11 June 2018 | Anne and her dad. Wouldn't it be nice if we had a wee boat?
24 April 2018 | Loch Longs pre-start. 63 owned my m'uncle Jimmy
20 April 2018 | Kristiane Well Reefed
08 April 2018 | Chinaman'S Bay, Maria Island
04 April 2018 | Canoe Cove, Fortesque Bay, Tas
24 March 2018 | Mount Misery (?? - Best not go there)
17 March 2018 | Dover, Tasmania
04 March 2018 | Shackleton in Bronze
24 February 2018 | Approaching the Hole in the Wall
22 June 2018
Quite a few years ago now, not millennia, just decades, although some days it feels like it, come September when the nights were drawing in and once the sailing season had finished, every Sunday we'd be dressed up and dragged off to grannies for the day.
Now, this was in the days of radio; Round the Horn, Hancock's Half Hour, The Goon Show, classic comedy entertainment for the family and when television was in its infancy, both in terms of its development and the size of the screen. The only controls were Off and On, Horizontal and Vertical hold and a good belt on the side. If that didn't work, there then followed hours of yelled exchanges from the sitting room, up the stairs to the attic where dad would be crouched in the dark waggling the aerial.
"How about that?
And on it could go for hours.
And hence, unless there was something really special on, no one could be bothered with the palaver. (Strangely the tele ALWAYS magically worked for Songs of Praise. Another hour of torture for young kids at their grannies around the UK).
And so, we'd play what in Victorian times were known as Parlour Games. Singing around the piano, Blind Man's Buff and, the best, and recently brought back to mind, Hide the Thimble.
If you've never played the game, one player, and to bring it right up to date, let's call him, or indeed her, the Seeker, is sent from the room while the other, hides the thimble.
On returning to the room the Seeker has to search for the hidden thimble getting verbal cues in the way of direction finding, "You're cold, colder, getting warm, no; colder".
Well, that's been me in Scotland. Me. The kid who used to sail in a catamaran doing 10-20 knots and effectively sitting under a fire hose, of 12c salt water in APRIL. IN SCOTLAND, wearing only jeans, some sweaters and a yellow oilskin jacket. We were 'ard back then.
Now, for the last month, (Oh. You should have been here last week. It was lovely) we've moved from one of our children's and relatives homes to another getting cold, no, colder, warmer, no, colder still. And the warm bit was when we were driving between their frozen houses.
And so, it was something of a relief to walk off the AirTransat flight to Toronto yesterday into 28c.
Finally getting warmer.
Now I Remember
13 June 2018
Why do we choose to live in confined spaces and suffer sleepless nights?
Now I remember.......
What Will We Do Today?
11 June 2018 | Anne and her dad. Wouldn't it be nice if we had a wee boat?
What will we do today?
We've walked around the town. We've climbed up to the castle. We've been back to the town. We've contributed a significant sum to the dentist's new Mercedes fund and finally had to succumb to the "cruiser at home" fallback position......a wander round a marina.
The really strange, but typical thing is that within five miles of where I'm sitting there are about one thousand, five hundred sailboats and stink boats tied up in two of the Clyde's premier marinas. Look out the window and you're lucky if you can see more than half a dozen boats out enjoying the water.
It is absolutely stunning weather here in Scotland. The family are telling me it's like this all the time and we don't know what we're missing. As is The Scottish Tourist Board.
The thing is, we do know what we're missing.
Sleepless nights while the anchor chain grinds away on a rock. A loo you build muscles like Popeye pumping. Living in an area the size of a WalMart bargain size cereal box and all our personal possessions kept in one small cupboard and all at great expense?
Yet, we keep going back to it. There must be a medical solution somewhere.
Outremer Cup Video
30 May 2018
This goes with the text from yesterday.
What A Week To Give Up Drinking
29 May 2018
A good few years ago now, early one morning we joined a dawn mass exit from a wild anchorage in the Canaries, when we, along with a dozen others woke to find our pleasant little cove of the night before had turned into a raging, white capped, lee shore.
