KTL 8:16 across the Pentland Firth

After a month in Shetland we brought the boat down the West Coast of the archipelago and I decided to do the 150 miles from Scalloway to Cape Wrath in one go - which was a pretty bad decision.

This film will look better on a big telly when viewed from eight feet away and with a glass of cheap scotch in your hand

to downlod this film please click the vimeo logo on the bottom right of the frame above - that will take you too the vimeo page for the film - there you wiill find a download button



This is the same film served from youtube but still without the reminder.....so if yu click on the youtube logo it will open in a new page


This is about -KTL 8 - Orkney and Shetland, KTL 8 Scotland, Sailing around Britain.

63 Responses to “KTL 8:16 across the Pentland Firth”

  1. 22 March, 2017 at 8:53 pmRob Heath says:

    Another great video Dylan. Makes me realise what a good passage we had through the Pentland Firth. Came out of Long Hope just in time to catch the turn mid channel and had fair tide all the way to Wick with our SOG peaking at over 11kts! A bit like being on a mobo. Look forward to seeing you journey continue from Neakie around the corner. I didn’t know that Wrath ( as in cape ) actually comes from a Norse word meaning ‘turning point’ ( Hrath ) until I came across a derivation while looking up info about the passage from Stornaway to Loch Eribol.
    Fair Winds
    Ps tapped you a donation

  2. 22 March, 2017 at 8:55 pmdylan winter says:

    I too thought it was all about the weather


  3. 22 March, 2017 at 9:38 pmDave says:

    wonderful film Dylan! i tossed to $$ into the cruising kitty.

  4. 22 March, 2017 at 10:33 pmdylan winter says:

    thanks Dave

    incidentally… dave builds boats

    very nice boats


  5. 22 March, 2017 at 11:31 pmNiall says:

    Very honest account of crossing the Pentland Firth, I’m sure we’ve all felt like that at times. Your eyes looked to be in poor shape, hope you’re wearing decent sunglasses when out on the water?

  6. 22 March, 2017 at 11:42 pmdylan winter says:

    I made several basic mistakes – feel free to count them…..

    seldom wear sunglases. I think it was just sleep deprivation that made me look so terrible. Right as rain within a few hours

  7. 23 March, 2017 at 8:58 amdylan winter says:

    Max says that the downloaded version of this is not playing smoothly – has anyone else encountered some juddering…..?

  8. 23 March, 2017 at 9:00 amdylan winter says:

    that reads as though they are spruiking https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/spruik their sponsors

  9. 23 March, 2017 at 9:25 am[email protected] says:

    Hi D – as usual excellent! – hallucinations – been there too! A little judder early on in the film, thought it was my hard drive but obviously not.

  10. 23 March, 2017 at 9:28 amdylan winter says:


    can you try to reproduce that judder for me and tell me where it happened

    was that off a download?


  11. 23 March, 2017 at 9:49 am[email protected] says:

    D 1:08 1:21 In retrospect I think you ‘froze frame’ to highlight the porpoises. It was off a download.

  12. 23 March, 2017 at 9:51 amdylan winter says:

    excellent…. note to self….. must be more careful


  13. 23 March, 2017 at 10:32 amNiall says:

    Another new word for me to contend with, drat. Still you should wear sunglasses, whatever brand.

  14. 23 March, 2017 at 10:47 amTed Timberlake says:

    Just shows one can never be sure… one would expect a boat builder in the States to be either on the east side or maybe the west side, but Dave appears to be slap bang in the middle. Ted

  15. 23 March, 2017 at 11:31 amdylan winter says:

    and jolly nice looking little yachts they are too – I have always been a sucker for simulated clinker. I think that the ridges make the boat sail so much better.

  16. 23 March, 2017 at 11:52 amMax says:

    Errr… Dylan has just told me that some of the juddering is deliberate freeze-frames he put in so you can see the porpoises! So after trying it again on several machines this morning in an effort to help, it turns out some of the problems have been put in accidentally on porpoise.

    But this is still a wonderful addition to the KTL journey… the first light departure from Scalloway is particularly beautiful and the account of the brave night crossing of the Pentland firth is gripping stuff.

