Skerryvore lighthouse, 12 miles SW of the island of Tiree, the tallest lighthouse in Scotland at 156 feet, is this morning’s seemingly omnipresent landmark for Phil Sharp, Sean Conway and Alex Alley after a frustratingly slow second night on their Length of Britain sailing challenge.
Skipper Phil Sharp is a different man this morning having just had his first real sleep since leaving Land’s End Friday morning, taking the chance to grab two solid hours. At 0700hrs this morning they had just reset the gennaker and have seen speeds rise to 8kts again after a long night struggling to make more than 5-6kts.
The cold of the night took them a little by surprise, the freezing Hebridean air the result of clear skies. Passing Islay at just after midnight, home of Bruichladdich, although they raised a glass of their sponsor’s whisky, it was chased by steaming hot tea just to get themselves warmed up.
“The half way point was great to pass but at Islay we had no wind at all and were just trying to keep the boat moving, but now we are going better, making about 8kts in completely flat, smooth seas. Through the night we had a bit of tide with us which was a blessing.” Phil Sharp reported this morning,
“Now it is looking like more of a challenge to be in to John O’Groats before it gets dark on Monday, but that is how it is. We are racing the original routing – that is the one that was set as we started – and were just ahead of the ‘ghost ship’ but now it is rather slower. It is looking like a longer haul than we expected. But we are all good. Sean is back to full form and is bouncing around with rather too much energy.”