I was on the phone to the boatyard today, to see if Raasay had been lifted out before the gales started. She's still on her mooring, but should be fine. It's a more robust setup than last year ...
I had a last sail with my son and grandson the weekend before last. We visited the Cromarty Firth, and then Fortrose, before returning to Findhorn. We saw a few dolphins just before we sailed between the Suitors (Cromarty Firth) but none off Chanonry Point (Fortrose). Plenty of dolphin watchers there, though:
The weather was very light for the whole weekend, which may have contributed to a couple of lapses of attention. We had a small collision with the Riff Bank West buoy resulting from my failing to take the tidal set into account, or to properly instruct the crew in the cockpit.
Just because someone is outside doesn't meant they are actually looking out.
We also managed to hit the mud beating back up the channel south of the bank - I had set the alarm to four metres, and was tacking each time it triggered. Unfortunately, the bank was steeper than I expected on the south side & the gap between four metres and one was about the time it took me to say 'Ready About'. I'll use another method next time.
If the weather hadn't been flat calm and almost windless, we'd have been perfectly safe. Never underestimate the conditions.