  17. 23 March, 2017 at 2:21 pmTed Timberlake says:

    Dylan, could not agree more, as a proud owner of a couple of Devon Yawls that are GRP simulated clinker yawls, one of which we have had in the family for more than 34 years. We have pottered, cruised and raced them. I have to confess to OCD with regard to them. Great boats,

  18. 23 March, 2017 at 7:54 pmhenrik scheel says:

    No technical issues with this movie, great movie. Would have liked to see more of the big waves though. I think the movie gives a good impression of the not so nice conditions.

  19. 23 March, 2017 at 8:27 pmBryan T says:

    Hi, Dylan, great film and story from Shetland across Pentland Firth I think all part time sailors have low times particularly at night, when in the services on duty or exercises or in the years sailing since, the wee small hours strain ones belief. But a great film once again. looking forward to the next. All best wishes,
    Bryan T, Difran 2 in the Solent

  20. 24 March, 2017 at 2:56 amWill says:

    The sun light in these islands…terrific.

    Well done…


  21. 24 March, 2017 at 6:50 amdylan winter says:

    Thanks B,

    It was a tough night that is for sure. I made a few mistakes. Here we all are though – safely on the other side

    I am still keen to get back to scotland and have another crack at the hard stuff


  22. 24 March, 2017 at 4:13 pmAquaplane says:

    Another good fillum.

    There are loads of crinkly bits round there go look round.
    When I have looked at the crinkly bits South of Cape Wrath I’ll think about heading North, if I live that long.

    After watching it with my crew I told her “that’s why I want you to be able to do it”. I suspect I sail pretty much like you ie more or less single handed which is OK for day sailing. Thanks for having the “learning experience” and allowing us to learn from it too.
    Is it too early to ask when the next one is due? :)

  23. 24 March, 2017 at 4:55 pmdylan winter says:

    that depends on the weather – if the sun is shining and I can go out on the river in the punt/canoe/dinghy/Katie L then I will go sailing. I do know that sailing films get better hits in the winter than the summer.

  24. 24 March, 2017 at 4:58 pmdylan winter says:

    The management of women aboard is not for the feint of heart. Probably best not to watch that one with a nervous wife.

  25. 24 March, 2017 at 8:54 pmAquaplane says:

    Management of women, now that’s an interesting concept.
    I just do what I think she wants to do.
    There is loads of time to please myself when I’m single handed.

  26. 25 March, 2017 at 7:20 amdylan winter says:

    I agree – Jill decides how many hours we sail each day. When I am by myself I start sailing before the sun comes up and end after it has gone down – I often stop for a kip in the middle of the day. When Jill is with me we start late, stop for lunch and end early – then I go off for a sail in the dinghy


  27. 25 March, 2017 at 12:03 pmAndrew Wilkinson says:

    Interesting subject indeed. If my Gill has a moment to spare the knitting’s out and she’s tucked up under the spray hood, facing backwards. I feel this is not in keeping with the spirt of sailing and the requirement to keep a good lookout for other vessels. When the time comes to tack, I have to give sufficient notice so she can finish the row. That said we do have some very nice cusions, a quilt in the forward cabin and a cover for the helm. Given half a chance I’m sure the sewing machine would find its way onboard. Weather forecasts, in today’s world where we all have half a dozen apps on our smartphones, why do my wife’s say 30 knots and rain, so let’s jump in the car, I need to buy some more material, knitting needles etc. When my forecast is for 15 knots, sunshine, and great days sailing. That said we do make a good team.

  28. 26 March, 2017 at 8:08 amIan W says:

    Another excellent video Dylan, well done. I really don’t think you should indulge in too much self flagellation over your passage making decisions. We’ve all had things go pear shaped from time to time when conditions change unexpectedly or the weather guessers get it all wrong, its part of the blue water sailing experience. However, you are right that fatigue is more of an issue as we age (I’m 70 this year and rarely do overnighters any more) but you were well reefed down and, in the bits we saw when it got a bit boisterous, the boat seemed quite happy. An uncomfortable experience but not a dire one. Fair Winds.

  29. 26 March, 2017 at 6:40 pmTravis says:

    Just finished number 8. Great film! Love the commentary (almost better than the scenery)!

    Btw, I am under 50 and know at least one or two like me.

    Keep up the good work, hope you are on your way to another boat.

