Wick next stop

Trip Start May 06, 2008
Trip End Sep 30, 2008

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Flag of United Kingdom  , Scotland,
Wednesday, August 6, 2008

We'd had a super night's sleep on this quiet anchorage and suitably refreshed, we were on our way at 09:15. The day promised little in the way of wind and this proved to be the case, we had to endure a flippy floppy ride with the engine on all the way. I am convinced that either the gear ratio or the propeller is wrong on this boat. She struggles to do 6 knots under engine - I will spend the winter investigating and rectifying if possible. There endeth the grumpiness but I do so hate down wind motoring, it's frustrating and noisy.
Apart from the aforementioned, it was a pleasant day, with the sun out a deal of the time. We crossed the Pentland Firth when the tidal currents were at their weakest, so no angst there (they can be 7-8 knots in places at full spate) and arrived in Wick, tying up on the pontoons at 18:00. We were pleased to see a charming Norwegian family whom we'd initially met in Fair Isle on our first day there. They are taking a year out, with plans to sail to the Caribbean and back. Presumably they had worked out how they would maintain their son and daughter's education, as both looked to be school age still. Another nice meeting was with the harbour master, who kindly charged us less (10 rather than 15) as we were leaving again so early the next morning. He too was adamant that I could improve CW's performance under engine, so that reinforces my determination to get it investigated and resolved, if possible.

Chatting over, we went for an exploratory walk into Wick town centre. It is somewhat run down, in truth but it had some charm, nevertheless. One can see possibilities in terms of improvements but unless a new source of wealth is found to replace the once burgeoning fish stocks, it won't happen, I'm afraid.
Having found an ATM to enable us to replenish our wallets and purses and, result - a newsagent so that Julie could get her Times - what she's going to do next year in the Baltic to feed her addiction I've no idea, but I fear it may be expensive! Just had a thought as I typed this on Saturday morning in Peterhead - Times Online and sure enough, there are the KenKens, the Sudoku puzzles and the Crosswords that she loves so much, so problem solved!

Back to the past and to finish off. We'd decided to start making inroads into our emergency food supplies (- we have enough to safely cross the Atlantic, by the way), so we had Fray Bentos steak & kidney pie with some fresh vegetables. I don't know whether it's a reminder of the past or what, but we both get a strange amount of satisfaction from eating these pies, more than the actual pie justifies. With that thought, I'll close off the day.
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