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From sea to shore

It was all over in a matter of minutes. One moment we were manoeuvring Cirrus stern-first towards the marina slip, a delicate operation best done with no distractions and with total sang-froid, next we were no longer afloat, our home had grown wheels and was trundling (there is really no other word for it) across the boatyard to her allotted winter home.
An estate agent might say that this is a tasteful location. From our companionway door we now have a view across the bay – plenty going on here, Calmac ferries coming and going from remote islands, the seaplane landing and taking off just below us, all this on our doorstep – with the early morning sun, when it arrives, sweeping across our stern. Cirrus is tucked in behind an earth bank topped by young trees which will serve us well in the coming months by deflecting the worst of the westerly gales. Trees, as everyone knows, can break wind for some distance . And Cirrus has a sleek young neighbour in the shape of ‘Footprint’, the catamaran of our friends Kyle and Maryanne. The two boats will keep each other company through the long winter nights ahead and who knows what the result of that will be!
Thankfully the lift-out experience was a good one for us and we have time on board now to potter about getting some little niggling jobs done, fixing some annoying leaks, cleaning and tidying, things only boaty people would understand. There is an unwritten law that says any hand tool used on the deck of a floating yacht will, if dropped, always bounce into the water and disappear from sight for ever. On land, of course, the result is a ribald expletive but at least my toolkit is safe.
I had rather thought that my engagement with the Scottish health authorities might be drawing to a close about now but having been told one date, sadly when written confirmation came I was to find the operation moved back by five days, thus upsetting many of our carefully planned post-op travel arrangements. I apologise to those friends who we shall not now be meeting and I curse the Lorn and Islands Hospital for doing this to me. If I wasn’t now the relaxed person I am I might complain bitterly for this treatment. Instead I seize it as the opportunity it is to spend more time in this beautiful part of the world.

Take me away though, as soon as you can! For while the rest of you throughout the UK have been sweltering in the heat under clear skies (including Aberdeen, of all places) here in Oban we have day after day of overcast and a damp westerly breeze. This is hardly fair is it. Even the locals are beginning to tire of it, common though it may be, and the word they have for it – dreich – is on their lips just a little too often for my liking.

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