Feeling Small

There have been occasions in my past when I’ve felt important and key to what’s going on. What I like about the scale of nature is it that it puts everything into a different perspective and gets my ego back onto an even keel. Nature forcibly reminds me how small and insignificant we all are in the grand scheme of things. I like this. To me this way of thinking is healthy and appropriate.

In the last few days, we sailed 200 miles from La Rochelle in France to Santander in Spain. My night watch was illuminated by a sky full of stars filling the vista from horizon to horizon. Then the moon came up and many of the stars disappeared as the light was so bright it rubbed them out. Setting a cracking pace as the sailed on a beam reach towards Spain, I could feel myself smiling and just enjoying the moment. Simple, uncomplicated, special.

We haven’t posted anything for a while. I was back in the uk for 12 days doing a bit of work with the lovely people from Nando’s, seeing some friends and family and collecting a few odds and sods from the store which we’d forgotten to pack. That’s one for you Matt. Electric dinghy pump, bike pump, spare bilge pump bits, etc etc…mostly pumps it would appear.

Dave spent around 40 hours recaulking one side of the teak decks, a pig of a job that involves stripping the old caulking out, sanding and cleaning the grooves with acetone, taping where necessary then using a gun to squeeze new caulking into the cleaned gaps. This then goes off over 48 hours, leaving the job of removing the excess caulk, sanding the deck and finally stripping away the tape. Not sure how long it will take for him to have recovered mentally to face starting the port side of the boat. He will have ‘crew / skippers wife’ to help next time.

My Bro and family came to visit in La Rochelle. It was great to see them and for them to see the boat too for the first time. We ate, caught the water taxi into town, had ice creams and fished off the boat in the marina for mullet. My nephew Toby is a particularly keen and successful fisherman unlike his fish free aunty. Evidence in photo form here.

We’re currently anchored off the beach in Santander. Last night we embraced the Spanish way of life and went out to have tapas and Rioja. Most excellent. It was gone 1130 when we got back onto the boat, late for us but we both enjoyed the buzz wandering the busy city streets late at night.

We plan to leave the boat somewhere on this coast and head off into the Picos mountains for a few days. So some research needed on buses, routes and weather. Not sure either of us or our legs are ready for walking up big hills but that’s not a reason not to go. Dave spent some time in the Picos when he was a student in Lancaster on a caving trip. We may well try to retrace some of his journey. Without the caves.

6 thoughts on “Feeling Small

  1. Linnit says:

    Enjoy the Picos….just took the dog for a long walk around West Penrith from St Ives to penzance…passing many old climbing haunts and some great wild camping. I agree that sometimes it just takes the wide expanse of sea and sky to make the world ok and bring a big smile.


  2. Lisa says:

    So that’s where you are….
    Doug & Grace have just passed, like proverbial ships in the Bay.
    MG was asking after you. Seems to think you’ve gone to sea in a 1920’s vessel. As if!!
    Happy Picos and tapas a-plenty xx


    • grace of longstone says:

      Hi mike,
      Hope all is good with you in sunny cromford. I has a whizz bang trip through cromford a couple of weeks ago, not enough time to see many folk although I did catch terry Pidcock on scarthin . No change there!


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