New Horizons.

The anchor is finally deployed.

1st March 2021

Portimão Marina, Portugal – Portimau Inner Hbr, Portugal via Portimau Outer Hbr

Everyone likes new things and Christmas certainly wouldn’t be popular if people opened gifts of their old socks or used teabags. Our world has been transformed by newness as our view is now constantly changing, we are able to enjoy the fruits of our labours from months past and we are once again gifted freedom*.

Ruffian was about to be set free from her winter confinement and we prepared to unplug the umbilical cord attaching us to shore. Everything that could be charged was charged, every tank that could be filled was filled and everything that needed cleaning was cleaned, suddenly however everything was put on hold as excitement arrived in the form of a cardboard box.

The cardboard box had been posted in the depth of winter and had slowly made its way around the UK, through the Brexit backlog, across the channel and into the hands of customs in the Lisbon. Paperwork had then flown back and forth at breakneck speed and then the box was with us.** Like a kiddie at Christmas Iain peeled open the box and out came new shiny toy, after shiny toy. In the midst of wrapping paper, we had welding rods, special connectors, remote controls and most importantly of all; a drone.

With nothing now attaching us to shore we slipped out of the marina and were greeted by waves of farewell from every boat. It was as if we were crossing an ocean and not just going across the bay, not even changing the municipality, but the psychological change was the same. Like crossing an ocean, we were on the cusp of starting a new adventure.

The newness of everything washed over us as we dropped our anchor on newly calibrated chain; which ran over a newly serviced windlass; which sat on a newly painted deck; which was reflected in newly polished stainless; which sat on top of a newly polished hull. We had a new motion of gently swaying at anchor while being able to absorb a new view with the prospect of new freedoms.

As we gently bobbed it quickly became apparent that we’d grown used to the still flat closeted waters of the marina. Swell that once wouldn’t have bothered us rolled in changing our gentle roll to annoying sway. Pans clunked, bottles clinked and everything not stowed properly found its way to the floor. Off we went to find another new view ½ a mile up river, frequented by new friends and hopefully framed by flat wated. We had the new freedom we craved and the old responsibility that Ruffian comes first.

With our new freedom giving us a new view from the water, our new toys were about to give us a new view from the land. As a child Iain had memories of crashing model aeroplanes and didn’t want to make the same mistake with his drone. Seeking expert guidance from Paul (Calista) & Neil (AliceMay) we headed off for the inaugural flight, plugged in all the flashy technology and within seconds the drone was hovering menacingly waiting to chop things up with its rotors.

The technology took away all the traumas of Iain’s childhood. The ground didn’t come up at great speed to meet the flying object (or vice versa), obstacles were detected and flown around and people were safe from the spinning blades. Tapping into long ago muscle memory, Iain was soon flying like a pro, skimming the ground, crabbing around subjects and flying off into the distance. Finally, his misspent youth had found a new usefulness.

With Ruffian now free of the marina we can sail to new horizons and with the new drone we can see those new horizons from a whole new perspective. We like newness.

* With the ‘usual’ Covid restrictions, complications and contradictions.

** Thanks Clare. You really are a star.

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Author: Iain & Fiona Lewis

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