PROGRESS REPORT NO. 19 Tuesday October 4th

In Moray Firth, East Scotland.

We're in Moray Firth with about 40 miles to go to Inverness and the entrance to the Caledonian Canal. This canal cuts across Scotland through Loch Ness and The Great Glen, and will have us out on the Scottish west coast.

We left Maloy, Norway, last Saturday night at 21.00 with a good enough forecast, nothing stronger against us than force 6. And so it was, grand, until the following morning. Then it blew up, force 7 and 8, for 30 hours, in our faces. With engine and small reefed foresail we kept plugging into it, making three knots, sometimes two. No meals, barely a cup of tea.

There were Norwegian Oil Platforms aplenty and at one stage a fleet of Norwegian trawlers who seemed to be greatly blackguarding each other. A Norwegian warship stood by. None took a blind bit of notice of us.

By Monday mid-day, 30 hours or so later, the wind fell and seas gradually flattened, and so continue.

We'll be in Inverness this evening and into the Canal for the two-day transit starting tomorrow. Then all we need is about 50 good south- westerly sea hours to get to Westport.

However, this mornings UK Met charts show a gale brewing starting on -yes Thursday, and blowing from the south- west.

So there is no ETA for Westport yet.

Fishing boats and oil rigs...

...take no notice of us

Heavy weather