Lerwick. 60:09.232N 001:08.481W
Frans & Sarah Toonen
Sun 25 Aug 2013 16:54
Sunday 25th August 2013. Wind S 3/4 with short steep waves in the races and some swell. Poor visibility and fog.
Lifted anchor at 1000 having timed our entry to Bluemull Sound for the last of the flood so that we could stem the tide and not encounter wind against tide. When we were in Aberdeen last week we found a specialist retailer to buy the Admiralty Tidal Atlas which we used for this plan. Despite this planning we found we were swept along in excess of 4 knots of tide and no idea why. With this Sound so wrong we decided not to approach the next at Linga and then Hascosay so we continued tacking East all along the north coast of Fetlar (rocky green lump in the drifting fog) and right around it tacking eventually towards Vidlin Voe on Mainland. We tacked on back towards Whalsay to Symbister harbour where we planned to overnight. The harbour was busy with white fish trawlers and not at all cute so even more tacking and fog followed before we motor sailed towards Lerwick. Our 52 nautical miles of tacking behind us we were amazed to see a big black shape and fin emerge 200 yards from us, it seemed at least boat sized based on the bit we saw. We conclude it was a shy Minke whale as it only appeared once.
Surprisingly the pontoon in Lerwick was full so we were pleased that a Swiss couple helped us moor alongside their 46' yacht. Straight to the Queen's Hotel where we had the best fish and chips ever. Chatting with some locals about the helicopter crash we were joined by a couple from Teeside who were there because their son survived the crash and is in hospital in Lerwick with a broken back. As the crash was very close to the rocky lee shore and the sea temperature low the rescue services did well to recover 14 from the water in time.
Visited Bressay for a walk on Monday and spent time planning our run to Fair Isle tomorrow.