Orkney - how long?

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mm5aho
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Orkney - how long?

Postby mm5aho » Tue Feb 10, 2015 7:00 am

Entertaining thoughts of a trip to Orkney in August.
From the Clyde and return, one way via Caledonian Canal perhaps, how long should I allow.
Looking at distances etc, and considering a few long days, perhaps even an all nighter or two each way, I'm hoping to do this in 2 weeks. (including the three weekends.

Is this practical? I want to spend the middle weekend in Scapa Flow.
Geoff.
"Contender" Rival 32: Roseneath this winter, Gourock in summer.

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BlowingOldBoots
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Some Experience on Times

Postby BlowingOldBoots » Tue Feb 10, 2015 9:55 am

My experience

I have done this in two weeks on a Rival 41C (not my own). We had two weeks but also sailed pretty much non stop and went over the top.

From the top of the FOC to Orkney is about 620 nm and it can be split into 3 big hops, roughly the same length: -

Clyde - Tobermory
Tobermory - Stornoway
Stornoway to Orkney

So if you can average 5 kts, you are roughly looking at 1.7 days a leg this way. The secret is to keep going, except for tide gates and to top up on fresh food and diesel if motoring to keep the time up. It is remarkable how fast the miles tick over after 24 hours.

5 Days sailing, allow, time for stop over, say 6 days to get there, 2 days to look about, turn around and get back. If you go around the outside of Mull, and non stop to Stornoway, then you can knock 2 days off the trip to get there, maybe a bit more if you get a blow all the way up to Stornoway. I would be inclined to do it this way, via the outside of Mull. What you gain on tides going up the Sound of Jura/Firth of Lorn, you may lose in the Sound of Mull and or tide gates, hence I my reasoning.

I can't offer advice on the canal as I have not been through it but considering that the MOK rout to Oban takes the same time as a Crinan passage, from the FOC, then I would assume that the Caledonian is too slow.

Hope this helps,

Regards,

Alastair
BlowingOldBoots

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pagoda
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Re: Orkney - how long?

Postby pagoda » Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:45 pm

mm5aho wrote:Entertaining thoughts of a trip to Orkney in August.
From the Clyde and return, one way via Caledonian Canal perhaps, how long should I allow.
Looking at distances etc, and considering a few long days, perhaps even an all nighter or two each way, I'm hoping to do this in 2 weeks. (including the three weekends.

Is this practical? I want to spend the middle weekend in Scapa Flow.


I would suspect you are tight on time, thrash up, not quite enough time to do very much, thrash back. Is it worth it?
We went up through the Caley Canal last May (from Ardrossan) via the Crinan route (only due to a F6+ SE at the MOK).
1 day in CC, out late afternoon, hid up Loch Craignish for the night.
2nd night in Kerrera *could have gone further, but needed a Crewchange. next night Eilean Balnagowan off Ballachulish, mixed sail /motor. Into Caley Canal next AM (collect wife at Corpach -off a bus from Inverness). Made it up to Garelochy for the night. Next day as far a Invermoriston on Loch Ness *managed to sail some of that! Quiet night anchored in 15m about a boatlength off the beach. next day - up at Clachnaharry Marina late afternoon for the night. * a week later after that >Lossie then Norway.....
Anyway, as BoldBoots says you can go up the west outside of Mull and round the NW end (first), but it still is a fair push.. Maybe OK if you can almost ignore weather(!!), have enough robust crew who know where they are at.
Without working distances in detail I would have guessed most of a week either way, plus Orkney time?

Let us know how it turns out. :)

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Yotter
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Re: Orkney - how long?

Postby Yotter » Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:10 pm

Geoff,
I am also considering a trip to Orkney in August, and around 2 weeks is all I can really afford. I am based at Craobh, so have a bit of a head start on you. I am keen to return via the Cally canal so I can tick that off as well, I have driven along it so many times that I fancy a passage:-). I am minded to perhaps go via Stornoway, if it makes sense, it is such a friendly place and has every convenience. If the weather was not looking good, I would not want to push it, and the trouble with only 2 weeks is that there is not much spare time to wait for the weather. But, planning for success!. Planned to go to St Kilda last July for the first time, and made it, stayed overnight, went ashore and walked to the top of the island. Apparently we were incredibly lucky, so many cannot stay overnight or cannot get ashore due to swell.

Keep in touch re plans.
Angus

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mm5aho
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Re: Orkney - how long?

Postby mm5aho » Wed Feb 11, 2015 8:47 am

Angus,

that sounds good. Yes you have a bit of a head start, but I could get there in under a day sailing though the night. I'm thinking to leave 8th Aug, to be back on 23rd. I'd like to be in Scapa Flow, at Graemsay Island lighthouses for this event.. http://www.illw.net/ on 15th and 16th. (I've done this the past few years from various isolated lights, including Skerryvore, Hyskeir, and some round the periphery of Mull)
Like you, I've driven the Caley canal route and so fancy that as a diversion. Doesn't appear to be much longer. And the part from Duncansby Head to Inverness might be the only ever East Coast trip I'd take!

Maybe there's a chance of an alternate Cruise in company. Any other takers?
Geoff.
"Contender" Rival 32: Roseneath this winter, Gourock in summer.

Pilgrim
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Re: Orkney - how long?

Postby Pilgrim » Sat Feb 21, 2015 8:52 am

Geoff and Angus
5 years ago our 2 friends went to Orkney and back in 2 weeks in their Contessa 32 from Troon to Troon in day sails so it is possible.
We went round the top as part of my maternity leave. We spent 7 weeks away so weren't in a hurry and had a weaker crew than you will have I'm sure (1 child age 5 yrs and one age 5 months plus Mark and myself). Our boat at that time was a Contessa 32. We did get stuck in Kirkwall for 5 days in June due to gales.
Once the weather improved we did Wick to Troon in a week via Caledonian canal (mainly in the rain). Thomas didn't rate the Caledonian canal he felt having the British waterways staff open all the gates made it boring but Mark and I enjoyed it despite the rain.
If it helps our blog is here
http://Www.star-ven.blogspot.co.uk
We'll be interested to hear how you get on, we loved the Orkneys and might even find ourselves calling in again this summer depending how we get on with our holiday.
Liz

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marisca
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Re: Orkney - how long?

Postby marisca » Sat Feb 21, 2015 10:08 am

Does that mean you want my vintage charts again, Liz?

Pilgrim
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Re: Orkney - how long?

Postby Pilgrim » Sun Feb 22, 2015 12:43 pm

"Does that mean you want my vintage charts again, Liz?"
Posted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 10:08 am


If you are offering Alastair! Do you have any of the Faeroes?! Hopefully it'll be just a brief stop in Orkney on the way home if our plans come to fruition (but then they rarely do).

If I can borrow your charts can we avoid an altercation with Lothian Borders Police when I collect then this time?!

Perhaps dinner? Say next Saturday? What time would suit?

Liz x


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