Saturday, 25 August 2012

At sea

Provident (Brixham trawler)
Just back from a week away without mobile or internet, sailing from Mallaig on Provident a Brixham trawler. It was brilliant. Lots of sailing, in fact we broke the season's record for least use of the motor. The company was pretty good, too. We ranged in age from Alexander aged 20 in his second year reading maths at Cambridge to Ken aged 83 who was at sea all his working life. There were, most unusually, two mother and son couples on board. Our skipper Ben's mother Hazel now spends most of her year in Australia so this was a way of spending a week with her frighteningly calm and efficient boy. I was brought up to sail accompanied by shouts and alarms. On this trip we actually moored under sail at Vatersay, in the Outer Hebrides, in a bay famous for its white sands, no-one's voice raised above a whisper. The other Mum on board was Alexander's, the ship's cook Anne who kept us supplied with excellent meals whatever the sea. Crossing the Minches westward was quite bumpy but the bacon butties kept coming. All in all, it was a wrench to say goodbye yesterday morning and board the train southward to Glasgow. The floor of my house is still rocking slightly and I am endeavouring to download the pictures I took off my new mobile so far with no success.

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