Sunday, 2 February 2014

The Shortest of Cycles

After the last few weekends of wind and rain I was looking forward to a week off work and the flexibility of being able to go out for a cycle during the day. I had a couple of 100km routes planned that I could choose from depending on the prevailing wind. I had also hoped to travel through to Glasgow to visit the in-laws. But the best laid schemes o'mice an' men, gang aft agley, and I caught a very unpleasant flu virus.

By Tuesday evening I could barely raise my head from the pillow and it took until this morning, Sunday, to even consider trying to get out on the LHT. I set off into a blustery wind but soon had to turn around as I started to get short of breath a developed a cold sweat. I had to admit that I'm still not well and settle for an easier day.

It was too good a day to spend inside, so I wandered down to a sunny harbour to start some leisurely winter work on the Mighty Heron.

First task was to put the kettle on the little gas stove and make a mug of coffee to keep me going as I sanded the rubbing strake. A sharp chisel to clean the edges and I slowly rubbed in a first coat of linseed oil.

As you can see in the above pic, it's amazing the difference a little oil can make. There's quite a few scratches to touch up this year and of course, the annual trial of reapplying the antifoul. It's a wee bit precarious working on the starboard side of the hull but being so close to the edge does give me some wonderful views of the local wildlife.

This male eider duck seemed oblivious to me working away on the boat and came quite close alongside allowing me to get a couple of good photos. He was also making that inquisitive whoo whoo call. If the link doesn't work on a mobile device try this.

The tide continued to rise as the late afternoon sun lit up the castle and the empty harbour.

Over on Lammer island a little group of redshanks waited patiently for the tide to drop. Their long beaks are for probing through the mud for molluscs and alike.

It will be six hours before they can go looking for their next meal. A lovely day in the winter sun and I managed to get quite a bit done on the boat. I'm back to work tomorrow which is a disappointment after spending my leave feeling so ill, but the days are drawing out and I'll get back cycling soon.


  1. Glad to hear your are past the flu. The photos looked especially sharp today. The light and water were magic. Well done.

    1. Thanks Pondero, I was at the harbour for most of the afternoon and had the opportunity to wait for changes in the light. Not always an option when cycling, although I think there is a lesson there.

  2. Downer about being ill when off work Ped!
    Get well soon!

    1. Cheers Bruce. I'll get more days off at the end of February.