The psychological game

Calm conditions at Helmsdale, north side of Moray Firth

I feel like I am well south already (that is, until look at the map, at which point a sense of vertigo sets in). The weather - blue skies, sun and warmth - feels distinctively southern. This is a welcome change but the flipside of this good fortune is zero miles in two days. The wind just isn't happening. The tide (against me in the afternoons) isn't helping out much either. Despite this I'm feeling rather relaxed about my predicament. With the twin psychological burdens of Cape Wrath and the Pentland Firth behind me, for the first time feel like I have time in hand to finish this expedition the way I thought I'd be sailing it: progressing when conditions permit to keep things safe and without causing undue concern to family. Pretty sure my mum is much happier too. I know there is a long way to go but I feel more in control than before. When I look back at the sail into Dover (especially) and the rounding of Lands End (to some extent) there is no doubt that these were exactly the sort of conditions I had planned to sit out. I'd told myself I'd be waiting for the right day at the corners and the crossings, but I'd been on a mission and on those two occasions probably erred the wrong side of safe. Still, solo windsurfing around Britain isn't meant to be a walk in the park and who knows where I'd be now if I hadn't got around Lands End when I did? I'd have missed the window to jump from Devon (via Lundy) to South Wales. Crossing from Pembrokeshire to Ireland may not have been possible had I missed the window I did take (and making that window involved a dusk finish in Milford Haven and a near zero wind drift across St Brides bay). In any case if I'd waited for perfect conditions to get round Lands End I'd probably still be there (or nearby, I imagine that Local Contact James would have kicked me out a while back). My state of mind will flick back to urgency as soon as the weather breaks though. So I'll try to enjoy this taste of summer for now, and re-focus on making the right decisions about when to sail once the wind returns. There is still a long way to go and the East coast is no pushover. And I'm acutely aware that the 'successes' so far count for little: maintain focus and stay safe, don't change routines, don't let the guard down, Jono.