Yesterday our friends Simon and Marian Cole joined us on the boat, to continue our sail around Britain with us. They flew up from London to Aberdeen and then caught a coach along the coast to join us in Peterhead Bay marina. Last night we all had a serious catch up and a few bevvies.
Sean had worked out our tide time table for today which meant we either left at 4am or 4pm, to get round Rattray Head safely. We elected strangely enough to leave on the afternoon tide, but in the morning we walked into Peterhead and explored a little, we all visited the Arbuthnot museum. Sadly we arrived at 12.15 and they closed for lunch at 12.30, so it really was a fly round. But if I ever had the chance I would go back, as there were thousands of interesting everyday antique objects and all the paraphernalia from Peterheads whaling days, it was such a shame we only had time for a glimpse of this museum.
We refuelled at the fuel pontoon, where they had kindly put a massive long sausage like black fender, which left the most amazing black rubber mark along the whole of our side! Cheers! Peterhead fuel was dearest to date, we paid £1.30 a litre, the washing machines also worked out at £6 a load to wash and dry, again the most expensive to date.
Peterhead marina was easy to access accessible on all states of tide, the marina manager here made us very welcome, even telling it was ten minutes to the shops and pointing us in the right direction. Sadly he failed to mention that was by car. So after a forty minute walk, we still hadn’t arrived at the shop, and we turned back only to discover there was a local parade of shops not five minutes from the marina. Cheers!
We were amazed by the number of boats at Petershead that were obviously not used, some of them quite nice yachts, its sad to see such heavy green skirts as a sign of neglect. On our previous semi navigation of Britain, it was seeing these boats that were obviously never used that gave me the idea for Static Boat Holidays.
We left at 3.45, again hardly any wind, we gallantly put the sails out, but they hardly filled, we even pulled out the foresail in a fit of excitement as a gust went by, but we missed the gust as brief as it was, and the foresail hung forlornly on the bow, so it was furled back up to save for another day.
We are two days off spring tides, which we were very much aware of today as we hit speeds of 8 knots, averaging over 7 knots in the first two hours as we came round Rattray Head and Fraserburgh. So the 34nm to Banff only took us 5 hours and 15 minutes.
On route Simon tethered all our devices, so we all now have access to 3 network, Orange and Vodaphone. We have been very lucky to date with our coverage on the trip using 3 and Orange, but as we know from previous experience, internet coverage on the west coast was a different matter. Two years ago the vodaphone coverage was the best.
Whilst we were motoring along we noticed the number of jelly fish, we saw the blue jelly fish, lions main and the moon jelly fish, in the next couple of days I will attempt to put some pictures on the blog of these animals.
It was extremely quiet as we left Peterhead Bay marina and headed off to Banff. We discovered that Banff harbour is quite narrow, and although it was flat calm this evening, there was still a slight surge on the entrance to the harbour, so I would have hated coming in here with any real swell. As we came into the harbour at low water plus two, and we only had 1.2 m of water, turning sharply left to gain entry into the inner harbour, but we managed to creep onto a pontoon where we were professionally turned round by James the harbour master. I pulled up on the pontoon and he said ‘aye you’ll be wanting to face the other way’, and he just started pushing the boat round, and we were all turned about in minutes! Then James gave us a thorough introduction to the marina and Banff, now that’s what I call a welcome, but he
is a fellow westerly owners’ association member, we are a friendly bunch!
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