As a test drive for our long trip, we drove to Scotland for five weeks in 2018. I will put some pictures of this trip here. Let's start with the autopilot that is currently steering the ship. It controls because it is really boring if you have to hold the rudder in your hands for hours and drive straight ahead. It takes about four days on the North Sea to drive straight from Holland to Scotland. You would have to put a person at the wheel for 24 hours for four days. We have used the autopilot as often as possible.
Here is an example of the loneliness that already surrounds you in the middle of the North Sea. The VHF radio is completely silent as there is no coast radio station to get through and there are no ships in the vicinity. This is impressive. At the same time, the GPS device shows mercilessly how slowly the distance to the destination is getting shorter.
Tobermory is the main town on the Isle of Mull. The small marina with only a few seats is located opposite the great waterfront of the village.
When approaching Tobermory, you should contact the harbor master as soon as possible via radio. Sometimes that doesn't work, for example if he left the radio at his desk and shows boats down on the jetty. In this case, communication with loud calls works just as well. The marina is small, once we only got a place after an hour of waiting. And the harbor master is not allowed in the package.
A few hours north of Tobermory is a famous lighthouse, that of Ardnamurchan. With a charter in 2016 we had to pay the double deposit because we also wanted to drive north of Ardnamurchan. Back then it didn't work, we could have saved the money. This has lost an incredible amount of value because the pound plummeted due to the Brexit decision between paying the deposit and returning the deposit.
We were able to pass the lighthouse on our way north with the best weather.
A great memory from your holiday in Scotland is the harbor seal in the Mallaig harbor basin. A fisherman has his berth right next to the marina, which, incidentally, has been completely renovated and now has nice showers. We were surprised when we saw this comrade here from the marina.
At the moment the seal is still completely chilled. That changes the moment the fisherman returns from his day's work with his "Boy Daniel" and "discards" a few old baits. We can also look at that as moving pictures.
Spectators were everywhere on the neighboring boats and the fisherman enjoyed his show. When the last fish flew into the seals, the fisherman left the harbor with the words “Show is over”.
We could observe other animals when we were on the way back to Holland. After leaving the port of Inverness we cross a strait. At this narrow point between Chanonry Point and Fort George, there is a good chance of encountering dolphins. A few of the journeyman accompanied us promptly. The small, rocking boats take tourists to the dolphins.
After a vacation, you usually go home. So also in 2018. We want to start the vacation that does not end for the time being in 2019. We have to go to work that long. Sissi has proven to be very suitable. Some small things still have to be rebuilt or renewed. Sissi is a great long-distance ship.