When I contemplate the All American Diner the picture that comes into my head vividly is the one Michael J Fox frequents in Back to the Future, interestingly (to some perhaps) one of my top ten favourite films.

The diner should have a checkered floor, red shiny bench seats plus counter stools too while black and chrome are the only two other colours allowed for any additional furniture or décor. There should be plenty of staff visible to the customers as the preparation area is in full view to all. The menu should be limited to predominantly breakfast items and the diner will shut at 3pm as most of the trade happens at 8am when locals pile in on their to work.

We found such a place in Newport, a local’s hideaway away from the tourist throng. It felt good to know such a place existed and wasn’t just a figment of my imagination. Dave had found the place while I’d been back in the UK and the owner recognised him as we paid up. “How many times do you need to visit to become a local?” Dave asked. “Just once” was the reply. Guess that exceeded my expectations.

Today we had a truly leisurely sail of about 10 miles up to Bristol. The winds were light when be pulled up the hook, maybe 8 knots but we sailed all the way enjoying the scenery and the change of pace. This area is renowned for its sailing history and there are boats everywhere. Motoring would be bad form; sail it properly and feel a bit smug as other yachts motor past not making the effort to work with the light conditions today. Or maybe we just had more time!

Bristol has a museum dedicated to one particular family, more specifically two boat building brothers who designed yachts, some used for the America’s Cup in the early twentieth century. The main designer, was actually blinded by cataracts at the age of 15 but that didn’t stop him having a prolific career.

The best ‘spy’ of our day was by Dave. As we were sailing along he scanned the horizon with the binoculars spotting Airforce One on a runway parallel to the stretch of water we were heading up. Guess it must have been an airforce base but look as we might, no sign of an orange top or tango skin luminescing in the distance. Can’t say we were too disappointed.





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