The Pentland Firth has seen many shipwrecks over the years - there are over 60 recorded around the island of Stroma alone!! The most recent happened in January 1993, when the Danish coaster, the 'Bettina Danica' ran aground on the southern end of Stroma. This happened on a clear, calm day and in broad daylight - no heroic tales of storm and tempest here - the crew just stepped ashore. It is likely that there was actually no-one on the bridge, the strong tide turned the ship too far for the autopilot to correct and the rest is history. Embarrassingly, the ship was only a little over a year old - barely out of warranty and written off!!
Attempts were made to refloat the her, but to no avail - she was stuck fast, high and dry against the base of the cliff. Surprisingly, the wreck survived the winter storms until 1997, looking more dented and bashed as each season passed. Finally, she was broken in half and only the stern section is visible today. We visit her last resting place on every trip to Stroma.
Beyond the Scottish Highlands, on the
very edge of the Northern Ocean, lies Caithness. The county of Caithness
is not rugged and mountainous like the country to the south, but more than
makes up for this with its spectacular coastline. Towering cliffs riven
with steep-sided inlets (known locally as geos), arches, huge caves and
sea stacks are set against the background of the turbulent waters of the
Pentland Firth and the Orkney Islands.