  30. 26 March, 2017 at 7:37 pmdylan winter says:

    Thanks Travis,

    I am more or less on track. As for being under 50 – excellent

    quick, quick, work less and sail more while you still have good knees.

    How much under 50

    youtube says that most of you guys – only 3 per cent women – are aged between 50 and 70.

    a frightening demographic


  31. 27 March, 2017 at 10:06 pmsimon leslie ellis says:

    Great viewing, very exciting, dark mood sailing in rough weather and unusual for KTL. It’s true that a visceral wave of fear can catch you by surprise when you are alone and feeling your getting out of your comfort zone. Watched as you recommend – on my big screen.

  32. 27 March, 2017 at 10:33 pmdylan winter says:

    thanks S,

    it was a first for me…. not planning on repeating such an experience. I will be more cautious next time – especially when Jill is aboard.

    there were so many ways I could have avoided it.


  33. 29 March, 2017 at 11:29 pmHillary Corney says:

    Great film Dylan, oh I have found you a new boat. It’s not on the open market yet but the owner is looking to sell. It’s a Colvic Watson with a fully enclosed wheelhouse. Ketch rig sails well but with a 30 hp BMC diesel. Very similar to a Fisher 25 except that it is 26.5 feet long and beamy makes my Centaur look tiny. It’s £15k. So keep chivying those un tappers!

  34. 10 April, 2017 at 7:17 pmJim Legere says:

    Hello Dylan, just had a marathon session watching 15 & 16 back-to-back. (Whatever happened to KTL8 Film 14?). Anyway, it was great on the big screen and with a warm dog on either side of me, I might of nodded for a couple of minutes toward the end of 15…not to imply boredom but, rather, how peaceful the scenery and music was, with the water chuckling by the bow. Its is forecast to be 20 deg. here tomorrow, so its time to go to the boatyard and pull the shroud from my own boat…ah, Spring!
    Best wishes,
    Halifax, Nova Scotia

  35. 11 April, 2017 at 9:32 pmSuz Mansfield says:

    Filming has stopped? WTF, there is now no reason to turn on the sodding tv. Can we lobby the BBC to give you your own show? I suppose now the evenings are becoming longer, i will have to assist in the restoration of his cruddy silhouette. You have inspired him to have a go for himself and secretly I’m not unhappy about it, it could be a lot worse considering i caught him reading up about making a still. He has an alarm set somehow to alert him that you’ve posted a new video, so hopefully you haven’t seriously stopped.
    All the best
    Suz kayak woman

  36. 11 April, 2017 at 9:39 pmdylan winter says:

    I have the material for ten more films on the hard drive…. but no more filming until I can get the cash flow sorted…. if I can. As for the BBC…. they would invent a race against time.. “will he make it to sterling before the banana goes black?” They would also make me dress up like a pirate.

  37. 15 April, 2017 at 4:26 pmWarren says:

    Glad you all survived the trip. The most important thing is Jill did not say never again( as far as I know) . My mum said ferry next time when we had a trip to holland that went bad half way thru….. Rough night sailing downwind on to the Dutch coast, and only the DF (remember that) to know we’re were on course for ijmudieum ……we survived but mum always took the ferry after that!
    A cheap waterproof go pro copy might have been interesting to have got some shots of the ugly……but it never looks as bad on film….
    Cheers Warren

  38. 16 April, 2017 at 12:06 pmdylan winter says:

    I agree W, To inflict offshore passages on people who get nervous around big seas is not fair on them or on the rest of the crew. If you trust your gear and the physics fear should not be a factor.

  39. 17 April, 2017 at 12:17 amSuz Mansfield says:

    Glad to see you’re alive, the last vid had a still of you at the end and we fretted somewhat that you might have actually stopped due to irreversible circumstances.
    Had we won the lottery over the weekend you would have been top of the ‘folk to dob some cash to’ list. TV is not the same and nowhere can he find such brilliant yacht porn as KTL.
    To the detractors of your travelogue i say f*** ’em all. What about sponsors? You might have to wear overly branded clothes but maybe not the pirate hat?
    The Silhouette is now clean and almost looks like a boat. I am dutifully helping by cleaning dull brass and making tea. I will post some pics. Keep buggering in.

