In June 2017 I spent ten days sailing around the west of Scotland.  The Proud Seahorse owned by Hebrides Cruises was a small comfortable boat with only nine passengers on board.  The crew looked after our every need, from home-baked bread to dishing out seasick tablets. The latter were essential when we crossed the notorious Minch to Vatersay in the Outer Hebrides.

The trip was fated with bad weather, or Dreich, as the locals call it. While the rest of the UK was basking in the high 80s, I was donning thermals and waterproofs and drying my boots every night in the engine room.  The high winds and rough seas prevented us getting to the far reaching Hebridean islands and our goal St Kilda.  Dull skies and sea mist made for moody photographs; the wet grass was greener, the wild orchids glowed and the colours of the rock were more intense.

The day before the return to port, the boat left Canna in pouring rain and sailed into sunshine.  A huge pod of dolphins came to meet us, playing under the bow.  In the distance was Lunga in the Treshnish Islands.  The tender took us ashore and we spent a few idyllic hours sitting on the cliff top surrounded by hundreds of puffins all going about their daily lives unperturbed by human presence.  A perfect moment and an apology from Mother Nature for all that she had thrown at us.