Penzance eccentric?? Well, you can have a full size pair of chocolate stilettos in various hues with your coffee at Maria Cia, all made on the premises. I settled for gooey Portugese chocolate cake, which the proprietor agreed was zero caleries at weekends.
Back in the dock I realised it was the first time visiting since 2004 that I had managed to connect to the power and water points, though my hose ended 2 boats away. Still, buckets, agility and a little cussing had Pippin clean and shiny. I felt it important to face a challenge looking smart – it’s an old Army habit; defeat or victory, always look your best.
As I prepare to again say farewell to delightful Penzance, I am delighted to note that those pesky twins ”Elf & Safety” have yet to reach these parts – you can still boil yourself alive in the showers, same price as 5 years ago. Mind you, I don’t think the passcode (incuded in the leaflet) has changed since at least 2004, when the last batch of leaflets was printed. Judging by the large pile of leaflets in the office, it will be a while until it’s changed I guess. Debit card machines haven’t reached here either – strictly cash only.
Spreading the charts out on the saloon table and ruminating on the forthcoming passage I spotted my little book ‘Spanish for Cruisers’, bought on the basis that my knowledge of Spanish is zilch. Being an old soldier, I am good at tactics and have decided that mine will be to flag the phrases required and demonstrate total incompetence, whilst pointing to the requisite phrase with the biggest smile I can muster. Its bound to work as I know the Spanish to be charming and courteous. True I won’t have a clue about the reply but body language might give me a hint. A reserve tactic might then be to solicit the assistance of gorgeous daughter in law Emi, if it’s something really important like where is the restaurant?
The seagulls were in action early this morning, picking over the remains of captain fry ups refuse though not mine, for some reason. Perhaps my taste is too eclectic for them I thought, wandering off to the Tesco Express for UHT milk and emergency water. Rosie filled my bags and clearly did not know where Guernsey was – but to be fair to her, she didn’t want to know either. Penzance was quite enough for her.
Boat checks completed, it was time for a little passage planning. Compared to the intricacies of tide rips, headlands, narrows and rocks, planning to cross a wide expanse of blank chart is relatively easy, even if the actual doing of it is not. There also comes a point fairly early into the trip when turning back is not an option. Looking at the weather forcasts, it seems I might need plenty of diesel – but then one never knows as those in the 1979 Fastnet Race found out.
I shall write no more about that, but will meet you at the other end, wherever that end might turn out to be; I might be tempting fate, but I do feel lady luck owes me…….