Turn left at France

Ananda's blog
Keith and Stella Myerson
Fri 17 Sep 2010 07:34

Friday 17th September

Just one of those perfect night watches.  No matter how many times you've experienced it before, there's still something magical about the combination of a gentle warm breeze and the boat making her way through a silvery sea.   The moon keeps a watchful eye and peeks under the sprayhood every so often.  Venus is in the west, Jupiter's there somewhere too, and. according to our planetary 'guru' Tim, we should see Mercury later in the east, an hour or so before sunrise.

There are now only a few fishing boats about, although in the distance we can still see the endless procession of ships heading further offshore to clear Ushant.  The AIS, an automated information system for ships, tells us so much about them, their dimensions, speed, course, cargoes, and such a range of exotic destinations as would stir the heart of even the most diehard couch potato.  We, however, have chosen to close the shore and take a shortcut around this north western extremity of France, on our way to Spain and warmer waters.

It was hard to get away.  The list of jobs, both in our new home and in preparing 'Ananda', stretched on to infinity.  At the last minute, I dived to check out the underside of the boat, using Jim's ingenious breathing apparatus - a combination of a dinghy pump and some plastic electrical conduit.  Intriguing it may be, but the anaesthetist in me still remains wary.   All that was missing was the brass helmet!  But on examining the prop shaft, I found the propeller anode missing, presumably having fallen off.  There was little left of the shaft anode either, so I bolted on a new one.   Reassurance was needed, so we decided to slip the boat at the last minute, making a thorough check and washing her off for an extra turn of speed.



Touched by the interest shown in our plans and by the warmth of the best wishes from friends and family, we finally set off, once the weather improved sufficiently for a late season getaway.  Now it's all about settling into safe routines around the clock, keeping the boat's systems working.  Yes, it has been a hard day's night.  I just called up a cargo ship called 'AB Liverpool' on the DSC radio, and rather than the reassuring tones of a fellow scouser, I was startled to hear a very polite German voice.  Something to do with the Beatles' Hamburg connection?   Must be getting late.  Time for Stella to take over this watch....

Happy birthday Stella!

And onwards across Biscay….