Sunseeker Chapter 6
We dodged three ferries at the entrance to Loch Ryan and, rounding Corsewall Point, encountered rough water. The strong tide was with us through the North Channel but the freshening southerly breeze against it left Sunseeker ploughing her way through short, steep seas making only two knots. It was a very uncomfortable passage and we were, indeed glad to reach Portpatrick and the shelter of its cosy harbour.
Poor Misty had been in agony for the whole passage, very ill with sickness and in a great deal of pain. We believe that the engine noise was pitched at just such a level as to cause severe pain in her very sensitive ears. Finally, accepting our selfishness and cruelty by subjecting her to this pain, we came to realise the need to find her a good home away from the boat.
As luck would have it, on our arrival in Portpatrick we tied alongside the beautiful eight ton Hillyard Roan Bahn. Her owners, Keith and Marj Hewels had welcomed us alongside and kindly helped with our lines. Marj, we soon learned, is a great cat lover. After confiding our fears for Misty she sympathised and told us of an organisation on the Isle of Man, Roan Bahn’s home base, whose main purpose is to find homes for cats. Roan Bahn and her owners left the following day, homeward bound, leaving us to reflect on our sad predicament. Marj and her cat-loving organisation may well be the solution to our dilemma. So, with sad resolve we cast off our lines, bound for Peel, on an unplanned detour, seeking a good home for poor Misty.
Our crossing to the Isle of Man turned out to be beautifully calm and sunny. Leaving Portpatrick through an early morning heat haze, our course took us diagonally away from the Galloway coast and we soon lost sight of land. Again we motored – our new gearbox being well and truly run-in. This passage of about forty miles was uneventful and by teatime Sunseeker was moored alongside the outer harbour wall. Being low water, this massive structure dwarfed us. It was a long, long climb up slippery, iron ladders to the top. We were thrilled to watch the small colony of seals that live in and around the waters of Peel Harbour.
On Saturday evening we were introduced, by our new friend Marj, to Mike and Annette Berry. From their home in Castletown they had travelled over to meet Misty and for Misty to meet them. Annette was enchanted to have Misty sit on her lap and Misty seemed taken with her. It’s uncanny, but we think she knew what was planned for her. With heavy hearts Misty was coaxed into her tiny travel cage. Together with countless tins and bags of cat food she was hoisted aloft and transferred into her new keepers’ car. Very soon we were waving our goodbyes, straining for our last look through tear-filled eyes.
Having accomplished our dastardly deed we no longer felt able to remain on the island. Early on Sunday morning we slipped our mooring lines to motor out of Peel Harbour, feeling like traitors. Very upset, even now it takes but a momentary thought, a fleeting image and tears threaten to fill our eyes once more.
End of Sunseeker Chapter 6