Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Another note from Jake

Ahhh. Jen finally took a break from the computer so now I get a chance to say hello. We're once again hanging out at the Royal Bar in Thurso having a couple drinks while I do some chart work and Jen checks on weather (which is looking better for the weekend) and e-mails from home. The bar happens to be the headquarters for a big surf contest that's in town so it's been a bit crowded but it's interesting to hear accents from all over the world.

Yesterday saw our second day on the water. We got a bit of a late start due to srong winds in the morning and by the time we started to approach Duncansby Head (the start of our planned island crossing) we realized that we'd spent a little too much time exploring the amazing sea caves and slot canyons we found along the way and had missed the good tide window we'd planned. So we ended up turning back with plans to hustle over to check out another spot. We never did make it back on the water. When we arrived back at the put-in the gentleman that lives in the house right there invited us in for sardine sandwiches and coffee. We were in a hurry (and honestly a little leery of sardine sandwiches) but we knew we'd be crazy to pass up a chance to experience real Scottish hospitality so we went inside. We ended up having a nice chat with Ronnie who wouldn't let us stop eating until we'd finished an entire platter of sandwiches he'd set out.

Today we had big plans to do the crossing we'd passed up on yesterday but when we woke to puring rain and winds rocking the van we already knew it was a no-go. We did end up driving over to a different spot Jen wanted to check out that thankfully gave us some protection from the wind. Once again the coastline was absolutely beautiful and we entertained ourselves on rock garden pourovers and slots while grazing sheep looked on and baaed their approval from the cliff tops high above. We didn't completely escape the wind and had to turn back a few miles shy of our destination due to the fact that the 20 knot plus winds were making it just no fun. There was a point where I watched waves breaking and washing up on a huge sloped rock. The little rivulets of water that normally flow back into the ocean as the wave subsides never really made it. Instead the water droplets were picked up by the wind and hurled up and over the far side of the rock in a misty spray. Pretty impressive.
The weather looks good for tomorrow so with any luck we'll have reports about our Stroma crossing and circumnavigation.

See you later,

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