Always open, always safe
We dropped the mooring and sailed back into Stornoway Harbour where I met the acting CEO of Stornoway Port Authority, John Maclennan, who told me: ‘To the best of my knowledge the harbour has never been closed because of bad weather in its 150-year history. We installed new, more robust pontoons in 2014 and spent £1million on marina improvements.
‘The one thing that’s important to get across is that we are a two-hour flight from Heathrow so crew change is easy, as the French fishing boat crews well know – they fly in from Lorient, Brittany.’
The harbour master, Tony Morrison, added: ‘This is the last stop to the Faroes or Iceland and a lot of yachts use it as a jumping-off spot. We are also 70 miles from St Kilda. The harbour has no bar, no narrow entrance, so we get 15,000 visitors a year arriving by cruise ship.’
So the UK’s windiest place has shelter as safe as the Serpentine.