Friday, July 18, 2008

Sailing Hebrides

Heave to starboard” came the order from our Cptn Finlay as we bobbed around in Stornoway harbour trying to find the way out into The Minch and on down to Crobeg and the barbeque. The order was swiftly followed by worried glances between myself at the steering thing and the other press-ganged land-lubbing crew. “Which way is Starboard?”. “Think its right” came the somewhat unconvincing reply as the sharp end of the boat seemed to run over a seal swimming thereabouts. Captn Finlay was still below sorting the coffee mugs we had inadvertently left un-washed in the kitchen [oops] while us three now rain-drenched crew followed the big white boat ahead. My sailing experience is somewhat limited I might add. A little wallowing in the water around an upturned dingy I used to have and listening to a few episodes of The Navy Lark as a kid is the sum total of my knowledge . Which made it all rather disappointing when I was not asked to put the “left hand down a bit” or some such nautical instruction.

The Cal-Mac ferry came in and one of our crew telephoned a chum on board and we all waved – madly. Except for Captn Finlay that is.

BBQ people at Charlie Barley's barn

We were part of the Sail Hebrides thingy where 24 boatees wif about 60 personages on board mainly motored down to Crobeg for a fine barbeque and impromptu musical shindig in one of Charlie Barleys well-appointed barns – sans sheep. Charlie was there too taking snaps - for next years calendar no doubt. I was merely a passenger – steerage [steering actually] on the way to act for the Red Cross as a First Aider at the BBQ.

A fantastic event despite the rain with sailor types from all over and the island too. There was wall to wall Helly-Hanson and a tug of war under some obscure Cromor rules that involved both the referee and a photographer having a hand on the rope in a not totally un-partisan way!

Anyway, thanks to all – especially Captn Finlay and the press-ganged crew – had such fun we did.

I took the road home and missed the Sea batttle. I was wet enough anyway!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Absolutely loved this article. We do enjoy your blog so much. All be best from Oz. M and M