… yesterday. I just motored back to the marina area, anchored carefully a bit offshore upwind of the marina, and rowed the dinghy across to the promenade area. I tied up the dinghy and walked, carrying the oars to discourage joyriders, to the hardware store I’d seen on Tuesday and bought a big lockable metal box, a padlock and some big brass screws. I saved myself some trouble by getting the owner to drill the side of the toolbox for the screws. Returning to the boat, I crawled into the space under the front decking and screwed the box to the inside of the bulkhead between the half-cabin and the storage area under the deck. Luckily, I had a torch, screwdriver and a few other tools in there already, so it wasn’t too hard. Now I’ve got a nice lockable safe that I can get laptop, GPS and mobile phone in when I’m not on board. It feels much more secure. I then moved the boat to a sensible bay and anchored for the night.
This morning, bright and early, I set sail for the next island on my itinerary – a rather small but mountainous island. A brisk northerly wind, just a little west of north actually, sent me scudding across the waves in fine style, shipping a lot of spray. My destination was not visible as I started, and after an hour or so there was no land to be seen in any direction. It’s a bit of a panicky feeling for a landlubber. I wanted to ring up Alexis to sort of reassure myself, but I didn’t want to have to stop, and the waves were sufficiently choppy that it was going to be more comfortable to carry on and I was hanging on to the GPS for dear life. It assured me I was going in the right direction, which was nice, but, you know, these things develop faults, don’t they? However, it agreed with the compass to within a few degrees and I knew I was being silly. When, after a couple of hours, I passed a motor cruiser thumping along in the other direction I was uncool to such an extent that I waved very merrily to them. They must have thought I was nuts. Another couple of hours in a dying wind and I could see my destination, though it’s probably high enough to be visible from sea level a good fifteen miles away. After that, what with the wind getting weaker, it seemed an age before I could distinguish features ashore, but it’s got a lovely little old-fashioned harbour where I’m comfortably tied up now, ready to do my Palimpsesting. I can smell some nice food cooking ashore, which I am very much looking forward to.