I knew the fisherman was coming down to do more work on his boat this morning (the Star of Staxigoe) and I was sorely tempted to stay a little longer to hear more tales of Staxigoe, but once again I had to move on.
The day started cold and grey with a gentle headwind. Once I had passed Wick the cliffs began in earnest, their impressive stature would continue until pretty much the end of the day. They were not only impressive but committing too, options for leaving the water were few and spaced many miles apart. However the conditions were calm and the miles dropped away steadily.
The forecast for Friday involved the phrase 'Force 7' (N incidentally, but the direction didn't really matter too much I thought) so the Team Manager suggested today would be a good day for a few long miles ahead of the weather - I agreed. The original plan was to head south until the Moray Firth was a 30 mile crossing or so, but with the forecast winds I figured I would head as far south as I could get to minimise the crossing and maybe gain a little shelter further down). If the weather stayed good then these miles would be wasted, but I'd happily take this hit.
I was starting to tire a little and decided to take a quick nap in the sunshine at Berriedale(?) I parked the boat on a steep shingle bank up the small creek. Sleep was fleeting though as the Kittiwakes on the cliff opposite made as much noise as a bunch of reprobate kids with a box full of trumpets! Though the sun was firmly out now the breeze was still chilly.
I shot down the end of the creek and out through the slight surf to continue my journey. As I rounded the headland the wind dropped away completely and I completed the remainder of the day in absolute calm.
Last minute campsite decisions were interrupted by a phone call from the Team Manager, she had got further than expected and it was the motivation I needed to push on to Brora to meet.
Up the river mouth to land on the slipway - strange how I suddenly felt more at home on the river than the sea.
Team Manager had spotted a B+B on the way too, no tent tonight - real luxury!
Sent from my phone