Old men in a boat
Two of us set out this morning down the cattle track between a cluster of suckler cows and their skitty offspring, over the cattle grids to an oasis of boats and old men, known as the gravel pit. We were going to collect my new (old) GRP dinghy from its previous owner and take it down the river to the marina. After loading ourselves, the outboard and oars plus spare fuel and with cheerful farewells from the assembly, we set off. The river flows from a freshwater loch to the sea with all the precision and economy of a blind drunk staggering homeward looking for the hotel he might be staying at in a strange city. John has poor sight, but knows the river like the back of his hand, I see ok but have never navigated this water before. So together we had no problems, save that two of us in a seven foot three inch boat meant we shipped some water in which I sat for the whole trip. The day was becoming glorious June hot. On arrival and after tea we were taken back to the oasis by John’s wife and I collected my van with its tools, paint and useful bits of wood, to get ready for ’sea trials’. With only a small digression to flush the outboard and buy a floating line for the dinghy painter, I went to sea. It was now stunningly hot with a couple of token clouds in an otherwise blue sky. I put on my sunhat as we motored out into the Holy Loch, unfurled the Genoa and settled down to check the behaviour of our new (old) dinghy. She (clearly a girl but so far nameless) was impeccable. The dinghy was tugging a little but following obediently like a very well behaved six year old passing the sweet counter before the checkout. (if you pester you get nowt!) After an hour doodling about in a force two we returned to our berth in the marina and I discovered that I had mild sunstroke. A good day!