Spitsbergen 2013

An online log of Atlantis' travels and adventures to Svalbard

Cape Wrath

Posted by admin on May 24, 2013


At 1730 this evening Atlantis and crew passed Cape Wrath at the north west tip of mainland UK.  We continue north.......!

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Posted by admin on May 23, 2013

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North of Skye

Posted by admin on May 21, 2013

We have been keeping busy - partly simply to keep warm. From the Sound of Jura our passage took us north east to the Sound of Luing past the notorious whirlpools of the Gulf of Corryvreckan before joining the Firth of Lorne. From there a route along the Sound of Mull, which separates the Isle of Mull from the mainland, took us northwards again and permitted a short excursion to view the brightly painted village of Tobermory before continuing north once again.  At Ardnamurchan Point we once again entered the now choppy waters of the more open sea before heading north-east, still with the bitter wind largely on the nose, towards Skye.  


There is a strong wind warning for Thursday.  Whilst prepared for bad weather there is no point subjecting ourselves to it unnecessarily so we will remain to the south of Cape Wrath (the northwest tip of mainland Scotland) until it has blown through.  We therefore had (and still have) some time on our hands and elected to stop for the night at Isleornsay; a small sheltered bay on the south-east side of Skye, before making our way through the sound of Sleat and the Kyle of Lochalsh into the North Minch.  The quiet anchorage allowed us to rehearse our anchoring skills and a enjoy good night's sleep in a bay of Rupert's memories from visits in the late 60's.  Just before dropping anchor we logged 500 miles travelled.

This morning, weighing anchor at 0830 we motored through the narrow channel between Skye and the mainland and passed under the Skye Bridge at 1130.  As this is being typed, we are making our way past the entrances to Lochs Torridon and Gareloch towards Lochinver where we intend to wait for Thursday's bad weather to pass.  After that, on current plans we shall set course for the Shetlands before the long passage north towards northern Norway and beyond.

Approaching the Skye Bridge in the Kyle of Lochalsh

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Rounding Capes

Posted by admin on May 19, 2013

At 1930 hrs this evening Atlantis rounded the Mull of Kintyre and turned north into the Sound of Jura.  The significance of Cape roundings of any kind is brought to mind by the event.  From our earliest ventures to sea when, for those living on the south coast of UK, Portland Bill then the Lizard were milestones in their own right, such roundings map out an ever increasing range of 'exploration', discovery and confidence.  

Having now rounded many of the southern hemisphere's great Capes (Horn, Good Hope and Leeuwin), the prospects of this trip now include Cape Wrath, the North Cape and Rossoya (at nearly 81°N - the northern tip of Gustav V Land, Svalbard) to whet the appetite for extending horizons and experience ever further.  Looking back, cape roundings provide a framework for memories; looking forward, tangible goals to strive for. Out with the old; in with something new. Turning corners and all that....

Enough metaphoric philosophy however.  To exploit a discovery of further [still] fresh meat in the bowels of the fridge, we celebrated our rounding of the Mull with a very senior all-day breakfast and a dram.  



Looking forward; looking back.

Jamie Oliver - eat your heart out.
(although perhaps we should be more worried about our own tickers!)

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Mull of Kintyre

Posted by admin on May 19, 2013

...Oh mist rolling in from the sea....

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