The night sleeper seems like a throw-back to the old days of Agatha Christie and an altogether more gentle way of travelling. Being met by smart men in long coats and a real engine (sadly not steam) adds to the romance…but its only John Paul and James this time. The evening is spent in the lounge on board and Paul fantasises about pea soup and crisp linen napkins. Mostly we satisfy ourselves with beer, scotch and a rather fine cheese board. We rock off gently to sleep somewhere around Grantham, although the steward declined to tuck us in with a bedtime story. He does however wake us soothingly enough with coffee and fresh juice about 40 minutes before Aberdeen. By the time we heave ourselves onto the platform the train is down to just 5 carriages having presumably lost the others around Edinburgh.
The boat is fine and we hank on the genoa and find somewhere to store provisions for what is apparently an imminent Armageddon. Once again our friends Brian and Anne from Skoling have done a great job looking after Heydays and even treat us to lunch. We shamelessly suck them dry of any local info about routes, tides and harbours and local currents and eddys. A day of poring over weather forecasts suggests that it is likely to be bumpy for the trip around Rattray Head and wintery showers will add to the fun.