2 July 2015
Thursday 2nd July
We saw a few more dolphin and delicate grey mountains against grey water and grey sky. It has been fifty shades of grey since Oban.
A day and a half sailing, through the Minch – leaving the Shiant Isles and their 300,000 puffins behind – just sea, no land, then suddenly, out of the mist, up rose Booby Rock, Sula Sgeir; a surreal, dark lump in the middle of the North Atlantic covered in guano and thousands of nesting gannets. Wheeling round and round in formation, dark against the sky, white against the rock, virtually silent. The rock had small cairns on top of its 80ft sheer cliffs – old lighthouses the only sign that humans had ever witnessed this unearthly sight. Our first glimpse came just over a mile away, through the mist and the cloud, it loomed up, the rain eased, then poured down all over the sketchbook, washing away the colour from my painting. We rounded the rock then left the surreal little world to itself. Ten minutes later it was invisible and we saw no more land for two days.