A pre-dawn departure (0515), timed according to the CCClub Pilotage book to hit the dreaded Cape Wrath at slack water, then pick up the E-going tide NE to the Orkney Isles, gradually leaving the Scottish coast behind. The day was grey and misty, turning to thicker fog as we progressed, and the wind was again nil, so we were pleased to have refuelled. We made good time, passed inshore of Am Balg rock, and rounded Cape Wrath at 0730, at a safe distance of 2M. From there our course was a constant 075deg making over 7k with the eastgoing tide. The radar had little news for us, only having to alter course once for a BFS heading towards the Cape. The surface of the sea was calm, but a high rolling swell increased gradually as we got further into open waters of the Firth. We were disappointed not to see any more marine life (still no whales!) but were entertained by the sight of several Great Skuas (known in Orkney as 'bonxies') dive-bombing gulls, presumably to steal their food. We only knew we were approaching land by the chartplotter, because the fog was so dense we never saw the Old Man of Hoy to add to our collection of OMs, nor indeed any land, until we were inside the start of the Sound of Hoy. At this point, the autopilot seemed to lose all control, and even the boat's heading did not make any sense, and I was sure we must have hit one of the local magnetic anomalies marked on the chart. After a couple of minutes of panic the penny dropped: we were now being headed by one of the notorious Orkney tidal races, and were being pushed every which way by 6knots of adverse tide! We could now see the headland at the entrance to Stromness, and gunned the engine hard to make the narrow passage in at just over a knot. Once inside, all was calm, and we motored gently up past the fishing boats and ferry jetty to Stromness marina, a nearly new facility of some 60 excellent berths, with only half a dozen yachts and a number of small leisure fishing boats. We were on our pontoon by 1630, pleased to have made our first rounding of the notorious Cape Wrath in such benign conditions, and looking forward to a few days exploring Orkney. We had a beer outside the Ferry Inn on the harbourside, and collected keyfobs for re-entry into the locked marina, had a first wander round the town (more of that later), and ate fish and chips in the last of the evening sun on a bench outside the Ferry terminal. We were joined by a very wiry and hairy man who we learned was from Hastings, en route walking round every mile of the UK coast, eschewing lifts, and mostly avoiding roads. Cate wanted to ask him why he was punishing himself and what he had done to deserve it, but didn't, and we did not somehow feel inclined to offer him a bed on Vega for the night: we think he would probably have refused. anyway. We settled back down aboard and watched a scary movie on the laptop, though it didn't scare Benj so much because he slept through most of it, after the dawn start.