Week 5 and a bit. Saturday  Sailing from the Orkneys Scotland to Kristiansand Norway - Across the North Sea                         Saturday 22nd - Saturday 29th June                              

Another week and another lot of miles on the odometer. 

Well our extra few days in the Orkneys proved most worthwhile. The part for the generator turned up and it was returned to full operation and the engine was serviced by some young Orkney locals who were happy to let us know why this was such a great place to live. We both even managed to get  haircuts!

062213 16 Great day out with Peter Jonas Charlotte and Andres on Vilda

The highlight of the week was the opportunity to visit Westray Island. A swedish boat called "Vilda" was doing a day sail to Westray and Anders the skipper, along with Peter Jonas and Charlotte kindly invited Lee onboard. Westray is only around 20 miles north of Mainland Orkney but with tidal influence it took the 37 footer around 4 hours to get there. The scenery along the way was typically Scottish - simply  breathtaking. Once on Westray we took the opportunity to do a walk up to the castle and back along the white sand beaches which had it been 20 degrees warmer would have been very inviting. Whilst Lee had a tour day Andrew had a boat day and prepared a bbq for our return.  Returning to the marina early that evening the smell of sausages wafting across never smelt so good and inviting. 

With jobs all done the next step was to plan our crossing of the North Sea in the best possible wave and weather conditions.

062813 2 A sign of things to come


As it was we headed out behind a gale knowing that another was coming in 24 hours behind us. So the first 24 hours saw some interesting wave heights but we sailed well with good speed. We passed through a lot of oil rigs which were lit up like small cities. Unfortunately as happens George our ever reliable auto pilot and third crew member decided enough was enough and stopped working around the 200 mile mark. That was also around when the wind changed and we began beating - we agree that "gentleman should never beat" but you can't argue with mother nature when your in the middle of the sea. So back to hand steering in very cold wet conditions. We had planned initially to stop at Farsund but we past the entrance around midnight when it was black as black and both agreed the coastline was better sailed past so an extra 40 odd miles was added to our intended journey.

So around 48 hours after we had set off we successfully completed the crossing of the North Sea and another 371 miles on the clock. Hot showers and a sleep were all very welcomed and we both agreed time to slow down.

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© SV Katherine 2018      Cover Photo: Katherine on Anchor Isle Tabarca Spain