Sunday, 1 August 2010
The Grand Tour is underway
Ron arrived from St Lucia yesterday. I had been at Gatwick since the day before (in a hotel!) as Ron's flight was due to land at 5.30am. I woke at 4am which was a bit annoying as the alarm wasn't due to go off till 5am. I was at the arrivals hall by 5.45am and it only took half an hour for Ron to appear through the automatic doors, his flight having landed 15 minutes late. After a welcome cup of coffee (Ron) and peppermint tea (me), we headed off up the M23, M25 and M3 stopping at Fleet services for the most wonderful cooked breakfast (not only had Ron been up for over 24 hours but due to a catering c**k up on the plane, he only got fed dinner and nothing for breakfast). Having not seen each other for 112 days and making do with Skype and MSN meant we talked 19 to the dozen and thoroughly enjoyed bouncing ideas off each other as to why the weather was doing what it was doing (well, we are both meteorologists). After a detour to collect my walking boots from home (I have a long tradition of forgetting at least one important item when I go away on holiday), we made our way to the B&B near Romsey. It turned out to be perfect, our own suite separate from the house so we had plenty of room to relax, talk and watch TV (I wonder how long before the novelty of TV will wear off for Ron....). Sue, the owner, served us a three course dinner in the suite and it was touch and go whether Ron would a) stay awake long enough to finish it and b) not go pop from the volume of food. It wasn't too long before we retired for the night and I'm glad to report that Ron was asleep in minutes (he was concerned that having slept for a year on the bunk on Zahara, a real bed might be too alien a concept). Ron even managed to sleep through till 7am, a good deal later than he usually manages in St Lucia. Breakfast this morning was another wonderful cooked affair and Ron thoroughly enjoyed his first duck egg, so much in fact that he reckons he may never eat chicken eggs ever again. After breakfast we attempted to read the Sunday Times but very soon got distracted by looking at the meteorology of the tropical Atlantic. We are rather concerned by the potential for hurricane development later in the week but there's not a lot we can do from here and will have to trust that the marina will look after Zahara as promised. We're both really enjoying learning more about tropical meteorology especially as we'll be sailing there for the next couple of years!
Once we'd got the Met sorted, we decided a long walk to the pub was in order (well, 2 breakfasts and a 3 course dinner needed walking off) so armed with a map we headed off up the footpath. It turned out that neither of us were appropriately dressed for the vegetation we encountered and could have done without being attacked by brambles and nettles. However, all was forgiven when we reached The Hatchet Inn in Sherfield English where Ron had his first pint of English beer (Summer Lightning) in over a year. The walk back by road was much less dangerous from a vegetation point of view but the lack of footpath meant we were in danger from the Sunday afternoon traffic.
If you're wondering about the significance of the photo at the top, it's of the sunset over Marigot Bay on 4th July 2010, the anniversary of our first meeting..... all together now, awwwwwwwwwwww!
Posted by Metchick at 16:25