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Wednesday, 20 July 2011

A sail in a Yole

An Orkney yole is a particular type of boat that used to be very common in Orkney. Now there are only about 20 in the water. During the Tall Ships weekend, the Orkney Yole Association were running trips in four of the yoles (see here for more info on yoles) and I managed to get a sail. It was brilliant - I've wanted to go in a yole for years, but I don't like being that close to water! This trip was perfect as it was just around the harbour and out to the point of Ness.

It gave a completely different perspective to the tall ships and the town.

This is now the Pier Arts Centre, but has been converted from old pier buildings. All the buildings along the shore side of the town had piers or steps down to the water, and all the properties on the other side of the street has access rights to these piers.  The life of Stromness was based upon the water!

The buoys around the harbour are welcome resting spots for seabirds including this Shag

Old and new ships berthed side by side

Here's another yole with a different rigging of sail (and that's as technical as I get!)

When the yoles are in the water a small row boat (with outboard) is used to reach them from the pier. The Orkney Yole Association boat is a "flattie" - a particular type of boat which is broad and wide.

And here is the Svanhild - this was my favourite boate - built out of wood in 1889, and after she fell into disrepair was lovingly restored.


  1. So beautiful, every one of the
    ships, thanks for all the photos.

  2. How wonderful. Your country is one of my favrotes and my grand,as use to live there.

  3. Pat - Thanks...

    Savories of Life - Welcome! Glad you love Orkney too!