Tristan Gooley, author of The Natural Navigator writes:
We listened for months to our water companies banging on about how worryingly dry the winter had been, which is never that exciting. Then nature laughed at us and turned the taps on to wash out our summer.
I really felt I had no alternative but to dress up in full storm weather sailing oilskins, complete with lifejacket and harness. And since I was dressed for the part I thought I may as well jump in my small boat and sail from Scotland into the Arctic Circle. With one friend, I headed north until we saw the midnight sun north of Iceland.
The main reason for the voyage was to research the relationship between the marine life and the distance from land in the North Atlantic. Something the Vikings knew a long time ago, is that nature invented the radar.
We collected sightings of birds, cetaceans, flotsam, jellyfish and found that by the end of the trip we could sense the nearest land with the help of the birds, without seeing it.
The long-finned pilot whales that confirmed that we were closing land at the end of the sail were the icing on the Iceland cake.
We sailed over 1000 nautical miles without seeing another sail of any description. We didn’t get rained on much either.