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August 2nd 2011
Published: August 2nd 2011
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Skipper at the TillerSkipper at the TillerSkipper at the Tiller

A jolly afternoon's sailing in the South Atlantic - I keep having to pinch myself to make sure that I'm really here!
Tuesday 2nd August

I really can’t get the hang of the seasons out here. The Saints claim that it is winter although it many respects most days are like a decent English summer. However, each successive morning seems a little bit darker and gloomier and the midges are well and truly about. It would almost seem like autumn, which the locals claim not to have and being in the southern hemisphere shouldn’t we be moving towards spring? And how come the stars are different here – what is it with there being a Southern Cross but no Plough? As I get older I am constantly surprised about how little I know about so many things. I must go and check what direction the water takes going down the plughole! I will let you know …

Talking of water you will, of course, need to know a little about my sailing venture. I didn’t go to too much trouble when purchasing getting kitted out for the occasion – I didn’t want to go over the top and look too much like a Rear Admiral (what’s one of those? It sounds a bit vulgar when you think about it) but I didn’t want to look like someone who was there to sort out the bilges.

Anyway, I clearly passed muster (is that right?) and had a most enjoyable time at sea. I am the kind of person who needs to know where the sides are in a swimming pool and where the sand eventually falls into an abyss before I feel comfortable with swimming. For such a water-wimp I have a passionate affection for the sea. I love the enormous swell, the changing colour and (most of all) the metallic saltiness of the smell of the sea.

We sailed about 4 miles out, caught no fish but caught a good down wind that sent us scurrying across the Atlantic (well a small part of it). I did my bit with raising and lowering sails and carrying about that mysterious length of blue rope – I think the others wanted to keep me busy. I have a photograph of me at the wheel setting off in a westerly direction (although you can’t tell from the photograph but we were on auto-pilot or whatever it’s called on a boat). I will endeavor to post it so that you can see what a natural sailor I am.

Since then a few days of intensive and (apparently) productive work which will be of little interests to bloggers. Tonight we are going as a group to the Chinese restaurant in town – run by Daisy from the Phillipines – I wonder what plan or chance took Daisy from her home via Cheshire to run such an establishment in St Helena. If I find out and it’s a story worth repeating I will recount it in my next blog.


2nd August 2011

Ay ay skipper!
All your dreams are coming true! Well, many of them, at least. You certainly look as thought you're enjoying yourself at the wheel, but I would thought that a smelly waterproof, a greasy cap and a blackened pipe clenched in your teeth might have captured the mood rather better than what looks suspiciously like a Haven polo shirt (L). Keep the news flowing!
2nd August 2011

But can the Saints bowl?
Sounds like you are having an adventure filled time. But what I want to know is are there any decent fast bowlers on St Helena? It strikes me as the sort of place that should have a local cricket team, but perhaps the chance of any visiting teams being able to get there is unlikely to say the least. I'm assuming you're keeping track of the test series? Half way through the series and we have a 2-0 lead against India. It's been fantastic and so exciting - who said test cricket is dead...? Enjoy the spring (or is it Autumn?) weather and will try skyping again soon x
3rd August 2011
Skipper at the Tiller

You look great Captain!! xxxx
5th August 2011

Just returned from cruising the delightful inland waterways of Wolverhampton (smell and colour disgusting, didn't taste salty) and eagerly catching up on your adventures which sound remarkabley similar to our own. Is there no end to your talent? Now master of the seas and all it's creatures, immersed in your favourite music, bribed with jars of honey ( let's gloss over the rally dancing and line driving affairs ) If there is a local cricket team as Hannah suggests you will no doubt be invited to open the batting. This place sounds even more of a Brigadoon than MW does, peopled with lovelly souls. I had assumed that you might be bored during your 'downtime' but the days must be racing by. Meanwhile, back in the real world, you seem to have been absent from the green for months, our bowling skills are reaching new highs and you may feel a little intimidated by our prowess on your return. On a more positive note, whilst we were cruising Mary noticed a gin palace for sale that she thought would be just right for you and Di in light of your renewed interest in nautical matters. It's convniently moored opposite a pub and a photo is on it's way to Di. We'll try and wrap the deal up before your return. Stay safe - no more risky linedancing and ignore David's remarks about your blackened teeth. PS The Haven polo shirt (XL) looks great. PPS Why didn't Daisy open a Phillipino restaurant?

Tot: 0.281s; Tpl: 0.01s; cc: 10; qc: 55; dbt: 0.2541s; 1; m:domysql w:travelblog (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.1mb