Naas, 17th September 2010

Time has flown since my last missive. Since I wasn't sailing much on Suckin' Diesel, I just got lazy I suppose. So here is a summary of the rest of the summers events:

First of all, after getting back from the trip up north, I had a few days at home before going on the motorbike to the UK for a surprise 40th anniversary party for Anne's English Mammie Rita. She was Anne's dental nurse when Anne worked in Devon years ago and they were and still are very close. Anne hadn't been back ther for years so it was a real trip down memory lane for her. After all it is only fair as she has spent so much time with my Spanish family that I had to reciprocate with hers. It was all a bit hectic, collecting Anne from the airport in Bristol on a friday and dropping her off at Exeter airport on the sunday before driving home. But I really enjoyed it a lot and it was great to see Anne's reaction to seeing her old work collegues and friends after so long.

After a few days at home I was off again to Donegal to sail with Johnjoe on his boat to Scotland and back. You will remember I did the delivery on his boat he bought in Carrickfergus over 2 years ago. He was now at the stage that he knew how to sail but he wanted to learn how to make the boat work better and I suppose improve his confidence. We left with a good forecast to round Malin Head but the wind increased a bit and turned more on the nose so we ended up in Greencastle. From then on the winds and weather improved leading to flat seas and sunshine for out arrival in the Firth of Clyde. MArgaret joined us for a few days and she got to see easy as well as windy sailing in the sheltered waters of the Clyde. She seemed to enjoy it and was not nervous at any stage. I think it was because of the fact thatshe could see that Johnjoe was now much more confident in controlling the boat. Indeed, I followed the tactic of going below to cook whenever something tricky was likely to happen, to force him to make his own decisions. The highlight of the trip for me was the trip through the beautiful Crinan Canal which we really enjoyed. A bit of hard work but a learning experience for all involved.

From Scotland it was off to Spain to visit my family for a few days before Anne arrived to sail with me on Ronnie and Glenis' boat, a beautiful Malo 39. The first overnight trip was uncomfortable but gradually on entering the Rias Altas north of La Coruña the sailing got more scenic and enjoyable. We finished with a great night out in the Galician capital where I was able to translate and introduce our hosts to the joys of the local cuisine.

As school's return approached, I did some pottering on the boat and brough out people for some day trips. We went to London for our anniversary as Anne did not know the city. That was great, we walked lots and got a real feel for the place, an ideal break before the return to work. I am back 3 weeks now and well settled. Lots of changes but so far so good. At least there is still good sailing at the weekend to keep me sane...... (ish !)