Fringe Benefits?

It is 3 weeks since we arrived in Shetland intending to do little other than pass through, but we have been entranced by the place and its people. It really is one of the nicest destinations for a cruising sailboat we have ever come across , with hundreds of fabulous anchorages all within easy reach , some challenging waters to add a bit of adventure , world class wild life and scenery and perhaps best of all , we were made to feel really welcome wherever we went.

Bryony usually brings rain and wind when she joins us, but her week with us was our sunniest yet. We may still have worn quite a few fleeces and had the heater running in the evenings, but shorts were seen at least, well, once, and we have no complaints on that score. With her we saw otters , whales and trillions of seabirds and I am sure we will all be back.

Bill Rainey has come out to spend some time with us. We enticed him here with a promise of a whistle stop tour of Fair Isle and the Orkneys , but in the event the weather predictions suggested this would have left us with a long beat into strong SE winds if we were to get home on schedule . By heading South from Shetland we have the prospect of 24 hours beating in 10- 15 knots which is much more civilised , and have hatched a plan to sail to the Edinburgh Fringe which starts today.

From Shetland to Edinburgh and Holy Island

The first 12 hours went to plan with a dead beat tacking on loadsa shifts ( and at least once to avoid a rain squall – a tactic that you won’t find in racing textbooks but perfectly rational nonetheless!) before picking up a light Westerly and dribbling along in perfect comfort. Now however we are 50 miles East of Rattray Head with no wind expected for 24 hours , after which we should pick up a strong SE wind that might leave us in need of some light relief by the time we get to Edinburgh.

For now however, all is well on Festina Lente , en route ( with any luck ) to the Fringe .

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