Betty Alan goes cruising

Scapa Floe 2

Ed Maggs is running a characterful weblog about his adventures sailing the 50ft mahogany-hulled 1999 topsail ketch Betty Alan.

Ed knows his sailing literature, and claims that on his boat vital navigation issues such as working out where to go are decided winter solstice by throwing dice at the winter solstice while under the influence of the sacred herbs, which he claims is in line with by principles laid down by Hiscock, Moitessier, Worth and Tilman – and that is what took Betty Alan to Orkney this year.

The photo above from Scapa Flow comes from a sort-of, kind-of celebration of the scuttling of the German fleet involving packing a cardboard model battleship with fireworks. Read about it here.

The tragic story of an Orkney ‘witch’

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Alan Day

Alan Day plays concertina

Our good friend and excellent concertina player Alan Day sang us a gut-wrenchingly tragic song telling the story of a young Orkney girl accused of witchcraft the other day.

We were very struck by it, and Alan has kindly let us have an mp3 sample of The Orkney Witch to share with readers – please let us and him know if you enjoy it, or learn it for yourself.

The tale seems to be genuine enough – or at least it has very common currency on Orkney.