Leg 5/2020

16- 25 Aug Edinburgh – Orkney – Fair Isle – Shetland – Stavanger, 350-550 nm

Fair Isle

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. 


Approaching Fair Isle.

Fair Isle

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!).


Pre-historic Orkney

The radio museum, Kirkwall, Orkney


From more recent date (1798) is the Highland Park distillery, for many a must when calling into Kirkwall.


A bottle of Highland Park on the pricy side. But then again, the year it was born must have been extraordinary… :-)

Highland Park is one of the very few (I believe there is only one more) still malting by hand by themselves.

Peat fire burning at Highland Park. How many distilleries still do this? I know of only one more in the entire world.

The four distills at Highland Park. “Probably the best spirit in the world” as they claim. There might be one or two others, who could claim the same. One of my favourites for pre-dinner enjoyment is Scapa, just a few kilometres from Highland Park away.


Highland Park is one of the very few distilleries where the ware house is still adjacent to the distills. The salty sea water is constantly embracing these barrels, giving the special taste to this extraordinary whisky.

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.


Meeting Hollie for the fist time. It’s a joy to hear her laugh each time I see her on Fair Isle!

My true Fair Isle is tailor made. I think a need to order a new one when sailing to Fair Isle in 2018 again! Anyone else?

Another future sweater spotted on Fair Isle!

Berthed in North Haven, Fair Isle.

A guest crazy enough to take the dinghy into a cave (no swell on that day!) doing yoga inside the cave!

Possibly a more safe place to do yoga on the top of Fair Isle

Sweaters in Fair Isle are always inspired by nature.


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.

Regina Laska rounding Sumburgh Head on the south tip of Shetland.

Regina Laska disappearing in the Atlantic Swell off the harsh Shetland coast.

Sauna time in Shetlands!


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