15th May 2020
Malpas, Falmouth, UK– St Mawes, Falmouth, UK
Joy and happiness are a state of mind. You can be happy while battling the worst of the elements from the knowledge that soon there will be respite. The noise of traffic can bring joy knowing that life is going on and there are people out there going about their daily business. The purchase of the simplest of things can bring happiness and joy in the knowledge of what that simple thing will enable you to do. Life on Ruffian is Good, life on Ruffian is happy.
When running, happiness is usually bought on by the fact the run is over. As we took to the shore for our daily run before Boris Johnson’s long awaited Sunday address, the run was to give quite a different form of happiness. Just before taking the first step Fiona ruminated about the big black unstable cloud and Iain uttered the fatal words ‘It’ll be fine’.
Off we went and as we reached the mid point on our runs, as far as we could be from shelter, the contents of that unstable cloud were emptied onto us. Paths were turned into boggy trails, roads turned into rivers and Iain and Fiona were turned into shivering drowned rats. Fiona took a deep joy that she was right (while sheltering under a yoga mat on Brock) and Iain grinned and giggled as he splashed through the deep puddles, felt the rain wash him clean and knew that once again those fatal ‘It’ll be fine’ words really meant ‘It’ll not be fine.’
For the real joy and happiness to make itself known we had to wait until we returned to Ruffian. As the first frozen foot stepped on board the clouds cleared, the sun peeked through and the wind stopped. Nothing feels as joyful as when a new sun warms cold skin.
Turning on the Radio our levels of joy and happiness were to be increased further. Listening to Boris Johnson it became apparent that we were about to be released from our self-imposed imprisonment in the confined waters of the Fal. Unlimited time outside was allowed, watersports were to be unlocked and in sailing Ruffian we’d not suffer the worst of English indignities, a muffled ‘Tut’ and a disapproving look.
Having been given the green light of moving we knew it wasn’t to be realised for 2 more days and so we set about taking advantage of everything that Truro had to offer. Once again the lockers were crammed with food, gas bottles were filled and Iain sought out a shop to buy a something that he never thought of as putting a big smile on his face a screwdriver. Never has something so simple made him so happy.
Some say that happiness is only real if it’s shared and after weeks of being alone we were able to share our happiness with others. We’d ‘bumped’, as far as social distancing would allow, into others who have taken to the seas like us. Mark and Asha regaled us of their stories of daring do and educated us about all the life sustaining edible plants that surround us. We are both bound for points north so hope that we’ll be able to share our happiness with them time and time again.
With the River now alive with life from canoeists waving at us and classic tug boats giving us a friendly ‘toot toot’ the day of being able to move was finally upon us. Ruffian was readied, everything tidied away, the windlass turned on and the chain, that has held us so well was to be stowed away. There was however to be a sting in the tail.
Instead of being hauled up from the seabed just covered in mud, up it came covered in scrap metal. It had found something to wrap itself around and wrapped it was. With lots of head scratching and lateral thinking the chain was untangled the offending objects removed and the anchor broke the surface. The anchor wasn’t alone, with it came more scrap metal. Down there in the depths was clearly a wreck and we’d pulled some it from the seabed. But unlike the wreck we were free and happy with it.
Entering a new port we never thought we’d enjoy the sounds of cars, people and boats, but having been enveloped in the silence of the Fal for so many weeks we laughed at the sound of life and as night fell upon us we marvelled at the lights in houses, the glow of streetlights and the flickering of TV’s in peoples front rooms. Although we are free and happy to cruise around now, the same is not the case in Wales, Scotland, France or Spain. Only when all those borders open will we be truly happy, but until then we plan to take joy in the freedoms that we’ve been given and pleased that so far we have escaped the Covid-19 crisis unscathed.
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