And so begins the recount of our two week exploration of Orkney. A 3:00am start from North Cumbria saw us arriving mid morning at John O'groats for the customary photographs. The run up the A9 was superb, the benefit of travelling on a Sunday, and the weather beautiful. The crossing to St Margaret's Hope was flat calm - and the views of the Isle of Stroma good although thought provoking to see so many ruined crofts; especially when you look at the OS map and realise just what a community there was.You could clearly see the streets and the cemetery. Good views of gannets, puffins and great skuas but no cetacean sightings.