One by one we picked up our anchors and headed around to the neighbouring sheltered anchorage. At the time, as an ex catamaran sailor, I was conscious there was a two hulled job waiting on us to leave before picking up his anchor. I didn't think too much about it until ten minutes later, when, under genoa, this guy went flying past at twelve knots. "Outremer - FAST CATS" read the strap line on his hull. And that line was filed away somewhere in the depths of my brain where it muddled around aimlessly waiting for one of those passages when three to four knots seemed painfully slow.
I started digging the hole off the coast of Norway back in 2013. It was a bright sunny day and we were making our way south in a gentle westerly making three to four knots. It must have been a trigger point as next wifi spot I Googled "Outremer - FAST CATS." WHOOSH. Right up, came a video of Obedient, an Outremer 45 doing sixteen knots up the Sound of Jura, spray flying from the lee bow like a fire hose.
A little detective work led me to the owner and, ignoring the rule of when you're, in a hole, stop digging, we ended up in Stranraer in south west Scotland on a bright winters day in November 2013. "Let's go for a sail" says Gordon. "It's blowing thirty five knots out there" says I.
Dig, dig, dig. Ten minutes later we are flying up Loch Ryan doing an effortless ten to twelve knots. Since then, as we've sailed around the first half of the world it seems that at every turn an Outremer comes around the corner. Season before last I had to listen to Russell on Tika on the morning Net reporting their easy twelve knots in his Outremer 55. Last year in New Zealand, out paddling in Abel Tasman, in the middle of nowhere, stumbling across Moby. On our bike tour of the South Island, finding Lucia in an out of the way fishing port, then Fiuu appearing in our tiny atoll anchorage in Fiji and finally, last month, Alidade lying at anchor below us as we hiked around the cliffs of Sydney Heads.
These were signs!!
Probably signs to stop digging right enough but a man's gotta do....
And, so, this weekend we found ourselves at the Outremer Cup in the south of France, trying hard but failing, not to appear like the gendarme in Allo Allo, trying to eat our body weight in Outremer sponsored oysters and champagne cocktails. Twenty four of these beauties have shown up for the event, Outremers, not Oysters, and we've been racing around the Mediterranean, on azure blue seas, on boats the size of tennis courts, sailing faster than the wind and flying hundreds of square metres of very expensive sailcloth. I'm in heaven!
And in a bit of a dither!!!!!
Just how far do I dig?
Video following for any interested parties......
A Hard Days Night
20 May 2018
As a kid I never really knew what that Beatles song was about. And I guess I still don't know.
But I think we're about to find out.
We've stocked up with a giant, pre-flight, carb loading breakfast at the airport hotel. Well, carbs....and protein and fibre and sugar and caffeine and assorted fats. Mostly the bad type.
Outta here in half an hour. Queue, no doubt for two hours to check in our equally giant bags, sit around for another hour or so then 15 hours to Doha, wherever that is, hang around for another three hours then another 12 hours to Barcelona where we get to sleep...........on a boat in Badelona Marina. Apparently that's just north of Barcelona Marina but much less expensive. I just hope we don't get a taxi driver with a speech impediment or we'll end up in the wrong place.
Can't get enough of this boat action.
Me and My Big Mouth
12 May 2018
"Do you want to come for a sail? A quick delivery to Brisbane. It's only 450 miles. You'll be back on Tuesday night."
This from my new best friend Justin, owner of a Crowther 50 cat and one whose tyres we'd been kicking the week before.
Initial, impetuous thought, "brilliant, finally a chance to try one out".
"Sure" says I. "Count me in"
Then I checked the forecast.
20-30 southerly. Surf warning.
The last time we saw that forecast was just before we got our hair do's ruined in what in reality wax 30-40 gusting 45.
Me and my big mouth. Here we go again!
07 May 2018
Absolutely hee-haw happening down here in Aussie land and just simply can't come up with anything nautically oriented to report.
We did go to the theatre the other night. Is it just me? Whenever I go to the theatre or cinema, I can sit quite happily through the twenty minutes of local advertising exhorting me to visit the Taj Mahal exotically spicy diner or put my mind at ease by pre-paying for my funeral and all the time with a perfect view of the screen.
And then, two minutes before the Big Picture, some seven foot giant sits right I'm front of me and I spend the next two hours craning my neck to see around his.