Sailing North East of Scotland
The North East coast of Scotland is a perfect place to set sail for a long summer cruise towards Scandinavia.
From a departure point of either Inverness or Kinlochbervie (on the west Coast) the Orkneys are easily reached in a long day, or, by stopping at Wick or Loch Eriboll, in two days.
Norway is then only two days sailing from either departure point. It is also possible to cruise via Fair Isle to Shetland which greatly shortens the distance of “the crossing.” Bergen in Norway is less than 200nm from Lerwick and it is possible to sail, given fair weather, in about 36 hours. Directly from Inverness takes about 60 hours to either Bergen or Stavanger.
Once reached the West coast of Norway is a fantastic cruising ground. There are mainly sheltered waters from Stavanger up to Alsesund (with just a few headlands to negotiate which need fair weather) otherwise the waters are very safe and easily navigated .There are numerous small town quays, marinas and many, many delightful secluded anchorages.What is not so well known is that there is very little tide to worry about when south of Bergen.
The west coast of Norway is huge and it would be a mistake to try and cruise the whole lot in a season. It would even be a mistake to try and cruise the whole lot in two or even three seasons.
Norwegian charts are very high quality and there are a number of pilot books available in English together with the Norwegian pilot books (Den Norske Los) which are only available in Norwegian but have excellent diagrams and pictures.
Of course, Norway can be just a staging place and gives good access ,via the South Coast onwards to Sweden and the Baltic.
Norway’s south coast is idyllic (although it can be quite busy in July) After sailing on the west coast it seems somewhat more Mediterranean with white houses, warmer waters and more people. It is still very nice and can be truly recommended as a more gentle cruising ground. The weather is much better here than the west coast(hence the reason why many wealthy Norwegians have their summer houses here.)
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“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