The station that the car radio was tuned into ..started to fade as I drove up the “Rest and Be Thankful” road. I wasn’t listening..but I knew its message well.
Accident on M8 ..expect half hour delays. Kingston Bridge traffic heavy..allow an hour to get into Glasgow .. Thursday morning..8am ..news.. Bla Bla Bla... Weather .. cloudy start to day..light winds ...
The announcements didn't trouble me.. Im retired ... and although I was a man on a mission..I was in no hurry. I turned the radio off as I turned down the long single track road leading towards the sleepy village of Lochgoilhead.
My mission was the try out the new F-Rib boat I had bought the week previously. As I descended the long hill with many passing places.. cars scuttling to their work ..something was missing. I have traveled this road many times ..so knew exactly what was missing. The trailer my other boats require. Reversing to allow cars that cant reverse ..was a piece of cake with the F Rib in my car.
I parked in the public carpark..beside the ramp that leads to the sea. The locals didn’t spare a glance in my direction..I was just another car..stopping to admire the view.
It started to rain slightly. Normally I would have sat in the car ..watching and waiting.. but excitement took its toll..and I soon had the F-Rib on the tarmac at the rear of the car. The cheap lilo pump had the tubes to shape in a few moments. No need for expensive high pressure jobs. I finished off the pressure with a few strokes on my hand pump..and there was now a car and a boat in the car park.
I put my phone..car keys ..and cameras in the Tupperware box on my seat...to keep them safe and dry. I put on my launching boots ..which keep my feet dry. They were originally an old pair of chest waders. I cut them down to the size of wummins fancy boots ..the type that highlight the top of their legs before disappearing under skirts. I am no fashion object..but they serve my purpose well. I threw the outboard into the boat ...
.. and attached the DIY transom dolly ..so I could wheel the F-Rib to the water. Its an easy lift and pull..at 36kg for bare boat and 10kg for outboard..plus around 15kg of additional boating bits.
I didn’t notice the time..but suspect that around 20 minutes from unloading the boat I was now pulling her into the water. I mumbled the following words as the water touched her smooth shiny bottom.
“I name this puppy ..the Guppy.. God bless her ..and all who mess in her.”
I opened a tin of Guinness to christen her ..but couldn’t bring myself to waste any..so drank the lot myself.. some things never change. I then admired the Guppy’s gorgeous looks as she floated happily in the sea for the first time. Outboard on transom ..she sure looked handsome ..
... Although I couldn’t help feel it was very small compared to the size of the F-Rib ?
I clambered on board to the piping call of the sand pipers and oyster catchers..the only living creatures that were watching in the steady drizzle. I started to row..because I was keen to try these new fangled rowlock pins. ..and also because I always row out from shore..in respect to bathers and kids playing on the waters edge. There were none today.. but life long habits never change.
Satisfied I was in deep water.. I started the wee Mariner 3.3Hp. I let it warm up a little and checked it was passing a good stream of cooling water.
Once it was running steady on tickover ..I slipped it into gear..and I was off to sea to see what this Guppy puppy could do....
To be continued...