After we left Scalloway, Shetland Islands, the weather started getting rough right away. The harbor pilot followed us out. Those people in the Shetlands sure were nice people. With each and every stop it seems to get harder to leave. We were only there a few short hours and we made so many friends, people stepping up to help, from the Hotel Owner, Peter, to Maurice, his wife, to the Harbor Master and more.
It really humbled me when I saw an older couple with their canes get out of a taxi cab just to come down to the dock and meet us. Wow.
Soon after we left the Islands it became apparent that the weather report we saw was not going to give us the eight hours we expected to make the crossing. The winds picked up to about 40 mph and the waves picked up to about 10 -12 ft with an occasional 15 ft wave. They were coming out of the North West and we were heading South West. They were on our beam, coming at our side. (The most dangerous direction they could come from to our tiny little boat.) That Intruder did well. A flats boat in breaking 15 foot seas! I have always said 12 foot was my max, before I threw the sea anchor.
Out there the boat seemed to handle it well. Yes, there were about three close calls, Bob says about six. I only remember three where we could have flipped extremely easily if I did not turn the boat just right. One time we launched way up in the air and the wind caught the boat it came down on its tail and twisted sideways, well that was an eye opener. I wasn't going that fast we just hit that wave just right. God was smiling on us. Let’s face it he has been smiling on us this whole trip.
Our T-top has just about had it all the pipes are cracking. I don't understand it, the T-top is a super expensive one made with extra and larger aluminum pipes. The guy that built it and installed it says it is the best one made by anyone and he charges a lot for it. I am not sure what the problem is. It may have something to do with the 50,000 times we have slammed the boat down. By the way that number 50,000 times is not an exaggeration, it is probably low.
There is an Island half way called Fair Island where many a sea going person has decided to turn in and wait out the storm. Bob and I were going north of it and decided to go there, we turned south. We thought it was the responsible thing to do, but I did not want to be stuck there for several days. We have a mission and both of us are missing our families. We decided we could make it and did not want to stop in the middle.
Right after that, the Search and Rescue Helicopter came and checked on us. They were there watching us for a good while. I hope they took pictures and made video. After about 15 minutes they figured we did not need help and went home. Right after they left the waves seemed to kick up.
We stayed at it, soaking wet from head to toe, literally. I did not feel cold at all and it was actually fun. Yet, I was glad when we finally slipped past the first Island. Then I realized I was cold, real cold. By the time we got to Kirkwall, I was freezing, so was Bob. I could not get warm. While we were crossing I did all the driving. I was on the side getting the wind and the waves. Don't get me wrong, Bob got plenty of wind and water. I think the continuous soaking of me sucked out some heat. I, the super cheap one, broke down and rented a hotel, just to get warm. Usually we sleep on the boat unless someone offers us a place to stay, just to save money, but we needed to get warm.
Those who know me know I don't eat chocolate or much of any candy. Today, I ate all the fudge I could get my hands on, it seemed to give me energy. Then I took a hot shower and stayed there forever. Tomorrow we move on if the weather report allows. I don't know why I keep checking them. They seem wrong more than they are right. I guess it is one of those things you are supposed to do before going out to sea.
We still have more than six hundred miles before London. We hopefully can get as far as Edinburgh tomorrow, it is probably not likely. We will probably stop at Aberdeen.