We elected to take the early ferry, as from what we had seen the full power of the swell was hitting the main land a little better. The ferry ride was pretty interesting, spending most of the time holding on to railings as the boat crashed its way through the swell.
By this point we were on a pretty tight schedule as well all needed to be back to work the next day. We headed straight to Sandside Bay which provided cross off conditions in the westerly winds. Gusting from zero to 30 knots was not the easiest sail and the wave had a punchy lip at the end. It’s always an interesting spot with Dounreay Nulcear power station in the background, famous for dumping radioactive waste in the sea. They even had beach scanning vehicles looking for parcels when we were there. In spite of this Mark and Steve ripped it up having the best session of the trip, while I was stuck on camera duty before the wind died. Now there was just the 9-14 hour drive home to look forward to.
Was it worth it? Having spent most of this year abroad, sailing some of the best breaks in the world. It’s safe to say there is always a place in my heart for missions to the unknowns of UK. It may be cold and wet half the time, with the inevitable highs and lows that come with a trip of little sleep and what can be fickle forecast chasing.
Whether discovering a spot for the first time or just a spot new to you. Once you get that perfect big day in the UK it becomes an addiction that is worth the risks of an adventure every time.
Michael Archer. Supported by Simmer, Chinnook, Puravida and Turfdog.