St. Kilda

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Storyline
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St. Kilda

Postby Storyline » Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:56 pm

Inspired by a thread on TOP about hurricane force winds on St Kilda, the possibility arose of an informal cruise in company to a hopefully more settled St K next summer. There was an expression of interest from a forumite here and although Storyline normally lives a fairly solitary life we are tempted by the thought of the occasional bit of nightlife en route. May or June were the months mentioned. Is anyone else interested ? It is a long way off but we have cattery, time off work etc etc to sort out.

It has never crossed my mind before but there has also been discussion recently on TOP about home security and web publicity so it may be prudent to discuss exact dates by pm later.
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Re: St. Kilda

Postby DaveS » Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:24 pm

Storyline wrote:Inspired by a thread on TOP about hurricane force winds on St Kilda, the possibility arose of an informal cruise in company to a hopefully more settled St K next summer. There was an expression of interest from a forumite here and although Storyline normally lives a fairly solitary life we are tempted by the thought of the occasional bit of nightlife en route. May or June were the months mentioned. Is anyone else interested ? It is a long way off but we have cattery, time off work etc etc to sort out.

It has never crossed my mind before but there has also been discussion recently on TOP about home security and web publicity so it may be prudent to discuss exact dates by pm later.


If you can organise suitable weather I would be delighted to come along! :)

St. K has been on my "to do" list for years, but availability and decent weather have never coincided.
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Storyline
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Re: St. Kilda

Postby Storyline » Fri Dec 20, 2013 8:11 pm

DaveS wrote:
If you can organise suitable weather I would be delighted to come along! :)

St. K has been on my "to do" list for years, but availability and decent weather have never coincided.

Yes, same here. I have had a few cruises in company in the past and on several occasions we have gone to places we would probably not gone to had we been on our own because we would have been put off by poor weather. I am not advocating being reckless but if we carry on waiting for the perfect conditions we could wait for ever !

One idea would be to sail to/meet up in Castlebay and then make a decision. Settled, we go but if marginal we sail overnight as suggested by Ken Mcculloch, spend the day there and return. If not at all suitable we could disperse or creep in company up Uist where we should find shelter.

Fortune favours the brave/strength in numbers etc etc

Edit: thinking more about it, if we met in Castlebay and there are any single handers or lightly crewed boats and it is not very settled we could combine crews and leave a boat or two on the moorings. I am sure the harbour master would keep an eye on them.

Edit 2: getting more excited now :) remember, there is no Puff Inn anymore so to party on St. Kilda requires a healthy number for a good barbie !
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Re: St. Kilda

Postby sam » Fri Dec 20, 2013 8:47 pm

I'd thought about going to St Kilda in July this year, but decided the conditions weren't settled enough, went to Castlebay instead!
I hope to try again next year and would be happy to meet up.

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Re: St. Kilda

Postby Storyline » Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:33 pm

Maybe not.....

"For the cruising yachtsman it is the St.Kilda group of islands which have the greatest attraction. I believe it is a combination of their remoteness, their history and the sheer physical grandeur of the highest sea cliffs in Britain which draws us so far west. Add to this the drama of the sea stacks and the colonies of birds and we run out of excuses for not going. It is however not so easy to get there. It is more difficult to get there and to spend time ashore. It is much more difficult to get there, to spend time ashore and to get back to the east side of the Outer Hebrides in comfort.

There is only one good anchorage which is in Village Bay on the main and only inhabited island of Hirta. This anchorage is open to swell from the southwest to northeast and as the sailing directions wisely tell us, we need to be prepared to clear out at short notice. Some thought should be given to what clearing out of St.Kilda actually means. If the wind is NE it is unlikely that we shall make the 45 miles to the Sound of Harris in one tack so we may decide to reach the 60 miles to the Sound of Barra. Depending on our E.T.A. at the Sound of Barra we may have to stand off until dawn or put in an extra 25 miles to take us safely round the bottom of Barra Head and up into Vatersay or Castlebay. This may be a piece of cake if we have a strong team of competent helmsmen on board but if we are shorthanded and have spent 12 hours getting to St.Kilda we need a rest when we get there. We may not get a rest if a change in wind direction dictates that we clear out of Village Bay.

