Sunseeker Chapter 3
We left behind the pontoon at Campbelltown at 0930 on Monday 23rd May, motoring across the still waters of Campbelltown Loch through mist with not a breath of wind. The loch is, of course, filled only with seawater, not whisky. I know. I tried it!
The weather forecast promised southeasterly winds of force three to four with occasional rain and visibility moderate to good. With a proposed course to the southeast this was not very promising for a good passage; still they have been known to be wrong!
Rounding Island Davaar we set course for Girvan, with visibility so good we were unable to see Arran just a mile across the channel. Very hazy sunshine soon replaced the early morning mist and by one o’clock Ailsa Craig was just visible off the starboard bow through the haze. A southerly breeze developed, clearing away the last of the mist, allowing us to set the main and half the genoa. With two reefs left in the main from the previous passage, Sunseeker was making four knots, so we left it at that. A little after five-thirty, just after half-flood we entered Girvan harbour. We soon found the new pontoon in the middle of the busy fishing harbour and tied up alongside. By the time Rene had the mooring lines tidied we were just in time to take Black Swan’s lines as she came alongside us. After drawing a breath we looked around at the very attractive harbour, little knowing how well, over the next couple of months, we would come to know this close-knit fishing town and some of its inhabitants.
We made arrangements with the deputy Harbour Master to leave Sunseeker on the pontoon for a few days. Then, leaving Martin and Benjie boat and cat sitting, Rene and I journeyed by rail to Keighley in West Yorkshire. Boarding with Chris, Rene’s daughter, we were able to spend a little time with my Mum and Dad and Kevin and his bride-to-be Helen. I was lucky enough to spend some time with David and Mark, my two sons. We had a couple of pints together in ‘The Royal’ at Crossflatts.
On Sunday, following the Saturday wedding, Chris took us back to Girvan in her car and spent a couple of days with us on board Sunseeker.
Martin’s holiday time was fast running out and on Tuesday it was time to say farewell. On a grey, overcast morning we motored a little way down the coast in company. After about an hour we parted.
Black Swan was to carry Martin and Benjie to Portpatrick and home to Glasson.
Sunseeker turned to return Rene, Chris and myself back to Girvan and thence to whom knows where? All too soon Chris also had to leave us, bound for home in Yorkshire and work.
While in Girvan we were visited by our friends Trevor and Marion, both teachers in Blackburn, Lancashire. After school on the Friday of the 10th June weekend they drove north to stay with us on board Sunseeker. The weather was not too good for sailing but we enjoyed good walks along the seashore around Girvan. On the Saturday evening Trevor and Marion took us for a wonderfully extravagant, gargantuan meal in Girvan’s Chinese Restaurant. A veritable banquet!
All too soon the time came for our friends to leave us for the return drive to Blackburn and school on Monday.
End of Sunseeker Chapter 3