Harnessing The Power Of The Sea Off The Orkney Islands

I decided to take a ferry to Westray as this would pass by the tide and wave-driven devices being tested off the shore of Eday.

Sean McBride
4 min readNov 30, 2021


Cliffs and vessels off shore in the sea.
Harnessing the power of the waves. All pictures courtesy of the author.

I introduced myself to the people in the Information Centre at Kirkwall and told them I was looking to get close to the Water-based power generating devices off the island of Eday. There simply want anything available to take a member of the public out to those devices and I was told my best bet would be to book a ferry to Westray as I would be able to see the devices on the way.

I booked the first departure and last return to and from Westry for the next day on the assumption that the bus network would link with the ferry. Like an awful lot of what I have become used to when travelling by bus, I came to learn that this assumption was wrong. You can get almost anywhere on mainland Orkney via the bus network but your time to travel is limited. You can read all about it in my article about budget travel in Orkney here.

In the same article, I also cover accommodation on the mainland in general and give a detailed look at the Scorrabrae Inn where I stayed. Trish, the hotel’s owner was easy to talk to and looked after me like family. She even got up at 6 am to drive me to the ferry to Westray.

Sailing Among Orkney’s Islands

At £10 for a return ticket from Kirkwall to Westry, the one-hour each-way sailing came in very reasonably priced. I hung out on the deck in both directions lost in the utter beauty around me as our ferry meandered among the islands to the north of mainland Orkney.

The islands were rugged, beautiful, and sparsely inhabited. Ruined buildings could be seen on shore above the cliffs as gannets circled between them and our boat.

Looking back at a harbour from a departing ferry.
Looking back at Kirkwall from the ferry departed for Westray.
Wind turbines on the horizon
Wind turbines generate Orkney’s power.

Finally, we passed the eastern shores of the island of Eday, and the huge…



Sean McBride

I am an Adventure Travel Writer who provides the inspiration to help people live their finest moments through adventures https://travel-writer.uk