Surviving the Scottish winter…

 

This is our first posting of 2017 as we prepare for the next few stages of our voyage around the (still) United Kingdom. The winter months were spent in doing some upgrades and general maintenance with the key result being that we now have proper heating to all cabins. We went for a multi-fuel gas and electric unit in the end with great support from Propex in Ringwood….toasty, even in a Scottish winter.

Something we have all noted as we have progressed further north is the amazing community and generosity of the people we have met along the way.  This may be because you have to be so much more committed to sailing than in the easier waters of the south. So many people have kept an eye on Heydays through the worst of the winter storms; tightening mooring lines, checking for chafe and reassuring emails and calls following the latest gale. Special thanks must go to Brian and Anne on their Sholing called Skoling. They know these waters well and have sailed extensively all around the Scottish coast including the Orkneys, Shetland and several trips over to Norway. Two days across the North Sea puts our cross-channel to Cherbourg in the shade. Partly as a result of talking to them, as well as more reading, we have upgraded our ground tackle…it would be such a shame to miss out on some beautiful anchorages and just stick to easy marinas.

With the addition of two huge fenders and doubling all the mooring lines together with chafe protectors, sees Heydays smelling and looking sweet despite what the weather has thrown. Even our ‘sitter-outer’ (Scottish for cockpit cover) has stayed intact!

Although the Marina is a way out of town, it would be a shame for visitors to miss Peterhead. True it is not the cultural or gastronomic capital, but the coast is stunning, including some fishing villages clinging to seemingly impossible cliffs. We can only wonder at the hardiness of the locals in centuries gone by as they made a living from the sea without any of the modern things we take for granted like warm and waterproof clothes, heating on boats and even reliable engines. We spent a fair few nights at Weatherspoons in town…always a selection of real ales and the Dolphin Cafe on the harbour tempted us too often for Cullen Skink and amazingly fresh Haddock. We also splashed out a couple of times at the Kilmarnock Arms at Crudden Bay and at the Buchan Braes in Boddam.

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