A Life in the Slow Lane

The Adventures of Basil – A Blustery Day*

Our long period of good weather has come to an end with a bang rather than a whimper. Storm Hector. We woke up this morning wondering where the much vaunted Storm Hector had gone. There was plenty of rain but no wind.

Sarah took the dogs for an early morning run on the beach and while walking on the sand in bare feet managed to kick a large stone with one of her little toes. She limped back and thinks she might have broken it, but still intends to continue with her 10,000 steps a day!

Finally, at about 10.30 am Storm Hector arrived and really started to give Basil a good buffeting. I scoured the weather reports to see when it would abate and it looked as if winds gusting above 50 mph would last until the evening. There were no warnings in the media about high sided vehicles not travelling so we decided to make the journey to our next site 60 miles south at Fortrose.

Just as we were leaving, the site opened its doors to newcomers and we saw several caravans and motorhomes arriving, so my apprehension was relieved somewhat.

On the drive south Basil showed he was more than up to the conditions. The only time my knuckles began to turn a little white was when we crossed a high bridge over the Dornoch Firth and we were exposed to Hector’s full force. Luckily the latest Fiat based motorhomes are on a wider chassis than some earlier models and with Hymer ensuring all the weight is kept very low down Basil is pretty unruffled by anything but the strongest gusts.

We arrived at the beautifully situated Fortrose Bay Campsite (57.578400. -4.118186 £25 a night with electricity, WiFi extra), set on a long peninsular jutting out into the Moray Firth, just north of Inverness. Basil has been allocated a pitch right next to the water, which normally would be lovely, but this afternoon it means we have been battered by the wind. I haven’t even been able to put up the satellite dish to watch the opening game of the world cup.

Basil at Fortrose Bay Campsite

The whole reason we have stopped at the this campsite is that at the end of our peninsular we have Britain’s most famous dolphins. Two pods of bottlenose dolphins live in the Moray Firth throughout the year and just after low tide the dolphins nearly always appear because the combination of the tide and location makes it perfect for catching fish, which at this time of year are salmon.

The next low tide is at 7.30 pm. By then the wind is forecast to have dropped and so we will be making a trip to see if we can view these beautiful mammals and if not there’s always tomorrow.


* I think Walt Disney did a Winnie the Pooh film called Winnie the Pooh and a Blustery Day.