Scrabster to Wick

Juniper sailing round GB
Gordon and Catherine
Fri 29 Jul 2011 10:20

58:26.38N 03:05.07W Quote from Reeds on the Pentland Firth ‘This potentially dangerous channel should only be attempted with moderate winds (less than F4), good visibility, no swell and a fair neap tide’.  It then goes on to name all the races and overfalls within the firth that must be avoided, the most extensive being the Merry Men of Mey – strange sense of humour!  Anyway, we’ve planned carefully and taken local advice so we slip in the dark at 0315 this morning and make our way out to Dunnet Head.  The Head looks huge against the lightening sky as we approach but we get there at the recommended time and turn right into the channel.  The whole passage is actually very straightforward but it’s interesting that we enter the channel doing 4 knots and get bounced out at Duncansby Head doing 9.5, having passed John O’Groats on the way.  Dunnet Head is the most northerly point of mainland GB so that’s it, all four compass points duly rounded; now we’re back on the east coast so we’re ‘Homeward bound’ and it feels good.  A gentle beam reach under full sail brings us to Wick in time for a late breakfast.