If a southerly wind dictates that we clear out we can make the Sound of Harris in one tack but what about a southeasterly? We may be comfortable in Village Bay in rising winds from the SW to N but as we rest from our outward passage then spend time ashore the Atlantic swell has been increasing. We may have a following wind for our return passage but will it be safe to enter the Sound of Harris as a lee shore even in good visibility? Will we be forced to run 75 miles to either end of the Outer Hebrides plus a further 15 down to Stornoway or 12 up to Castlebay? How much offing should we give the Butt of Lewis or Barra Head?

There is one possible alternative to clearing out of St.Kilda but it is not without its own risks. Glen Bay is on the opposite side of Hirta to Village Bay. It is deep for anchoring except for very close to the shore and the quality of the ground is doubtful. A line ashore could be set up as the wind funnels down the hillside overlooking this bay and would hold the yacht offshore. The risk is that the wind might change direction and put the yacht ashore. There are 2 possible precautions against this risk. An angel could be lowered from the stern and the line brought forward to the bow so that the line would not snag on the rudder or keel. (My own preference would be to drop the line from the bow.) A second precaution would be for an anchor watch if a change of wind direction is anticipated. Another consideration is that Glen Bay puts us outwith VHF coverage in an emergency but faced with a long return passage a few hours rest for a tired crew can make a difference."
Paul McNeill
http://www.westboundadventures.co.uk/ar ... lands.html

or maybe yes.....
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Re: St. Kilda

Postby Nick » Sat Dec 21, 2013 12:03 am

Paul knows what he is talking about. he has probably been to St. Kilda more times than all the members of Bluemoment put together have.

I would just add that Village Bay can be tenable in a North-easterly as long as the wind doesn't come any further South than exactly NE. And the Stanton Channel is a lot less fearsome if you have a plotter.
- Nick 8)

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Re: St. Kilda

Postby Silkie » Sat Dec 21, 2013 12:45 am

Nick wrote:I would just add that Village Bay can be tenable in a North-easterly as long as the wind doesn't come any further South than exactly NE.

OK - count me in then.

Just kidding :lol:
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Re: St. Kilda

Postby Nick » Sat Dec 21, 2013 1:09 am

.
It's worth having a read of mm5aho's August 2012 trip to St. Kilda
- Nick 8)

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Re: St. Kilda

Postby Storyline » Sat Dec 21, 2013 9:01 am

Nick wrote:.
It's worth having a read of mm5aho's August 2012 trip to St. Kilda

Entertaining read, thanks
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Re: St. Kilda

Postby wully » Sat Dec 21, 2013 12:36 pm

I've been once.

We had a long sunny settled spell a good few years ago and set out through Vatersa sound and motored in a flat calm for about 11 hours sunbathing on deck until it got dark.

We arrived about 0130 and enjoyed two spectacular days of mirror calm seas and warm sunshine before leaving at early o'clock to get back through the Sound of Harris in daylight. It is a stunning place to visit and every time I'm out in the Heb-roids I have an eye on the weather looking for that forecast again....

I'm going back one day.

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Re: St. Kilda

Postby claymore » Sat Dec 21, 2013 1:12 pm

Well
I think we agreed to delay the start of the 2014 Chents Cruise because of the inclement weather we have endured for the past year or two.
Will we spread our wings a bit, go later for longer and see what we can do?
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Storyline
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Re: St. Kilda

Postby Storyline » Sat Dec 21, 2013 3:21 pm

claymore wrote:Well
I think we agreed to delay the start of the 2014 Chents Cruise because of the inclement weather we have endured for the past year or two.
Will we spread our wings a bit, go later for longer and see what we can do?

Is the Chents Cruise a male only affair ?
(affair is maybe not the best word to choose)
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Re: St. Kilda

Postby claymore » Sat Dec 21, 2013 4:20 pm

No - Nick goes, for example.
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Re: St. Kilda

Postby wully » Sat Dec 21, 2013 7:44 pm

Storyline wrote:Is the Chents Cruise a male only affair ?
(affair is maybe not the best word to choose)


Naw, ah take mah burd wi me.

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Re: St. Kilda

Postby Mavanier » Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:10 pm

Would be up for a wee trip in that direction. SWMBO has already been, said it was like the Shiants on steroids.


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