The full story of the Orkney cruise will no doubt regale us through the long winter hours: of strong winds that become gales in the retelling; breaking waves that became bigger than houses, fierce tidal rips (true) and chambered cairns into which you could disappear and eat your lunch (also true).

For now just a selection of photos will suffice to give a taste of what John O called an 8/10 cruise, which is high praise. Not all plain sailing; fast pasages, mainly with the wind and some tricky tidal calculations to avoid the tidal maelstroms that are a feature of the islands. And a fair degree of sunshine. Many islands conquered, including the seldom visited Eynhallow and tiny Auskerry, and many brochs and cairns and castles explored.

And all returned safely: Twister, Mollymawk, Goldseeker and Hestur.

Participants: John, Heather, Karen, Adrian, Shona and Finn (Twister); Paul, Seumas, Kate (Mollymawk); Scott, Robyn (Goldseeker) and a bunch of hungry-looking pirates on a blue schooner by the name of Hestur (Dan, Ash, John and Charlotte).

With rain forecast Twister wishes she also had a couple of nice umbrellas
like Hestur's

Goldseeker, the fleet's mothership, powers up with the day's beer supplies

Two Vegas having a little quality time. Bless...

Mollymawk creeps up on an unsuspecting Twister

The Hon Sec strides on, oblivious to the fact Mollymawk is dragging
towards Iceland (not true)

John checks out the design of Finn's new kennel. Finn is impressed

Paul's manually operated wind vane self steering gear: called Seumas

We've found a big one. Actually the biggest in Orkney

Another day another church, this time on... what was its name?

Seumas, Paul and Kate watching the camera
seconds before running aground (not true)

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