In my defence, I have been on holiday, where I finally got to see dolphins–totally magical–and top of my 'things to do before I die' list. We were told we might not actually get to see dolphins, since the weather was so bad, and the sea quite choppy, but as Patrick is a keen would-be sailor, who dreams of one day owning a boat, we decided to go anyway, and just enjoy the trip.
|The harbour walls were decorated|
with art depicting nationalities of
all the boats that had moored there.
Now I'm not actually that keen on sailing, thanks to a father who regularly dragged me along to crew (code for doing all the rubbish stuff) on his boat, which didn't even have a cabin I could hide in. This boat, a Squib (I kid you not) was damp, uncomfortable, and moored on a part of the river Crouch where the breeze would suddenly disappear, leaving us becalmed and bored, while we waited for a charitable club member, whose boat had an outboard motor (why didn't we have one of those?) to tug us back to our off-shore mooring. Here we would wait again for the ferry (a tiny rowing boat) to take us back to the jetty.
To make matters worse, our 'changing room' was a rusty, leaking caravan, partly held up by bricks as one of its wheels was missing (Dad was convinced this was a far more sensible option than paying unnecessary club fees). Here, I (a fashion conscious youngster) would be forced to don rubber wellies and an enormous yellow jacket with a big black puffin on its back, which made me far more conspicuous than I wanted to be, as we made our 1/4 mile trek to and from the marina, ladened with duffle bags full of sails.
So, I don't have fond memories of sailing…
But the dolphins changed all that! I was so mesmerised by their acrobatics, and how they arched over the big waves, that I didn't notice other dolphin watchers slowly retreating to the the back of the boat. Soon, even Patrick was asking for a slice of lemon to hold to his nose (a remedy for sea sickness) and a plastic bag–just in case. Why I didn't get ill, I don't know, perhaps luck, or perhaps I was just too excited at the prospect of seeing more dolphins–or even a pilot whale–to worry about the motion of the ocean.
|Back on dry land,|
the grimace turned to a smile,
and the sun came out.
I have much to thanks those wonderful dolphins for, not only did they make my fiftieth birthday, but they also (only temporarily, I suspect) put Patrick off sailing. That means he won't be buying a boat any time soon, and I won't have to crew or wear rubber wellies and a high visability waterproof jacket–result!
PS: sewing posts to follow soon–I promise!