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It finally happened, after weeks of is it on or is it off, after weeks of studiously perusing various long range weather forecasts, after days of lows in mood and pressure and highs and back to lows, after watching weather fronts swell and shrink across our computer screens in a constant state of fluctuance there it was. A settled window in the weather, good pressure good winds favourable conditions for a voyage to the Outer Hebrides maybe even St. Kilda.

It was a very last minute thing especially after an annoying and silly tumble from his mountain bike, which resulted in a painful suspicion of broken ribs, but my husband has gone all the same. Owner skipper and crew, on bike, by rail, bus and boat, my husband, daughter and Mr. Freddy Gillies are about to converge upon the deck of Shemaron. In an attempt to fulfil a lifetime dream on the part of my husband and with the support of skipper Freddie Gillies (the voice of experience), and crew in the shape of our energetic and adventure seeking daughter, Shemaron is leaving for St. Kilda weather permitting.

The skipper has been on board already sorting the stores; he will have found a pile of rusty eating accoutrements, and mildewed pots and pans. He will have found crockery that is cracked and bears the stains of the drops of water that have found their way through the decks and cupboards to settle for months on the plates and in the mugs. The polished brass will by now be green and I am not sure about the Rice Krispies I confidently left in the airtight container. Mr. Gillies has taken on the roll of skipper and cook and will be loading and counting provisions for the trip. I am sure he will bring a semblance of order to the fo’c sule that is beyond our normal hurried preparations.

I saw them off this morning my husband on his motorbike nursing his painful ribs will arrive around 3pm. My daughter who will board the train after work, stop off in Glasgow to fill her packs with “cold cure remedies” then catch the bus, will arrive with the fading light and the coming on of night.

I hope skipper Gillies is hail and hearty,
I hope the weather holds,
I hope they keep safe.

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