Saturday, 30 August 2014
Friday, 29 August 2014
Wedding car at the ready.
Among the many highlights of a lovely day was the apprentice taking a break from putting holes in the knee of his trousers and being given a drum lesson by the very nice band drummer. Little t seemed to get as grip of what was required very quickly and so impressed was very nice band drummer that he gave little t a set of drumsticks. Little t then demonstrated how much like his older sister who is also a drummer he can be by running out into the car park to practice with new favourite toys by beating out an impressive rhythm on assembled Aston Martins, Range Rovers and BMW's.
Posted by Tony at 21:40
Wednesday, 27 August 2014
Posted by Tony at 21:54
Tuesday, 26 August 2014
Day one of the Highland Adventure was marked by its appaling winter weather in August. Despite that we got on with leadership tasks and
under the everwatchful eye of Rocky
we had our own boat race where two teams prepared their rubber dinghy for launch, then once the bluffers Cockle Shell Heroes pic had been taken the boats were squared away and repacked. This seemingly pointless exercise proved useful in so far as one boat was missing a vital valve, either dropped during the race or lost in transit (hence strange attempt to stop air escaping going on in the pic)and helped those who were brave enough later in the week to prep their boat for a sea launch get familiar with the equipment.
Tarbert had not changed much since my last visit, save for the old man who lived in the cottage who always came out to greet anyone passing has passed on and has been replaced by a recluse who hides and avoids passersby like the plague.
Another change was this little cottage built by a stonemason from the Isle of Skye, he pops over now and then by boat and is intrinsic to the construction of a palace for theatre royalty around the corner. I suppose he threw this up in the odd break or lunch hour as a bolt hole.
then turned the trek back into a nightmare.
Posted by Tony at 22:22
Monday, 25 August 2014
The weather followed me south so today was spent confined to barracks and getting used to life that entails more than the contents of your rucksack and pockets. Before any tales of the Highland Adventure 2014 are shared the scene needs to be set hence the pic above of the very relaxed Tom MacClean, an inspirational character who owns a peice of paradise on the southern shore of Loch Nevis, basically go to Mallaig, turn left when you hit the sea, keep the coast on your right and his is the house with the life sized sperm whale on the doorstep.
Now in days when lanky bike riders get Knighthoods for cycling around the countryside being chased by a bunch of cheese eating surrender monkeys, this man is the current world record holder for solo rowing across the atlantic, was also the first person to ever row the atlantic (hes done it twice the hard way from North America and back)Sailed the Atlantic in the worlds smallest yacht, twice, the first time he did it someone else crossed in a boat smaller than his by 3 inches so he lopped off two feet with a chainsaw, glued it back together and did the whole thing again. He has also served his country in the paras, is the only civilian to have joined the SAS (basically he left the paras, hated being out, thought he would join the SAS and camped outside the gate until the commander got so fed up with him being there they let him have a go, he passed)and is the first civilian to live on Rockall, a lonely peice of rock in the Atlantic Ocean, and by doing so got the UK 200 miles around it of fish, oil, minerals and anything else to be found, all this (and more) and not so much as a mention in the honours. Scandalous really. Not that Tom would think that, he is the most modest self effacing man I know.
I first met him in 1996 when the Navy sent me to his adventure centre to ferry wet squaddies up and down the coast. I was also sat next to him when he drew a plan on a napkin to build Moby, a large whale shaped ship. It was no surprise to return a year or so later and see the plan had come to fruition and that MOby had been sything masts down in marinas up and down the Scottish Coast as Tom sought sponsorhip to get Moby to New York. .
Nothing phases this man, the fishing boat behind him in this picture sank one morning so he waited until a very low tide, dived in, filled the boat with bags, pumped it full of air and when she surfaced towed her to the beach and repaired her. Meeting him makes you think you could walk to to the moon if you put your mind to it. So what better place to go than his adventure centre to get back to basics and test a small group of
So a big thank you to Tom and his lovely wife Jill for putting up with 12 soft southerners (ok one was from Scotland) as we battled against the hostile elements, flora and fauna. We all survived and want to go back for round two next year. Anyone can hire his centre, the tag line as tough or as tame as you like is very fitting. Details of his website will be posted later, meantime Google him.
Posted by Tony at 21:01
Sunday, 24 August 2014
I got a phone call from my parents today asking where I was as the blog was down, so I ommitted to tell them the boring stuff like saying goodbye to Miranda and replacing her with Ruby, or tell them that Portsmouth University are going to allow me to carry on studying as I have passed the first year. Instead I concentrated on boring them to death with details of where in the world I had just got back from as clearly I was at Rock HQ as they had just phoned me there.
This is Moby, more of him later, but he sits like a......erm...beached whale on the shore of Loch Nevis on the west coast of Scotland.
The reason for being there, yours trulys not Moby's, more of which later, not this posting but a later one, was to do some adventure training and pass on some skills to a bunch of
Posted by Tony at 22:42