was last week. In Scotland. It was the first time I'd been sailing for quite a while, a fact not ignored by nature. It poured with rain, howled with gales, hurled buckets of sea water hard against my back, and caused a smallish racing boat to behave extremely skittishly.
All I could do, in the face of my cheerful skipper, his joyous regular crew - both Petes - and a very brave, puking woman - was to huddled, eyes closed, a lump of red-dressed deck cargo, busily cancelling anything connected with water for the remainder of my miserable life. So, that would be the rest of the weekend for starters. I felt I could manage a ferry back to the mainland, and then sitting under a tree for ever... I'd cancelled the Scilly Isles diving trip in June, vowed never to drink anything water-based, and nearly collapsed at the thought of a shower. It was NOT a good time.
By that evening the boat was tied up (Great Cumbrae), and leaping around much like a fretting horse. I had a little snooze on the boat next door, while everyone else was at the watersports centre, downing pints and curry at 11 pm, then I crawled back on to my boat, crawled through the litte entrance to the forecabin and crawled fully clothed, even adding thick socks, into my sleeping bag. Not even the return of my now-recovered and ever optimistic cabin mate, Philippa, disturbed my comatose state. I slept very well.
The following day, solid waves were still coming over the pontoon, threatening to wash anyone away, but the forecast was good, so I cancelled thoughts of the ferry, though I did watch it a bit wistfully a couple of times...
By the time we could cross the pontoon, the sun was trying to come out, so we all walked the four miles into the main village Millport, went to a pub, went to a cafe for lunch, caught a bus back. That afternoon, I traitorously tried out another boat (Claymore 30, for those of you interested), which was a motorhome compared with an open racing car, and gradually my interest in water revived. On Sunday, having tied up in Rothesay, had fish and chips for supper at Zavaroni's, complete with manic fishfryer, I was back on board Pete's boat. We had no wind, lots of sunshine, so we motored round to a secluded and simply beautiful spot for lunch, picked up a buoy, lounged around in teeshirts (end of April, Scotland!!), then returned to Kip Marina, where it had all started two days before.
I'd flown up from Stansted with a couple of saily internet chums, so it was back to Glasgow airport, line up, get herded aboard, fly for just over an hour, get picked up by my son, and home.
I'd been away visiting friends the week before, and on the Monday was due to go to London for a party. Being retired has its drawbacks - I can't say 'no' to anything going. I need a job for a rest...