For the past few days Orkney has been having easterly winds. For Stromness, this is the exposed direction and the wind hits the town straight from the sea, funneling up the alleys and closes, into the houses and street. When the wind is from the west, the water off the end of the piers can be flat calm, with the gusts hitting the sea a little way out after they coast over the rooftops. Stromness is a harbour town, built to take advantage of this shelter from the prevailing winds. People and objects from all over the world have crossed these pier stones. At its peak in the 19th century, three quarters of the Hudson Bay Company were Orcadians, and there were recruitment offices in the town. Stromness museum is full of objects from the new world, such as carved whale bone figures and spearheads, brought home or traded by sailors and HBC men. Login’s Well, at the north end of the street, gave water to Captain Cook’s ships, and Franklin’s ships Erebus and Terror before their ill-fated quest for the north-west passage. A small portion of iron-rich Stromness water still dilutes the Victoria Strait as the ships lie on the seabed waiting to be discovered.
Sunrise 06:15 Moonrise 08:07
Sunset 20.13 Moonset 12:35
Low tide 05:42 (0.36m) High tide 12.02 (3.86m)
High tide 18.08 (0.45m)