By the afternoon we had over 10 knots over the ground as we passed Wick Head. We were making far better progress than we had predicted, but the excitement was short lived when we reviewed the tide tables and saw that in a few hours we might have 3 knots against us. We decided to head for Pollduff to anchor for the worst few hours of foul tide. But as we threaded our way though the sand bank a breeze came up from the north east and we were able to sail. preferring to sail than to anchor and working on the idea that even if we do one knot over the ground it's not costing us anything and it's a knot further south we kept going as the sun set.
Instead of heading south we managed to make quite a bit of easting, a little too much if I'm honest as we got within sight of Wales and passed between the Smalls and the TSS, but the forecast was for the wind to come from the east the next day so we would see if the gamble paid off.
It was a sunny, if chilly morning the next day, but as I came on watch the wind, which had sadly been lacking for Dick's watch, started to build...from the east. Happy days!
With 12-15 knots from the east we reached along at around 5-6 knots and stayed that way for a few hours until the wind faded a little, so I unpacked the cruising chute. With our good run south with the tide the day before we had some time in hand so we were able to sail at around 4 knots in the warm sunshine and gentle swell until that breeze faded as well.
So on went the engine. For a few hours it was windless, hot and sunny, not great for sailing, but great to be on the water. The breeze returned and the engine went off again as we sailed in beautiful conditions, such a contrast to our previous crossing.
I went down for a snooze in the afternoon, around an hour later Kirsty woke me up, Pixie was surrounded by dolphins! Around 50-60 of them in all different sizes played around Pixie for around 30 minutes. It was a beautiful experience watching dolphins playing a few feet from where I was sitting on the bow.
They went their way while we continued on ours, it was a great day sailing, the sort of day you dream about and happens all too infrequently. Even with the motor going it was still awesome to look out to the horizon as the sun was setting.