Daily log! The aim here is to be more regular……
I've had a lot on my plate so far on this trip. The lady is pretty high maintenance and I probably get a maximum of half a day before something else needs fiddling with or a good going over with a power tool, or at the very least, a hand job. Add that to passage planning, the challenge associated with provisioning during lockdown with no access to marinas, the very lengthy task that is video editing and let’s not forget that the passages themselves take a lot of time and I also have Asha to attend to! I’m sure you can see why there isn't much time left over. I would like to stress here that this is about being factual, it's not a complaint. Far from it. I am living my dream but to do that does take a lot of work. Then we've got the website and the blog. I'm not the fastest writer, well actually I am but getting my first draft into publishable sense takes me hours! A blog will take me the best part of a day before I am happy with it! The other matter of fact is that when I write a blog, it's usually quite a long read! I think that works for some but I also think that it doesn’t for others so I have decided to mix things up a little. With help from Asha, we are going to try and add more content here by way of little and often. A kind of dip in and dip out affair for anyone who wants to catch up but not have a mountain of words to get through! However, I am sure that I will still get into the flag knitting sessions as and when I think there is something truly worthy to bang on about!
Getting back to the point here, I want this to resemble a bit more of a daily log so let's give this a go!
We left Stranraer today at 04.50
I'm in the cockpit and the date is the 7th July 2020. This day 15 years ago I was in London and it was a very different, sad and terrifying day indeed. How things change and back then I wouldn’t have thought I would have turned my back on the working world in the spirit of 'Adventure Now' but I dare say that any of the surviving victims of that terrible day know only too well that you have to seize the day.
Wind - moderate to light with the occasional gust in my trousers.
Rain - some.
Temperature - too cold for July. This would be much easier to type if I wasn't wearing gloves.
Altor is not currently requiring maintenance, she is sailing at 3.6 knots to windward in 11 knots of breeze and 2.5 knots of foul tide in the North Channel.
Destination: Optimistically Islay. Realistically I'm not sure but I’m feeling stubborn! This could be a long day and we do need to get ourselves up and into the arena of the west coast.
Mood - bored! Sailing like this is boring a lot of the time but boring is good, boring is safe, boring means things are going to plan.
My intention is to resist eating for as long as possible because I can feel a passage eating frenzy on its way! I’m thinking about cheese on toast and tomato soup and it's only 09.43!
Just checked on Asha. She's bored too I reckon because she's asleep in the saloon. That's good news because she doesn't need maintaining either, for now...
WHALES! We saw whales! What can I say to describe my pure joy at this special event? I don’t know if anyone can understand what I am about to say but to me this is a highlight of my life! I saw one once mid Atlantic but to have them swim alongside Altor around UK waters has blown my mind! The North Channel is wide and deep and yet we saw four or five and they deliberately came up close to check us out. A couple went past a hundred meters or so away but the others obviously wanted to see what we were and surfaced right next to us. Such a privilege, such a joy! There is nothing more I can add here because I am completely stuck for words at this marvel.
What can I say? We were stubborn and we are now anchored in Port Ellen on Islay. We sailed half and motored the other half because at 12.30 the wind completely switched off but for once I didn’t care and nor did Asha because we saw whales! At first I thought they were Pilots but now I have checked some of the footage and I think they were Minke’s. What do I know? I’m no whale expert but I know what one is! Whatever they were - thank you for making our day an incredible one and one that I’m sure Asha and I will NEVER EVER forget. What a way to start a daily log type entry and what a great day to be alive.....