Cruising Possibilities around North East Scotland
Scotland has a world wide reputation for having some of the best sailing in the world.
This is based mainly on the wonderful west Coast.
What is less well known is the sailing on the North and North East Coast. Orkney and Shetland are also world class cruising areas.
Scotland lends itself to the possibilities of extended cruising and with a good crew and a well-found boat a circumnavigation of Scotland would make an exceptional cruise.
Clyde based yachts could sail up the west coast around Cape Wrath across to Orkney and maybe Shetland before returning Via Wick, Inverness and the Caledonian Canal.
This does not need to be done in one cruise and could easily be done in a series of cruises leaving the yacht at anyone of the marinas in the Sail North Scotland association. Of course it could be done anti clockwise as well. Most of the marina’s are close to airports or railway stations that enable easy travel throughout Scotland and link into international flights.
South Coast sailors are becoming more regular visitors to our northern waters and we hear many comments of how unspoilt the sailing is in our area. Again, logistically a cruise north does not have to be done in one go. Yachts can be safely moored in one of our many marinas after a delivery north and collected for the summer cruise before returning south again.
Wintering in Scotland has many merits as more people realise how competitive we are compared to South coast costs of berthing and winterising. The marinas in our Association can all pre book spaces ahead to guarantee a berth on arrival.This again is somewhat different to the south coast crowds and the uncertainty of a berth when arriving after 1400!
One of the last truly un- spoilt sailing areas in Europe where, even in July and August it is possible to sail for days and only see a few other yachts.
The Vikings where the first to explore this fantastic cruising area and today the “modern Vikings” are the main visitors to these northern island chains.
Only 2 days sail from the Norwegian West coast and about three days from the Swedish West coast will get you to Scotland . The waters of the Moray Firth are un- crowded with many small harbours that will make you welcome. You may even pass our resident school of bottle nosed dolphins.
From Holland, Denmark, France and Germany a few days sailing accesses this great sailing area. You will be amazed how few yachts that are about and also the fantastic scenery and wildlife that is abundant.
Take some time to go ashore and taste some whisky, go for a walk and explore the historic sights that Scotland is famous for.
“We had a memorable trip all the way from Kent to Orkney but our VHF had given poor reception all the way. On arrival in the beautiful Stromness Marina the local radio man Stuart Walker confirmed we had “aerial problems” up the mast and went for spares.
Contemplating how we were going to deal with our aerial problem, we went off to collect bicycles from the Orkney Cycle Hire man, John Heddle, who happened to be up a ladder repainting his third floor windows.
I asked “You don’t fancy going up a mast do you?”
His response surprised and delighted me! “Well, if you can’t find anyone else I’ll give it a try and tick it off my ‘must do’ list”. ” Read full comment...
Sue and Richard Jones, Stromness Marina Visitors