Woke up to a Pete’s Eats mug of tea. Llewellen had wandered over from the campsite and was a brilliant extra pair of hands while I broke camp and got ready and he even made me take a full apple and cinnamon loaf, although I didnt resist too much. By the time I left there was a small send off party.
The wind a definite force or two lighter than yesterday I sensed an opportunity to get properly moving again. Reassuringly uneventful passage east and across the Dounreay nuclear station where for 2 hours I kept my mouth firmly shut (thanks Steve). Like some sort of Greenpeace poster there was glorious sunshine over the nearby wind farm while the power plant was grim cloud.
I settled on Thurso for the landing. A decent sized town for restocking and well placed for the run through Pentland Firth. Had to first edge my way through the irritating clapotis caused by the swell and sheer cliffs. Almost 2 hours of pulling at thin air every other stroke and bouncing on spiky water.
Real relief to turn the corner and see Thurso bay. Landed just as Pentland canoe club were packing up from a session and was met at the beach by Stewart, a club member who helped me haul the boat up to the store. The good luck continued in style as Ken (club sec and all round good guy) offered me use of the boatstore for the night and some great tips on the Firth. Stewart very kindly ran me into town for a Tesco run and in an outrageous act of generosity went halves on my shopping!
Double bonus in that a quick check of the tides mean a pm start tomorrow. Legitimate, permitted lie in!!!