Sea Legs and Air Heads

Waking aboard BettyAlan, my sister Fran’s couch on the sea, after our first night sleeping with gentle sway, Uncle Pete and I are discovering the idiosyncracies of living on a yacht; which of these funky little push button brass handled, polished wood panelled cupboards has some bread in it; how far does the hatch go back so Pete can stand upright when negotiating the stairs; where is that drip of condensation that was cheekily landing on my cheek last night coming from…
We’re sailing out from Guernsey’s extraordinary little Beaucette Marina today, a granite quarry that they blew a hole through in the 60s to let the ocean in. After four nights in a B&B and days spent exploring the bending, winding laneways and windy English sand grey beaches, sampling the local produce and finding the best coffees (its never as good as our Australian-Italian trained sensibilities are trained for), we have wrapped our brains around the reality that Guernsey today is not Guernsey of the post war Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society…but thats ok. While the others went for a morning sail yesterday, Caro and I visited the quirky but comprehensive Occupation Museum and had a real taste of the 1940s under the Nazis here. I emerged from the bunker connected with the period that I’d been wrestling with…and trying to find, which had until now, defined these islands in my psyche. After dropping Caro at the airport, I headed out feeling somewhat renewed and spent a magical afternoon on my own, finding my way to the present. And so I found myself at Cobo Bay: a coffee shack, a rock wall to perch against, my bag of paints and picnic, and a slice of classic English watercolour heaven.
Arriving back at the marina, just in time to see Betty Alan pulling up to her mooring, I stepped on board for the next stage of this little adventure… Next thing, John the local rouseabout turns up with a bucket of mackeral and a fresh-caught lobster, Ed has found two crabs in the pots, and we’re sitting around the galley table, drinking g&t, licking our oily fingers as we feast on fish and Guernsey potatoes again…planning where we’re sailing off to in the morning.
Coffee smells and morning sunshine now fill the galley, and we sail for Alderney on the high tide this afternoon. Each day I’m stepping further into this adventure and feeling myself sliding on a new skin. Maybe there’ll be seals out there somewhere soon…

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