Towards Stornoway, Outer Hebrides

After a winter again filled with boat jobs, me and my brother Thomas cast off from Lagos, Portugal 23 March, with the aim to reach A Coruna, relatively quickly before the Portuguese North wind sets in. The main objective for this season is to visit Lofoten.

Kerpa was launched the day before departure.

After one night in Cascais we reached Nazare, which is known among surfers, the highest wave ever been surfed was in Nazare. I attached a YouTube link about it https://youtu.be/zOYL15QOvWE

Next stop was Porto, where Kerstin arrived after being in Stockholm helping our oldest daughter when she gave birth to a daughter, now they have boy and a girl, perfect.

Traditional boats for transporting Port wine

Porto is a beautiful town well worth visiting

Inside Porto’s railway station, Impressive

Time to enjoy a beer in the sun.

While we were in Porto we took the opportunity to rent a car and visit the world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge. The 516 m long Arouca bridge, https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/05/516-meter-arouca-pedestrian-suspension-bridge-opens-in-northern-portugal/.

The area offers very nice scenery

April 6 we arrived to A Coruna not without Problems

On our way and no wind the engine temperature went up, luckily we found out before the high temp alarm went off, I have a Bluetooth temp probe on the exhaust hose, that together with smell of exhaust gases made us suspicious. I went down the hatch to the engine checked the impeller, but nothing wrong with that. Open the lid to the cooling water strainer and found some minor debris in there, cleaned it away and the problem was gone (we thought) but a few hours later the problem was back! Of with the lid to the strainer, no debris, I took a long rod and pushed it through the cooling water inlet and that solved the issue.

Coruna is a nice historical town offering besides historical sites also very good Galician food.

Hercules tower a very old  lighthouse from the Roman time built during 2nd century AD.

Several old and historical houses in A Coruna.

Again, we had to wait for a suitable weather window for crossing the Bay of Biscay. 12 April the condition was not too bad. +/- 20 knot of wind 3-4 m Swell to start with but the conditions become less rough and all in all we had a good passage to Cork, Ireland, We stayed at the Royal Cork yacht club, established 1720 and claim they are the oldest Yacht club in the world.

Of course first thing to do, try a Guinness at Royal Cork Yacht Club

Sunset at the RC yacht club.

Crossing the Bay of Biscay was my brother Thomas main aim, so he was pleased reaching Cork and flew back to Sweden, so from now on it is just me and Kerstin aboard.

Next stop was Dun Laughaire close to Dublin 100 Nm north of Cork

We left Cork in very calm weather

Leaving Cork

After a couple hours we were greeted by many Dolphins that followed us for hours

Just arrived Dun Laughair

Dun Laughaire is a very nice and safe place to leave a boat and go exploring the local area as well as visiting Dublin about 30 minutes away by train.

The Marina

Visited Dublin for Afternoon tea

We left Kerpa for a short visit to Sweden, First to celebrate our youngest daughter Linnea who took her PhD in Biotechnology

A very happy daughter, but even more proud father

And of course we wanted to see our latest grandchild Ingrid

Proud and very happy mother

After a week we were back on Kerpa and next stop was Bangor, Northern Ireland, from were one easily take the train into Belfast where we visit the oldest Pub in Belfast The Crown Liquor saloon.

Very impressive Pub, beer tasted excellent

Next was a gentle sailing from Bangor to Sandy Island

First Anchorage in Scotland Sandy Island

It has been cold most of the time and we have had our share of rain as well, so our newly installed diesel heater has been very valuable and contributed heavily to the comfort aboard.

The heater in the cockpit locker, note the CO alarm as well as the Bluetooth temp probe, same as I have on the exhaust hose, maximum temp measured is 46 C. The white PVC hose is a plumbing device that connect well to both the combustion ait silencer and the heater, I installed silencer both on air in and out from the heater as well so it operate very silent, on low power one does not hear it at all.

Very pleased with it.

As we have water tight bulkheads drawing duct for hot air is not easy, a stainless tube through the after toilet solved the issue to get warm air to the after cabin. The tube gets rather hot and give warmth to the after toilet too.

above you see the warm air outlet just above the outlet for the air-conditioner. Amel had already installed a duct from the cockpit locker to the fore cabin so that came in handy. The heater together with new soft carpets make it very cosy aboard

Another improvement we did was to install a 3,5 kW inverter dedicated to the induction hob.

3,5 kw inverter Chinese made, reasonable priced and size.

The inverter fitted nicely under a shelf, It work very silent, some inverters make a lot of noise, I have had the inverter to run at full blast for up to ½ an hour without any issues, when it gets hot the fan starts but its relatively silent, and the fan does shut down after a minute or so when it has cooled down the unit.

The remote control just above the shelf, very handy

The induction hob with the dedicated 220 v socket. Gives redundancy and the MultiPlus inverter can be used at the same time for other purposes.

Kerstin’s new favourite gadget in the galley is an air fryer, a small hot air oven, it works great. Now we do not need to use gas anymore, In the Air fryer one can make Lasagne, French fries, Chicken wings, even bake bread etc etc. very happy with it.

How much electricity does it takes?

During15 days (10-25 may) on average

18 Ah/day for the Inverter for the Induction hob                  

23 Ah/day for the MultiPlus inverter (used for boiling water on the kettle, the air fryer etc)

Front opening fridge (ca 7 C) 14 Ah/day

Freezer 11 Aha7day (-8C)

Cooling chest 14 Ah/day (2 C)

Total 80Ah/day n.b. 24 v system.

Despite the grey and rainy weather we have had, we have only used our diesel generator for ca 4 hours since we left Lagos over two month ago, else power fom our 1160w Solar panels

That was some technical stuff

Next we had a short sail 33 Nm to Port Ellen where we stayed at anchor for two days in grey and windy weather. When we left, we were very surprised to have four Dolphins doing acrobats around Kerpa when we were at anchor, and they followed us after we left the anchorage for ca ½h on our

Furher we were at Jura, Tobemory, and Uist.

It is important to time the tide right

If timing the tide right, speed can be very high, if wrong progress can be slow and dangerous if one ending up in falls, races and tide against heavy sea, so fare we have succeeded rather well, but we feel as rookies when coming to plan and time the tides.

Tobemory

At Jura Loch Skipport, we had wind exceeding 30 kn during nights so sleeping was not great.

Stornoway

Finally, we came to Stornoway, Outer Hebrides has for long time been on our list for places we wanted to se.

Stornoway

We rented a car, and for ones the weather cooperated occasionally with us and we had a great trip around Harris.

Narrow roads and clouds, The speed limit on this road is 60Miles/h, close 100 km/h, I thought 30 km/h was enough.

When sun is shining the landscape is amazingly beautiful

This is how people could live in the old days and until the last person moved 1970.

There is a “Stonehenge” on Harris as well, believed to be ca 4000 year old.

Below follow some more beautiful scenery from Harris.

Now in Stornoway we have gale wind gusting + 35 kn, hopefully tomorrow we can set sail towards Orkney Islands

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