So, last night I was over in Stromness (our film club, showing a collection of British short films, excellent turnout, great evening), the journey over was flat calm, chilly but calm. No sign of the forecast winds. Till about 3am this morning I woke up deep in the heart of Stromness town to hear the wind rattling the windows. I don't often get that experience as my friend's house is quite sheltered, nestling in one of the lanes. Hmmmm should have been a clue.
Anyway I set off for the 9.30 am boat home and catch glimpses of the harbour through the alleys running down to the household piers - it looks rough. This is not good if it's rough in the harbour. I fully expect the boat to be cancelled. But no, the skipper assures me the boat is going and teases me about being afraid of a bit of rough water. I reply it's not the water I'm afraid of, it's getting up the pier at the other side without being blown away. And I mentally muse about the practicality of crawling up the pier on my hands and knees. The skipper then also tells me the electricity was off on the island last night and he didn't know if it had been reconnected yet. So I decide to have a rethink about getting the boat home while I get some groceries, however the weather is set to worsen so I might not get back today or tomorrow. Hmmm - well I could easily go back and stay with my friend, I could meet up with other friends for lunch, coffee and potentially dinner. I could have a very sociable weekend in Stromness. A neighbour could feed Button and the hens so no worries there.
So - what on earth possessed me to get on the ferry bobbing around at the pier in Stromness, bounce about as it went via Hoy, and get off at Graemsay to spend the weekend in a house with potentially no electricity? Apart from craziness.....? Well partly because when I got back to the boat with groceries, Davy on the boat informed me he had some good news and some bad news......the good news - the skipper phoned my neighbour, Mick, to tell him to meet me off the boat at Graemsay. The bad news - Mick had been asleep when he got the call and the skipper couldn't quite make out what he said but it didn't sound polite!
So - I was kind of committed to going on the boat, either that or phone Mick and tell him he could go back to bed - and that didn't seem fair, after waking him up he might as well have a reason to get out of bed. Tee Hee!
I was glad to see the van at the pier head as the boat approached Graemsay since the spray was splashing well over the pier. I might have made it up on my hands and knees but I would have got very wet! I thanked Mick for meeting the boat, but he said he didn't mind as it was probably a good cure for his hangover. So.... I did him a service! I must remember to tell Sandra that as she can have him chasing round after the sheep next time he gets a hangover and there's a gale blowing and he'll feel better in no time.
Anyway back to different levels of craziness...... I may have been fairly deeply bonkers to consider coming home in this weather, however there was another passenger on the boat. A young chap from Stromness was planning to go over to Hoy and spend the day in Rackwick Bay as he wanted to experience wild weather......... he was very well kitted out with camping stove, food, water and proper clothing but I still think he has attained a higher level of craziness to which I can only aspire.
PS yes the electricity is back!