Sunday, 7 June 2009

A Big Crossing

By the end of Friday the wind had been touching F7. When we woke the it had eased but the sea was still on the rough side so we opted for a slow start and a chance to wash ourselves and our kit at the campsite at Brora, and to effect running repairs.

The night before we had concluded that pushing on down the coast to Embo would only reduce the crossing to Tarbat Ness by 3km in return for 20km of effort so we concluded that we should just head straight across once conditions were suitable. And so we waited.

By 2pm we decided that it was time, packed the boats and got going by 2.30pm. Three and a half hours later we landed at a wee bay just south of the Ness. It had been a long and uneventful crossing. The wind initially NE F3 had dropped to F2 as we crossed. The first half was punctured by frequent showers, but in the later half things had improved the Moray Firth being a haven of blue skies with fluffy afternoon cumulus forming over the Moray coast in front of us.

We saw no wildlife during the crossing other that a solitary juvenile Gannet fast asleep with head tucked under wing.

As we approached Tarbat Ness the 1-1.5m swell that had been a feature of the crossing started to kick up to a good 2m. Off the point there was a sizeable reef break waiting for the unwary but we spotted it in time and cut inside of it. Behind us the Far NE coast was wrapped in dark clouds with rain clearly falling.

Rounding the point conditions proved lively. Clearly the headland wasn't going to go without at least a bit of a struggle. As we cleared the worst of the clapotis we saw the first yacht we had seen since the Summer Isles. Behind it the Cairngorms were draped in fresh snow down to 2,500ft, it is still not exactly warm for June!

We continued down the coast to Rockfield where we managed to negotiate space for our tent on a lawn owned by very friendly guy by the name of John.. Good job too as landing spots are few and far between here.

Distance travelled today: 25km
Total distance travelled: 528km
Midgee ferrocit: nil

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