Days 84 and 85, 18th and 19th August 2018. Remnants of Storm Ernesto sweeps through on Saturday, behind it comes… SUNSHINE!

Up at 7am on Saturday morning. Had relocated to the forward cabin to sleep  as the winds overnight had strengthened from the west…. the slapping and slamming on the stern had become quite unbearable. Whilst it was warm and cosy with a new duvet, sleep had been difficult with the deluge of rain and the screaming wind through all the masts and rigging.

It continued to rain on and off all day… the standard grey, gloomy landscape all around… each time you walked to the facilities and back, you got soaked. Only luke warm water in the showers! T spent most of the morning inside… taking the opportunity to do a deep clean with our John Lewis Liverpool boat hoover. M went to the showers, spoke to Dad in Rusthall, Tunbridge Wells on the phone, and did ‘face time’ with sister Pam and niece Amy in Winchester…. both supposed to be ‘decluttering’… more Amy than Pam.

By late afternoon… surprise, surprise…. the winds eased and the heavy showers suddenly stopped. Hurrah…. we went for a walk into Dunbeg, the nearby village… bought a Times newspaper, a loaf of bread and Scotch pancakes. Could not believe it…. no rain.


Margaret …holding on for dear life! Windsock…blowing Force 5…Saturday morning. Notice how M’s top matches the windsock!

Owner of the boat opposite us knocked in the evening…. had a problem with his shore power connection… so we let him borrow our special 32 amp adaptor so he could run his electrics on his boat. It was now very much calmer… the wind had virtually vanished… but by 8pm it started to rain again. Trying to make sense of the different weather forecasts…. we judged that the torrential downpours and strong winds of Friday night into Saturday morning were the so-called ‘remnants’ of tropical storm Ernesto… and had now passed through west to east.

So apart from the rain, a sort of surreal calmness took place by bedtime…. thus all the bedding was moved out of the fore cabin and back to the main cabin at the stern. A blissful nights sleep…. no slapping or slamming.

D2F217AA-44DF-464B-894E-0679E3459131.jpegSunday morning…clearing skies to the north, Poli Poli is to the right of the Discovery 67 Yacht.

Sunday … well the rain had stopped in the early hours…. so now Sunday morning dawned… no wind and no rain. The water surface had gone from mini wavelets to glass… no screaming banshees…. just calm, peaceful and …. well lovely! Spirits went from zero to sky high.

And it lasted the whole day…amazing! Then by mid morning the sun came out…. made all the difference…. after days of wetness, of damp, of wet clothes, of gritting teeth in the face of a howling wind, of clothing layers to keep warm, of oilies and wet shoes,,,, and when passing fellow sailors on the pontoons… faces covered in rain hoods… a cheerful ‘good morning’ didn’t really mean that.

So working in shirtsleeves on deck… a dry deck…. maintenance jobs were done cheerfully, whilst wet and damp items were hung on coat hangers all round the cockpit… with all sides up to let the seemingly warm air pass through. M returned from a hair wash expedition to the facilities with the only glum, cross face in the marina…. of course….no hot water! Only luke warm so had to do it with the very hot water supply on the boat in the aft bathroom ( heads ).

Various boat movements coincided with the arrival of the sunshine and light breeze…. some left for ports further afield whilst others departed for a day sail and return. T walked to the local village store to acquire a Sunday paper to read reports of how Lincoln City were able to get away with a 1-1 draw at Blundell Park. Luck Mighty Imps indeed.

Photo below…the main entrance to Dunstaffnage Marina and the “Wide Mouth Frog” pub/Hotel…Sunday afternoon.

9A6ECFF2-4DFA-4C4A-AA62-6128E2D6202E.jpegThus Sunday was a lovely day…. may there be many more. And as a bonus we were treated to our first sunset for a very long time.

0DDCBE99-ED45-4170-9DAE-FCEBBC93CE63Margaret has decided to leave for warmer climes on Tuesday…. train from Oban to Glasgow then the London train which seems to stop at Wigan. M gets off here and meets up with Hilary and family… who will then travel altogether back to Battle and Hastings on Thursday.

Mike and Christine arrive here at Dunstaffnage on Wednesday from Surrey and we hope to set off for Tobermory  on the Island of Mull on Thursday.

Which leaves one question…. what happened to Vasco? On the afternoon we arrived here at Dunstaffnage on the Tuesday ( 14th August ) I instructed Vasco to leave the boat. He had become a serious liability…. a danger to the boat, himself and Margaret and me. Having had nearly two dozen crew over the past 18 months from CrewSeekers… he is the first that I have had to dismiss. You win some, you lose some…. as the saying goes. The first out of 24. Sad, but to maintain the integrity of the circumnavigation it had to be done.



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