I had to go to town today to meet a couple of appointments that I didn’t really want to have to rearrange. However, woke up this morning and there was a strong North Westerly wind blowing. Chilly, but worse – it’s not a good direction for the boat at the pier. So I decided to go to meet the boat and make up my mind whether to venture across to town or not.
As expected it was very windy at the pier but we had some shelter from a vehicle so could wait till the boat came alongside the pier – but being a North Westerly and a highish tide the boat couldn’t come into the pier steps but went round the other side – which means using the ladder…… only due to the tide that wasn’t possible either really. I was kind of havering about what to do, but the two young island lads were already being helped down onto the boat on their way to school and before I could say “Um…. maybe my journey is not really necessary” Neil and Mick took an arm each and with a glint in their eyes threw me towards the folk on the deck. Thankfully John from Hoy grabbed me in a great bear hug before I hit the deck. I’m not normally a “morning” person but that certainly woke me up – no need for a caffeine rush when I got to town!
Anyway after discussion with the crew it seemed that the return journey could be as interesting. Lunch time the tide will still be reasonably high so it was considered it might be possible to disembark from the upper deck of the boat, but coming home on the 4pm boat would mean a climb up a ladder. Hmmmm – well I could probably climb a few rungs but not sure how I would manage with two bags of “messages” (Scottish word for shopping). So decided to head home at lunchtime.
When I got to town I went straight to Argo’s Bakery and gathered a basketful of goodies which I then left to be boxed up and taken to the boat. That way I knew someone would load and unload my shopping so I only had to worry about myself!
Fortunately there were a few folk at the pier at lunch time because it was very rough again. But at least I was able to just jump across from the top deck to the pier, and again there were willing hands hanging onto me both sides. As long as one remembers to let go so I’m not stretched out between them I don’t mind! And my fellow passengers helped with my shopping bags etc.
It was incredibly windy at the pier, and being fairly light-weight I needed to hang onto a couple of other folk to avoid being blown away. Thankfully once I got back to the house it seemed to break the worst of the wind and I could gather my purchases and make it indoors without too much effort.
When I described my descent onto the boat to Irene today she declared it “Chuck a Sian Day”…… quite apt really!
To be fair – it sounds dramatic and did require a degree of agility but were the conditions considered really dangerous the ferry wouldn’t go, and had there been no one on the boat to catch me I would have stayed firmly in the vehicle on the pier – whatever Mick and Neil might have had in mind!