Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Amsterdam, Solo Sailing and a Sad Farewell to St. Andrews


Chrick met us in Liscomb Mills after the storm to sail with us overnight to Chester, Nova Scotia where he and Beth now live.  It was nice to have another person on board for the trip, sharing the watches and entertaining the monkeys especially as we had stayed up rather late on the evening of his arrival for a few welcome drinks and were all feeling a little bit 'tired.'  
Arrived in Chester in the early afternoon, after a pleasantly uneventful voyage of 27 hours.  Beth picked us up at the Chester Yacht Club and took us back to their lovely new house for a wonderful meal.  We spent a couple of days trying to be useful to Chrick and Beth with their new house projects but  ended up being more successful in keeping them up way past bedtime chatting around the fire.  Highly enjoyable.

My parents came to pick up the monkeys on September 10th and I flew off to Amsterdam on the 11th.  Seb set off on the 12th for a 300-mile solo sail from Chester to St. Andrews. 

My week in Amsterdam was extremely nice.  I spent my time catching up with friends and family and starting to send out networking feelers for eventual work/ business possibilities. 

Seb made stops in Lunenberg, Liverpool, Shelburne and finally Grand Manan.  He met up with old friends and made new ones along the way and generally had a very social and enjoyable time on his own.  He does admit to talking to himself extensively and whooping into the wind and weather (both à  la Henk de Velde) during a single-handed overnight voyage with strong winds.  He has also started to begin instructive sentences with an slightly patronizing “We solo-sailors...”  but we hope to cure him of this habit very quickly.  After a rough (30 knot winds) sail from Grand Manan to St. Andrews, Seb had a short nap and a brief cuddle with the monkeys before heading back to Halifax (by car this time) to pick me up from the airport.   

Once we were all gathered together again back in St. Andrews we spent another wonderful week  playing in the sun with Nana and Dadcu (and Maggie).  It was a very emotional morning when we sailed the Pjotter away from the town pier.  My parents and HonGu all came down to the dock and waved until we were out of sight as Emma sobbed hysterically (as did the rest of us inside).  St Andrew's had a special meaning as our target destination and the turning point in our voyage.  In addition to this we had an absolutely spectacular summer there (and in the Maritimes), one we will always remember as especially specially perfect.