For the last few years I have moved my boat from the Clyde to Port Edgar for the winter months. Why? - well, there is racing on Sundays from the start of October right up to Xmas and I live in Edinburgh so getting to the boat and pretending to work on it when it's on the hard from Jan - Mar is easy. The downside is the wave of depression that hits me when I step gingerly onto the rickety, decaying pontoons - Portavadie, Rothesay, Oban, in fact every other marina, should carry a health warning for Port Edgar users!
Anyway, I digress. My dilemma this year is getting there. I usually go through the Caley Canal and then non-stop sail for about 36 hours past the east coast boring bits. I have been through the Clyde/Carron ditch 3 times and my 1.65m draft is greater than their 1.83m advertised depth, never mind the steel piling booby traps + there is a ridiculous £100 mast stepping charge at PE and the repair to the scuffing on the encapsulated keel ain't cheap. I have always intended to go via Orkney but the weather has never seemed propitious. Lorry transport has always seemed beyond my time rich/money poor state.
So, my timing is I have 2 weeks to do the move. The forecasts are for southerly quadrant winds from about Thursday until the ever less confident foreseeable future. If the GFS predictions are right, getting to Orkney or the Caley might necessitate the Crinan rather than the MoK but there are sufficient gaps between the blows for either. Getting south again looks more problematic - winds and waves are likely to be south easterly coming from near gales in the German Bight so that while the winds may not be too bad, except for direction, the seas, especially with waves against tide off Rattray Heid, are going to be a scunner.
That leaves me with a simple decision set
Abandon all hope and go through the ditch at the end of September
Head north and make a Caley/Orkney decision at Oban when I get there, say at the end of this week, then hole up wherever until the wind gets a bit more north, preferably northwest - I wasn't going to win the races anyway
Give up and put her ashore in the Clyde somewhere for 6 months and wear out my bus pass
Incidently, for the Port Edgar apologists who think the decay is balanced by low prices, 6 months pontoon/3 weeks hard costs >£1600 at PE compared with Kip at ~£1200. I suppose someone has to pay for the trams!