Thursday, 8 August 2013

A big boy, little boy sailing trip to Vementry

Beren's been a bit fed up being in day care so much during the school holidays, so as a spur of the moment thing I put in a few days holiday for some big boy little boy time. With the weather being stunning I thought we might go camping, but that means me basically carrying all the gear for two of us, while Beren carries a rucksack full of toys. Not too appealing.

Looking at the forecasts I decided that instead we would sail from Voe to Vementry on Märta, explore a bit and stay over on the boat. A little challenge for Beren as he's not sailed before other than a brief time on my old GP14 round Scalloway harbour. It was a bigger challenge for me though; sailing Märta single handed for the first time with a 5 year old to keep an eye on could be interesting.

Just motoring out of Voe...


With me having to do everything the standard of catering on board had dropped drastically to a sausage roll for Beren as we headed out, though he looks like he is savouring it...


Finally under sail, Beren was keeping an eye on proceedings and telling me what birds he could see...


It was a wonderful day, but this cloud was looking a bit ominous...


A now familiar home for the night for me, but a new experience for Beren. Northra Voe, Vementry...


I tried in vain to set up the self-steering wind vane system on the boat while Beren explored round a bouts and looked at the tiddlers. All of a sudden I heard some subtle splashing and realised we'd been joined by an otter! I didn't have my long lens, but Beren and I enjoyed watching it in the voe near the boat for a while before we headed of to the old WW1 guns on Swarbacks Head.

According to Beren the island is inhabited by friendly polar bears along with pterodactyls...


We survived the numerous wild beasts and eventually got up to the guns...


Two guns from WW1 look out over the surrounding seas, there's a look out post and several smelly dark bunkers...




The views all around were fantastic. Here looking north over Muckle Roe...


 Looking back up Northra Voe where the boat was berthed...


By the time we got back it was pretty late. We made a bloke type camping tea, fished a bit...


...but eventually gave in to the midgies as the sun was setting over the hills...


 It wasn't that long until we were back on the sea as the sun was rising over Muckle Roe...


We fished a bit and caught a mackerel and then began to sail back. Unfortunately the wind had shifted in the night so that the sail back was also going to be a slog of beating directly in to it all the way again. Beren was tired and after a while the fun of sailing was loosing it's appeal when he kept rolling off the bed. When he was asking 'are we nearly there yet' again for the millionth time I didn't have the heart to say it'll be a few hours yet, so put down the sails and put the out board on and we motored the rest of the way back to Voe.

Märta isn't really designed for people to be out wandering around on deck and Beren was really good staying in the cockpit or popping his head out of the fore-ward hatch. When I needed all my concentration for sorting out the motor and setting/dropping sails and docking he was a star too, keeping quiet and out the way. He did enjoy the sail and our little adventure, but for all he was fine while we were sailing, even responding when I asked 'Ready about?', he said he definitely preferred motoring. And could we get a fast boat like that speed boat that went past!




2 comments:

  1. I googled and found these beautiful pictures, thank you for posting them. My grandfather was in the area in 1914-1918 and received a birthday greeting postcard from his wife and son addressed to Swarback, Shetlands. Your photographs are a very welcome bonus. Thank you.

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    1. Oh Great! Was he stationed at the guns? What a place to be back then. Thanks for your comment :)

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