Buckie to Lossiemouth Marina: Firth of Moray 10.8 nm. Last night threw up a right storm; I laid in bed listening to the wind and the creaking of the rigging. This morning the storm hadn’t abated, but the weather forecasts indicated that the wind would drop as the afternoon progressed. I didn’t want to leave this morning even though the tide was with us; we were being blown against the stone harbour wall, and if I was honest I didn’t fancy trying to get off the wall with the davits intact on the stern.
As it was, we had a very late lunch and left at 3pm, just as the wind direction changed, moving round to more of a north easterly. This created, just for a few minutes a lovely flat patch in the harbour, I took advantage of this and we managed to move off from the wall all in one piece. Mind you I did have Sean and Simon with a boat hook each, on the port bow and stern just to push us off if need be.
Initially once we were outside the harbour, Sean and Simon put out half our sail power and then as the journey across Spey Bay progressed we put out all our sails, and were moving along at a steady 5.5 knots but keeling quite heavily. The wind was on our starboard side, I felt we were slightly overpowered, so we reefed in the foresail about two feet which made all the difference, creating a more comfortable passage.
Marian has a new phone and was practising sending a video on ‘watsapp’ which was quite funny, take 4 just about nailed it.
Sean contacted the harbour office at Lossimouth, who asked if he need them to look up the tides for us, and then informed us that if they were closed on our arrival we could pick up a welcome pack at the Steamboat public house. You enter Lossiemouth harbour and then take 180’ turn to your left to gain access to the visitors pontoon. You can’t gain internet from the harbour office on the visitors pontoon, no relays been set up yet, but we had occasional and slight Orange and Vodaphone signal on the pontoon.
We have booked in here for three days. So day one we visited Elgin, to have a look at some of Moray’s heritage. Buses to Elgin are about every twenty minutes, and an all-day roamer was only £4.20. Once in Elgin we visited the ruins of the Cathedral, other than the magnificent architecture, I particularly enjoyed the engravings on the headstones. One stone explained that the occupant of the grave had sold music for thirty years, another said the occupant had been a stone mason, another gave the address that he lived at, and a few minutes later we passed the road, these small details help create human interest.
From here it was only a few minute’s walk to the cashmere heritage centre, they had a fee guided tour of the working mill, and an excellent visitors centre. But I mustn’t fail to mention the wonderful restaurant serving fresh raspberry and white chocolate scones with cream and jam. You could easily spend a couple of hours here, taking in the garments, tour and restaurant.
If you enjoy museums Elgin’s museum is one of the finest in Scotland, independently financed, full of objects of science, fossils, stones and hoards of curiosities from the local area, mind blowing!
On our second day, I used the internet in the harbour masters office to catch up with Static Boat Holiday business, Sean, Marian and Simon, went for local walks and started catching up with our washing. The facilities here are clean and tidy, but if you are in the toilet, the timer on the light went out after about a minute, which meant you had to open the toilet door and wave an arm to re activate the light, we were all caught out by this.
In the afternoon we walked off in separate directions to take in coastal walks, Marian and Simon went towards the lighthouse and visited the caves, where a group of locals were getting ready to spend the night, creating a camp fire and laying out bedding, tonight is the summer solstice.
This evening we all met up again for dinner at the Beach Hut, where Marin and Simon treated us to dinner. Walking to the Beach Hut Sean and I stopped to watch the local children jumping off the Lossiemouth harbour wall , this seems a continual source of pleasure for young people right around the coastland.
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