11th June 2014, we left Stonehaven at 10.30, reversing off the stone wall as the tide was rising, and the wind was pushing us onto the wall. The wind for our trip to Peterhead today was all on our stern, either port or starboard, predominantly southerly.
We have spotted lots of wildlife whilst at Stonehaven, kittiwakes, herring gulls, puffins, gannets, guillemots, razorbills and fulmars, male and female Ida ducks and mallards, sand martin, sparrow and our prize bird the yellow hammer.
We had three days here, just a top tip for fellow sailors coming north; purchase a rover ticket from the harbour master, which is £50 for seven nights in any of the council run harbours in Aberdeenshire.
Whilst here we visited the Dunnottar castle which was a pleasant 2.5m walk along the coast.
The town of Stonehaven reminded me of Cornish fishing villages, set in cliffs, traditional stone walls and edged with small pubs. The local harbour master Jim, a born local could not have been more helpful or friendly, he seemed almost reluctant to take our money. He is part time, but spends his days outside the office renovating his own boat, so is constantly on hand.
There were plenty of shops to stock up on supplies, a tourist information centre which pointed us in the right direction for a few walks, and Sean walked round to look at the ruins of St Mary’s by the sea, yet another ruin but with interesting headstones depicting the tools of the deceased trades on their headstones. This gives a little more of a hint on the life of the deceased, rather than just a dash between two dates.
Stonehaven has the dubious honour of being the place where the deep fried mars bar was invented, it seemed rude not to at least try one!
I am writing this as we motor sail along, we have a thirty five mile journey, and the 2 – 3knots we were achieving under sail would have meant a very long day! I have had to take sea sickness tablets. Although the wind is on our stern, the tide is against us, so the seas lumpy, and trying to concentrate to write this is leaving me feeling very poorly.
We left at ten thirty this morning, it’s just turned 1.30pm and the tide has turned, the white horses have immediately gone and the sea is flattening out.
We sailed past Port Levan and Aberdeen today, there were seventeen boats at anchor in Aberdeen Bay, Slanes Castle,( the inspiration for the Count Dracula stories), and the Bullers of Buchan, which is a famous cauldron shaped chasm, which was formed by a collapsed sea cave.
Just as we came past Buchan Ness we saw the Northern lights, truly a magical moment. They lasted for about an hour.
Before entering Peterhead we had to call up on channel 14 and seek permission to enter, as Peterhead is a commercial harbour with boats coming and going at all times. The marina is tucked away in the left hand corner as you enter the harbour. (Sean has just read out to me that the two large break waters were built by prisoners at the beginning of the 20th century.) Access to the marina is suitable on all tides, and there was plenty of room in Peterhead Bay marina when we entered, so berthing was easy, which actually made a change.
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