Algy felt tired after his struggle with the balloon, so he decided to take advantage of the fine weather, and rest for a while in the afternoon sunshine. A few miles away across the water he could see the Small Isles; there was a wee bit of snow still lingering on the highest peaks of the Isle of Rum. As he gazed out across the blue Sea of the Hebrides, Algy was reminded of a Victorian sonnet, although the exact location the poet had described was a wee bit further north:
From blue Loch Carron rise white and sheer
Its bare rock faces and island cones,
And they glitter as frost and wind-bleached bones;
Coral and sapphire far and near,
Pearl-white coral and sapphire clear,
Finely-chiselled as cameo stones,
No blurred edges or soft mixed tones:
Blue as the bottomless, white as fear.
Do I sleep, do I dream, in the hard clear day,
On the windy deck, in the afternoon,
With the sough of the wave, and the spume of the spray,
And my hair like the dank sea-tangle blown
On the landward breeze? Is it Portree bay
That we make, or some cove in the long dead moon?
[Algy is quoting the poem Among the Hebrides by the 19th century English poet Emily Pfeiffer.]