If there’s one place on the whole trip to get the tides right, the Pentland Firth is it. Comprising of 3 main races where tides flow in excess of 12 knots (3 times my normal pace) I made sure to carefully time my arrival.
It would start flowing east at 1500 so I allowed two hours to get there and enjoyed the morning off. After a quick run into town and an offering from the energy bar fairy (thanks whoever you are), I left, paddling into the headwind which I knew would soon become tailwind.
Timed the tides to perfection and enjoyed, for the first time in a week, making miles without slogging.
Amazing run through the race at Dunnet Head, still flying through the Men of Mey and a full throttle ride through the main race inside Stromer Island. At one point I stopped for lunch and covered a mile by the time I’d finished.
Hard right at John o Groats and quite suddenly, all conditions in my favour. I reluctantly stopped to get snaps of the stacks and the Guillemots lined up on rock shelves then let the Taran do what it does best; catch wave chains on a following sea. Covered the same distance as yesterday in 5 hours less!
At Wick I bumped into the canoe club and coach Bill offered sound advice on camping and local amenities.
Feels great to be moving south and to finally get some assistance.