Darwin200 day 21: through Pentland Firth and South

We are waking up to a beautiful morning, 25 knots of wind, a following sea and just an hour of foul tide before approaching Pentland Firth.

Perfect timing by an excellent captain and crew!

Pelican is rolling gently, 260 tonnes of ship just powered by the staysail and doing six knots.

I’m loving this, but sadly, it’s too much to stomach for some, so science has to wait until the green drains out of the last faces and the sea state goes down to moderate.

11:30, rounding Duncansby Head with the staysail and topsail and a freshening wind, and with calmer seas now the tide is with us.

The dedicated cetacean survey finished without a single sighting, but still provides valuable ‘absence’ data to the Seawatch Foundation.

After lunch, Mizzen Watch is on and I rotate from port lookout to a challenging stint at the helm in confined waters and then to starboard lookout.

The sun brings warmth between strong gusts and I enjoy watching the fulmars wheeling around the ship.

Fulmars have been wheeling around the ship all day and I enjoy watching their play with the wind and waves.

I read up about their history and discover that they share the common name ‘Mollymawk’ with another bird, the great albatross of the South.

Another beautiful sunset leading into a night under a lot of sail as the winds weaken …

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