16- 25 Aug Edinburgh – Orkney – Fair Isle – Shetland – Stavanger, 350-550 nm
Leg 5 will be challenging sailing in the far north, giving a lot of options depending on the weather.
The plan is to sail longer (overnight) distances in order to – hopefully – make landfall both in Orkney, Fair Isle as well as Shetland, before setting the course over the North Sea to Norway and Stavanger.
One of my absolute favourite legs, I do admit, for many reasons. For sure, being in the far north, 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 a Hallberg-Rassy: The insulated hull, the three heaters, the hardtop and the pushbutton-sailing allows us to sail this remoteness in safety, comfort and style.
Orkney is true viking country, with a huge history from the wars (Scapa Flow!).
From more recent date (1798) is the Highland Park distillery, for many a must when calling into Kirkwall.
Despite the fact that it is just a short daysails from Orkney to Fair Isle, the crossing can be challenging, nevertheless. After all, we are far up north around latitude 60 deg N. Once in Fair Isle, we can visit Hollie who is knitting true Fair Isle Sweaters! See my article on Fair Isle here.
From Fair Isle to Shetland is another short, yet challenging, day sail. Shetland is a fantastic archipelago consisting of over 100 islands. See my article on Shetlands here.
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: EUR 2810 per person including all food consumed onboard, harbour fees, diesel etc plus visits to pubs