Tuesday 24 May 2011

‘If I’m well enough to walk I’m well enough to row’

Giacomo De Stefano, recovering from a complicated illness, wrote the above words in an email to me on arriving in England before restarting his Man on the River adventure. Giacomo’s journey is now well under way and he’s proving that despite the health struggles of the last year he can indeed row and sail.

And now, if Giacomo doesn’t mind, I’ll use that inspiring phrase as my own motto as I prepare my next trip. Though I might add to it ‘....and I’m well enough to drive a hell of a long way with OB following on a trailer.’

I’ve been looking forward to going up to Mor Bihan for the Semaine du Golfe since the darks days of last May when the future looked cloudy and I scrawled the wish down. Now that the weather has cleared I’m honoured bound to see my promises through.

The winter nights have been full of dreams of sailing in an amazing environment, the salty atmosphere, the great company and lots of oysters and wine.

I should be back in mid June with tales to tell.

Saturday 21 May 2011

The Giant Octopus Party

I’m not a party person but some things are really worth celebrating. Above is the invitation for the fiesta I’ll be holding in July. As you’ve all been so supportive you’re all invited. Seriously, any reader that can get down here for the 8th of July will be welcome.

The amazing image was drawn my friend Elena Val. I have stared at it for hours. She has managed to convey last year’s tussle more perfectly than I ever could with words.

Saturday 14 May 2011

The Cyrano

When the doctors say I can’t go sailing yet I take it to mean ‘small boat’ sailing—discomfort, cold and the possibility of getting soaked—not standing on the weather deck of a brigatine under a sun hat watching other people pull ropes and climb rigging.

So over the past two months I’ve been very happy to join the crew of El Cyrano for their weekend sails from Tarragona Harbour. The sea off the city is littered with tankers waiting their turn to enter port, and when the call comes they up anchors and steam in. The captain of the Cyrano says it can be tricky. I agree as I’ve rowed and sailed OB across these waters a few times. For now though I can leave that worry to him.

The Cyrano makes a point of always unfurling all her sails. There are no winches, just muscle power. The brig heels slightly, rolls and creaks. The crew look proudly up at the broad expanses of billowing canvas. Obviously I’d rather be up the rigging myself, though that’s just a matter of time.