  40. 17 April, 2017 at 6:52 amdylan winter says:

    still sailing. Made a lot of progress since that film was made and I am as keen as ever on sailing. Not lost my bottle. As for sponsors …. I don’t think that an unknown jowly old bloke sailing a bad boat is much of a draw for a sponsor – I have only had 1.5 million views so not enough to interest any sort of sponsor.


  41. 18 April, 2017 at 10:10 amGiles says:

    Haven’t caught up properly for a while – have now (and tapped). Wow – what a film! Good historical stuff and no hysterical stuff! How do you do it when putting yourself so much in harm’s way? That crossing of the Pentland Firth exactly demonstrates all the fears we sailors have when going beyond our comfort zone. The boat will do it, but are we up to the job? I keep telling myself that the mast will not come down, the rudder will stay attached, I will not catch a lobster pot or some random netting. But my 64 year old ability to stay alert and make wise decisions I seriously question. Last year a crossing to Ostend from Walton took 28 hours – no wind, but knackering. The following day far too much wind going from Ostend to Ramsgate, and I was seasick for the first time in my life. I put it down to tiredness…
    Going to stick to the Thames Estuary for the time being – plenty to do.
    I’ll let you do the hard stuff and watch from a safe distance. Keep it up!



  42. 18 April, 2017 at 11:12 amdylan winter says:

    Thanks Giles,

    The Pentland was an experience I do not want to repeat in a hurry. As you say, the boat can handle it. The question is can we? At our age we also have to admit that things that were easy as a middle aged man are now no longer such a breeze.

    I do not worry about centaur masts – they will tell me before they fail. The rudder is a simple mechanism – not much to go wrong unless it clonks something – and then you are close to the shore.

    I will never do that to Jill again.

    Well done on the adventuring across the north sea – although what were you thinking doing so many miles in such a short space of time.


  43. 7 June, 2017 at 9:09 pmAndrew Bizley says:

    I’ve slipped you some dough Dylan, not much because its come out of my own sailing budget – but I know a true craftsman when I (sea) one. Pun intended.

    Having spotted you on the Deben last week and posting the photo to your Facebook page, now seeing this video makes me realise how small our endeavours are compared with nature. And how easily my nautical idol could’ve been lost. I hope the project is only stalled and that enough people like me but with more funds will stump up.

    Even if they don’t, I want you to know this. YOU are the reason I learnt to sail and are now the reason I own a seaworthy Mariner 17. Like you I attempted to restore a Seawitch 19, then gave up and moved on! I can’t help thinking that Katie L could still cruise the Islands and certainly explore the Clyde. Perhaps enough MOB’s could be persuaded to give a tank full of diesel to tow her across the country.

    Hoping you get to finish the project.

  44. 7 June, 2017 at 10:22 pmdylan winter says:

    Cheers A,

    I have the rushes I shot on the firth of forth/Tay and Moray firths in Katie L the year before last. They will be posted this autumn as part of the run of the last ten. However, although Katie L is up to the job of scotland … living down below during a five day blow is untenable for a man of my age and with my knees


  45. 8 June, 2017 at 7:24 amdylan winter says:

    excellent choice of little boat – sails very well in shallow water.

  46. 20 August, 2017 at 5:12 pmJustin says:

    Hi, Dylan

    When is the next installment likely to be published?

    It seems so long ago since this one.

    Hope the outboard is working well. Did you re-paint It?


  47. 20 August, 2017 at 9:50 pmdylan winter says:

    I painted it brown to match Deben mud

    I rather like it. At the moment it is slumbering in the quarter berth while I experiment with the Torqueedo on the Minstrel. I think the last film was May, moved house since then and the sailing weather has been wonderful so not keen to spend sunny days at the desk when the Deben is calling. As soon as the autumn storms arrive I will be driven off the boats and back ashore – although I plan to keep Katie L in commission right through the winter


  48. 22 August, 2017 at 11:53 amJustin says:

    Very understandable sailing rather than being couped up. I’ve been to Lundy twice and Milford haven via Tenby. Fantastically I’ve been joined so many times this year by dolphins in the Bristol Channel especially in the Carmarthen Bay and off Hartland.

    Having fully refurbished the Trapper, I’m selling Harlequin and have bought a Sadler 29 which I’ve just sailed round to Cardiff from Plymouth. Lovely boat. I just found Harlequin a bit too light and racy for day long cruising and a bit too cramped for my 6′ 3″ as I was banging my head too often and getting lots of aches from crouching as a result of anno domini.

