Off she goes, Iain Oughtred's slightly foreshortened Penny Fee, at 15ft. Sails by Jeckells, spars by the wonderful Jeremy Freeland at Collars. The rest by Messrs Burke and Morgan (that's Jonny by the way...)

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Too Nice to Blog

Thing is up here in the Highlands, if the sun shines, with such long days you can divide up your time in any number of ways. I may get up at crack of dawn, check emails, spend an hour or so in the garden, maybe take the dog for a wander down to the river, then off to the boat shed. At midday it's across the loch to check the mooring, then back in the shed until 5pm, an hour sailing the Fifteen, then early evening on the hill with a model glider, late evening walking down by the river, and the rest of the evening in front of the fire (as there's still a chill in the air). Bed and a book, and crossed fingers for another sunny day.

So, little time for wasting it in front of a computer. That's why my blogging rate inevitably drops as the weather improves, and it's the same for all the others I follow.

Yesterday, for example, was a classic case in point. A glorious spring day, the whole of which was spent working on club boats down at the shore where the Royal Loch Broom Sailing Club has its elegant clubhouse...

Commodore Copestake in front of the clubhouse. Lady member Margaret Steventon sits at the table where a light al fresco luncheon will soon be served by the club steward.
On the rolling, manicured lawns that sweep majestically down to the loch (where the club launch lies at her berth, ready to take members to and from their racing yachts) peacocks roam, and white-gloved waiters bring refreshment to the lady members, disporting themselves among the daffodils.

Meanwhile, hard at work, the club bosun and a team of paid hands in spotless, monogrammed overalls, are carefully burnishing the antifouling on the fleet of brand-new Flying Fifteens. Nearby, members' cruising yachts - a collection of some of the finest marques - in handsome, purpose-built cradles await launching day.

The Royal Loch Broom, with sweeping lawn(s) down to the sea, the elegant clubhouse to the right and a selection of members' yachts on purpose-built trailers.
The gong sounds, the club steward appears and members make their way to the dining room for a light luncheon, served on the club's fine bone china. On summer days, members will often take their meals outside, al fresco, seated at oak tables in the club grounds.

In the evening, the commodore and his lady wife and members of the committee sit at the top table, under the club role of honour, distinguished yachtsmen all, with a range of gallant exploits to their names: an ambitious circumnavigation of the remote Summer Isles; a daring attempt to force a passage through the Sound of Harris; a late season cruise to Badachro...

The club launch, which ferries crews to and from the fleet of Flying Fifteens, can be seen dried out alongside the jetty. The absence of members suggests that luncheon is being served in the walnut-panelled dining room...
Such is the life we lead up here in the remote fastnesses north of the Great Glen. Not so uncivilised then, compared to the madness, bustle and congestion of the south. Just a little chillier, perhaps, and if the sun doesn't shine as much, when it does, we make the most of every second.

No comments:

Post a Comment