Quiet after the storm – the Scillies

The less said about today the better. One for those who enjoy surfing down the face of very large waves at 14 knots! You wouldn’t believe it from the photo of Hugh Town Harbour in the Scillies, as the sun set. The bad weather started clearing the moment we arrived there in the evening.

One scene that was unforgettable: before the wind got up, it was a night of the brightest phosphorescence, with each breaking wave crest shining like sparklers. Then a troupe of creatures came and played around the boat; or rather we saw fast-moving phosphorescent shapes, leaving behind them trails of underwater sparks with the palest of green tinges. They wove their way past, turned back and turned again, sometimes dropping deep and fading, and then surging to the surface, creating a shower of light whenever they broke through to the air. By the pattern of movement we guessed they were dolphins. What else would have followed a boat in this way?

Passage notes. Log 142, 25 hours, max wind gust NW 8, mostly 6 and 7, min SSE 2, visibility moderate, max wave height 3 to 4 metres, double reefed then reefed genoa only.  Reassuring fact: the North West Passage into the Scillies is a wide and clear entrance in a strong northerly wind, and with GPS or a chart plotter pilotage is easy. It would be far tougher using only bearings, because the marks are hard to make out at a distance in bad weather and there is a sharp turn to the east round the reefs before the approach to St Mary’s.

Just arrived in St Mary's Harbour, Scillies
Just arrived in St Mary’s Harbour, Scillies

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