10 – 17 June Inverness – Lerwick (Shetland), 240 nm
In 2014, this was definitely my favorite leg, for many reasons. For sure, being the most northerly leg, it is also challenging, cold, damp and windy, but, on the other hand, this leg gives an outstanding return by means of being one of the most extraordinary destinations I know of. Not may boats get to sail to this area and here, one can really experience the benefits of a boat like Hallberg-Rassy: The insulated hull, the double heaters, the hardtop and the pushbutton-sailing allows us to sail this remoteness in safety, comfort and style. Further to the stunning nature and the friendly people, I really like the Shetland music, which can be enjoyed playing life in the Lounge Bar in Lerwick on Wednesday nights.
Starting in Inverness (you can fly to Edinburgh and take the bus, train or one-way car rental from there) we will continue by daysailing up north to Wick, the last outpost on mainland Britain. From here we will cross the notorious Pentland Firth with tidal streams up to 12 knots to make landfall in the Orkney archipelago. This is true viking country!
From more recent date is the Highland Park distillery, for many a must when calling into Kirkwall.
Despite the fact that it is just two short daysails from Orkney via Fair Isle to Shetland, the crossing can be challenging, nevertheless. After all, we are far up north around latitude 60 deg N. Depending on the weather, we will spend some extra days in Orkney or Shetland before the sail leg will end in Lerwick, the capital of the Shetland islands.
If you are interested to explore Shetland even further, I can recommend taking into a hotel or B&B for a couple of extra nights to explore this extraordinary land far up north with so much history, before taking the short plan ride from Sumburgh airport back to Edinburgh (or any of the other flight destinations being Inverness, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Bergen in Norway). Alternatively, you take the overnight ferry to Aberdeen.
When I passed Fair Isle with Regina Laska in 2014 I met Hollie. Hollie keeps sheep in the summers and knits the most beautiful original Fair Isle sweaters during the long dark winter nights. She only has a capacity of 20 sweaters per winter. My charter guest and me ordered one sweater each last year: No 18 and 19 for the winter of 2014/15. They will be ready next summer and I look forward to picking mine up on my Leg 8/2015! For me, a good reason to return! Do you want to join?
Another reason for coming is the outstanding nature, which is best described by the enclosed photos as well as what Shetland Tourism says on their home page:
“A natural world where wildlife is truly wild; where you can watch otters and seals at play; and where the air is filled with the sound of seabirds crowding extraordinary cliffs in huge, noisy colonies. A beautiful world that was carved and shaped by ice; where the geology is so fascinating that the islands are a global Geopark; and where the landscapes and seascapes provide endless inspiration for photographers and artists. And there is much more to Shetland than awe-inspiring nature and wildlife. Shetland has a truly unique culture, as you’d expect of an island group that has been inhabited for over 6,000 years and sits at a North Atlantic crossroads. You’ll notice this from the archaeology, the dialect, the place names and, of course, the world-renowned traditional music.”
Price: 1,550 EUR per person.
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