    Hope you get back to Scotland next year.

    The Sadler has a dedunct Eberspacher but I can get it exchanged for under £400 so Scotland may be an option for me too next year. Either that or Ireland.

    Anyway keep up the mudlark.

    Good to see Maggie is still with you. My wife, Sue won’t let me take our labradors out on the water! Puppies due in this weekend so I’m grounded effectively for a couple of months.


  49. 26 August, 2017 at 8:53 amJustin Harley says:

    Amazingly I’ve got the Eberspacher to work. It simply needed the battery connections tightening!
    Brilliant so Scotland next year hopefully. It’d be good to see you up there. How’s the coffers looking for the Fisher?

  50. 26 August, 2017 at 11:36 amdylan winter says:

    woo hoo – heat and scottish mountains…. excellent

  51. 3 September, 2017 at 8:34 pmGeorge Brannan says:

    Brilliant Dylan. Love all the Videos! I’m been following you right from buying the Centaur, from Solent right through to this video. Your video quality is amazing for such a portable camera. May I ask what the Camera is and also how much Nav info does your small handheld Yellow Garmin Hold. From George, Big Fan and Sailor, Owner of MacWester Rowan Crown 24, in County Down.

  52. 3 September, 2017 at 8:49 pmdylan winter says:

    thanks G

    I was using something like this


    they last about a year on a damp boat before giving up the ghost

    the Garmin only holds two days worth of tyracks before it runs out of memory – it is pretty ancient


  53. 6 September, 2017 at 9:48 pmHillary says:

    Hi Dylan So I sat in a Fisher 31 and i have to say I liked it. The experience was somewhat tempered by a large number of other people also being on board in varying states of inebriation. I decided its a bit like a centaur with a conservatory. I quite liked it but my wife Kim said she preferred our Centaur. So My vote goes for a Centaur with an Esbacher Heater to keep you camera dry.

    Hope you are having a great season.


  54. 20 September, 2017 at 11:20 pmDavid says:

    I have watched and enjoyed your Shetland venture a couple of times now. When you entered Skeld marina it was nice too see my jaguar 24 (curlew) in its berth. When you sailed round to Reawick, Sand Voe, and Soundside/Tresta Voe, it’s my sailing ground.
    Looking to forward too you postings on the west coast of British isles. Happy sailing on the Deben

  55. 20 September, 2017 at 11:58 pmdylan winter says:

    thanks David – there are ten more to come…. after that it is in the lap of the gods

    or the blokes who watch the films


  56. 21 September, 2017 at 5:45 pmDavid says:

    I have watched and enjoyed your Shetland venture a coupled times now. When you entered Skeld marina it was nice too see my jaguar 24 (curlew) in its berth. When you sailed round to Reawick, Sand Voe, and Soundside/Tresta Voe, it’s my sailing ground.
    Looking to forward too your postings on the west coast of British isles. Happy sailing on the river Deben, fair winds and safe harbour’s.

  57. 29 December, 2017 at 2:00 pmHans Valk says:

    After a few weeks absence, I returned to your site again and suddenly found two video’s I had not seen before! Looking at the reactions I realised that these must have been available since march of this year. I have visited KTL quite a few times since then.
    I just can’t figure out how I managed to miss them..

    But then again; I don’t find navigation on your site of the utmost clarity.. Things seem to change places continuously..

    The other possibility is that I am an old sod that has lost touch with the simplest of things..

    Anyway.. who cares.. I’m delighted!

  58. 29 December, 2017 at 2:11 pmdylan winter says:


    should I make the navigation on the right hand side more obvious in some way

    my website skills are not as good as youtube which gives a different front page to every visitor so fresh unseen subjects appear at the top


  59. 4 January, 2018 at 7:45 pmHans Valk says:

    Hello Dylan,

    I’ve been offline for a couple of days, but to answer your question about the navigation on the right hand side: when I open the list of video’s unter KTL8, I can’t find video 17 (Cape Wrath). It just isn’t listed.
    The problem does not seem to be that the listing on the right hand side is not obvious enough.

  60. 4 January, 2018 at 9:02 pmdylan winter says:

    thanks H

    fixed that now


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