Set off just after 08:00 this morning from Scarborough on our journey up to Shetland to stay with my brother Paul and his family, who live there. We didn’t have to rush, because our ship didn’t leave Aberdeen until 19:30 in the evening, so we broke the journey up into manageable chunks to give the girls toilet stops and the chance for Emma to feed Tristan periodically on the long journey.
Had quite a pleasant journey up to Aberdeen with the breaks and we went more or less the route Emma and I took last year on the motorbike, entering Scotland via Coldstream and then heading up to Aberdeen around Edinburgh and Dundee, although I must have followed the sat nav a little more carefully this time, because we managed to avoid the cities themselves – could be that I set the route to shortest route last year and this year I set it to fastest route with Coldstream as the only waypoint on the route.
Arrived in Aberdeen and at the Northlink Ferries terminal in perfect time, with a few minutes to spare before boarding commenced. The weather was excellent and the girls were excited to be on a big ship for the first time in their lives. We had an internal cabin with two bunks and Tristan slept in a crib provided by the ship. Not perhaps as nice view-wise as we had last year, when we had a cabin with a window, but nice and clean nevertheless.
There are two Northlink sister passenger ships that make the trip between Aberdeen and Lerwick (occasionally via Kirkwall, Orkney) – Hrossey (the old Norse name for Orkney) and Hjaltland (the old Norse name for Shetland). Our trip for the journey was the Hjaltland.
The girls and I popped up on to the top deck a few times, took a few photos and watched the ship’s progress on my satnav, which seemed to indicate a fairly constant speed of 22 miles per hour, whatever that may be in nautical miles per hour. Had a bite to eat and then retired to our cabin at around 22:30, had a shower, and got a pretty good night’s sleep. The crossing was pretty smooth.