Scrabster to Stromness by Northlink Ferry

The Scrabster to Stromness ferry across the Pentland Firth takes about 90 minutes. As we leave mainland Scotland for the Mainland of Orkney there’s a classic Stevenson’s lighthouse. Here’s Holborn Head Lighthouse and Keeper’s House. It’s a private house:

Scrabster - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

The sky and sea are blue with lush green fields.

Scrabster - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

There’s a view of what I think for a moment must be Stroma, a large uninhabited island, unless it’s one of Orkney’s vanishing islands like Hildaland. The name Stroma is from the Old Norse Straumr-øy meaning “Island in the stream”. Please make the ensuing earworm stop. Then I realise it’s Dunnet Head because there’s another Stephenson’s lighthouse on the end of it; and it’s not an island at all.

Stroma - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

We can see the Old Man of Hoy and Hoy itself from the deck:

The Old Man of Hoy - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

The Old Man of Hoy - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

The cliffs of Hoy are amazing and very unlike much of the rest of Orkney:

Hoy - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

There’s time to admire the design of the Hamnavoe ferry, run by Northlink Ferries. The whole experience of the ticket sales, the welcome and check-in, the roll-on and roll-off are fabulous.

And there’s the thrill of seeing a small pod of White-Beaked Dolphins jumping behind us. I’ve never seen them before:

It’s a glorious day so there’s plenty of activity on deck:

Northlink Ferries - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

The Mainland of Orkney comes into view with another of Stephenson’s lighthouses:

Lighthouse - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Field - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

And Stromness appears too soon for us given all the interesting views we’ve had on the journey.

Stromness - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

It’s time to roll off the Hamnavoe and start driving again.

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The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

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