I like Inverness. You can’t see it from the Marina, you can’t get there in the dinghy and on first visit, you probably won’t find the shops you need. But you can get your comb-over sorted and enjoy a modest lunch for the total price of a good bottle of hair restorer. Mind you, it’s a good stiff walk from boat to town, so you won’t be able to carry much more than a case of the good stuff. Then a return trip will be required for food and other essentials.
I don’t mind as it burns calories and forces one to focus on exactly why you have walked 1.5 miles to town with a rucksack. Today required two trips to town as the skipper forgot the single most important item …. despite a written reminder and knotted handkerchief.
Electrical gremlins have hit Team A-Jay, like Japanese knot weed hits a garden – the hand held VHF battery is wobbling and the 240v mains charger has failed, as had any hope of a local fix. This failure was further evidence that bits begin to need replacing as a boat reaches its first decade, though such intense use as A-Jay had recently endured no doubt hastened the failure rate.
Rain had been a constant companion here; little rain, medium rain and big rain, but it didn’t stop the skipper turning the boat round like the fox on the glacier mint, to scrub both sides and fettle various bits and bobs. Today, Wednesday 29th July, began well with a bullish but weak brightness doing battle with rain clouds from the Firth and promising much. It was all talk though, as rain showers got the better of almost every skirmish such that I began to wonder whether a nice, gentle High had forever been lost to mankind.
Many boats have come and gone already and Team A-Jay has as usual generated several conversations with passing crews, mostly Scandinavian, which is always a pleasure. Boaty stuff, like; “how’s your windvane?”, “nice little boat”, “is this weather normal?”, or “have you really been to all those places alone?” The last one can be tricky as you are either Billy no Mates, or you are an irascible curmudgeon…. Let’s just say the truth might lie somewhere between.
Age can play havoc with hearing, all the more so if life has included lots of bangs and bombs. For example, Goldfrapp, whom I have mentioned before and whose singing the dolphins and I love, appears to me to be in love with a Christmas Tree, which obviously is not what she is singing about. This disability can result in many parallel but completely unlinked conversations over the years with friends and loved ones …. “Fry up or porridge? Yes didn’t it rain last night!! Fruit or plain porridge? Fried for me please ..!!!” And so on ….
Kessock Bridge is visible from here and if the wind is not singing in the rigging, traffic provides an alternative serenade – that is unless ex Clipper yachts from Advenuresoffshore.com happen to be in port. If so, your evening will be enlivened instead by the lovely sound of the laughter of youth, a wonderful end to an evening.
The carcases of yet to be constructed wind generators lie on the dockside. They are remarkable for their sheer size – you can park a truck in the body and a single blade is the size of an aircraft wing. Heaven knows when they will be erected as it would require an army for each, but I suspect this part of the world will be ablaze next time I visit.
Yanni now joins the party each morning and evening, to pour juice into the batteries and keep my fridge cool. I find his tone very soothing so began to ponder the return route between yawns. I have decided that my membership of the SAS expired a while ago, to be replaced by full membership of the Saga Lout Club, which is short hand for explaining that, like water, the easiest way now has strong appeal. I have therefore decided that if I am granted that elusive High, Team A-Jay will head down the Emerald Isle’s West coast. If not, we will return down the East, leaving the West for a future challenge. I still wish to put in some long challenging legs though.
Anyway, right now I have to find my tie for the forthcoming wedding of my lovely niece on Saturday ….. so toot toot!