This morning we did a 5km hike at the Loch Scavaig, on the Isle of Skye. Very technical hike, on slippery rocks, fog and some rain, but a really nice walk. The zodiac ride back was like riding a wild horse, also lots of fun. Back on the ship, we have a very long sail to the Orkney Islands, at the top of Scotland. Lectures all afternoon, by the in-house scientists and historians— some very interesting.

I’ve been drinking the 14 year old Oban Single Malt. Very nice, and I’m having a 2nd glass today since it’s Father’s Day!

Next morning, we were docked at Kirkwall, Orkney Islands. Spent the morning exploring Kirkwall and it’s famous cathedral, then by bus to the original home of John Rae, a famous explorer, who found the last link to the North-West passage. He also lived in Hamilton (my hometown) for awhile, with his Torontonian wife. The house isn’t there anymore, but there’s a historical plaque, but I can’t find it’s location on Google.

I had a few very interesting conversations with author Ken McCoogan, one of the historians on-board. Ken lives in the Toronto Beaches and has written 11 non-fiction books on John Rae and others.

We spent another night tied up in Kirkwall, because of rough seas, and I’m getting really anxious about getting to the Shetland Islands.

The next day was spent in a bus, driving all over Orkney, with Margaret, a very good tour guide. We got to the town of Stromness, and visited the museum, which was mostly about Canada. Stromness was the last re-supply point for the Hudson’s Bay Company ships heading to Canada.

Tonight, we’re sailing to the Shetlands. Excited!

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Loch Scavaig

Landing at Loch Scavaig

Hiking on Loch Scavaig

Loch Scavaig

Artist at Loch Scavaig

Hiking at Loch Scavaig

Cathedral in Kirkwall


Bishops castle in Kirkwall

The standing stones of Brodgar

John Rae’s house. It’s being renovated to a museum, but I think this will take many years.

Stairway in John Rae’s house

John Rae’s house

No dog fouling – Stromness