Darren and Amanda Sellzer set off to sail around the world on their 39-foot Amel Sharki PANDA just as the world went into the pandemic lock-down. Instead of going from the Caribbean to the Panama Canal and then on to the South Pacific, they had to change plans. Here is the latest installment from their still developing voyage.
So far our cruising life has been full of surprises. We had a notion that Scotland would be pretty; however, we severely underestimated the vast wilderness and expansive cruising grounds. There is simply SO much to see!
Along with that wild scenery comes wild weather conditions. Situated about 58 degrees North, the Outer Hebridean island chain offers the only shelter from the ruthless onslaught of the North Atlantic. On our first outing after making repairs in Stornoway, we were hit with a fast-moving front producing gale force winds, sideways rain, and zero visibility. Not to worry though, the topography offers an abundance of ‘lochs’ or sheltered waterways that are easily navigated and anchorages are plentiful.
When the tumultuous weather did subside, we were gifted with blue skies, crystal clear waters and a rural countryside view that would melt the heart of any nature lover. Cruising this late in the season also provides an autumn color palette; deciduous trees glowing bright oranges and golds against the earlier waning sunsets. It really is a beautiful country up here.
Alas, our time in Scotland must come to an end as we continue our journey South to Ireland and eventually England where we will enjoy the winter months cruising the famous sailing capital of the Solent.