbour by 1.30pm.
Graemsay with Hoy behind
After lunch we headed into town to the Stromness Museum - main
focus maritime but a typical eclectic collection of things related to Stromness
- of which there are many. It was a main recruiting centre for the Hudson
Bay Company and at the end of the eighteenth century 75% of HBC agents in
Canada were Orcadian. It was also a major trading port at various times,
especially when England was at war and it provided a safer port of entry - and
of course the town played a significant part in the two great wars.
Tomorrow the tides gives us late start - as whilst we can
head West from 10am to pass through Hoy Sound, we will find ourselves battling
a lot of tide heading SE toward Kirkwall south of Rousay unless we delay our
departure until noon. So a lie in.