Ohh’s & Ahh’s

Hardly a single sign of man.

16th November 202

Puerto De La Estaca, El Hierro

Many things can pop through your mind when you hear a long ‘Oooooooh’, the mind then races if this is followed by an ‘Ahhhhhhhh’ and if Larry is involved and you hear an ‘Ohhhhhhhh Ahhhhhh’ then the mind really boggles! As we have discovered El Hierro, there have been lots of ‘Ooooooooh’s, countless ‘Ahhhhhhh’s’ and with Larry meeting up with TT again there has even been the occasional ‘Ohhhhhhhhh, Ahhhhhh’.

Leaving the Volcano of La Palma behind ‘Ahhhh’s’ of relief were let out as we scooted across the sea to our last island in the Canaries, El Hierro. Ruffian was once again in her element, sailing in the open ocean, putting miles under her keel and all without any intervention from Iain or Fiona.

El Hierro is our last stop before we head off into the ‘big blue’ and the ‘Ahhhh’s’ of mini victories came thick and fast. The sat phone was setup, connected to a remote email server and we tested downloading weather; Iain nipped up the rig for one last check and to fit some new bungee; and Fiona got on top of where Iain had hidden all the food (it’s everywhere, every nook, every cranny, and every locker is devoid of air!)

After all these little ‘Ahhh’s’ we were in for a special ‘Ooooh, Ahhhh’ moment. Cerulean were on their way in and Larry was beside himself with excitement. With TT making an appearance he couldn’t contain himself any longer, there would be lots of new exciting adventures, on a new island, but with old friends.

Before the fun could begin Iain took it upon himself to get Cerulean’s sat phone working. High after his previous sat phone victory, his confidence quickly ebbed as generic error after generic error popped up on screen, things powered up and down at random and his hard won Microsoft certification proved worthless. ‘Ahhh’s of despondency filled the air, he’d lost the battle, but would return to win the war.

Leaving the jobs behind we all took to the road and the usual sounds filled the air. We crested viewpoint after viewpoint giving limitless views, took in cultural highlights (where Steve successfully wrestled Iain to submission), swim in natural pools ringed by white foaming water and hiked through forests with floors so soft you could lie on them and miradors so high we saw the insides of clouds.

Being nautical types there was one historic landmark that we had to make a pilgrimage to. The original zero meridian, the point that marked the edge of the known world and a sight that many a seafarer feared would be their last before setting sail and falling off the edge of the earth.

Walking through ancient lava fields we felt that we were at the end of the earth, where no sign of man could be seen and any horrors lay hidden over the horizon. Just as land was about to run out and to a soundscape of crashing waves, we reached the meridian. Beyond here lay besties, beyond here lay fortunes and beyond here lay unknown adventures. This was a point of both pilgrimage and privilege.

The hiking through this strange land continued day after day. We walked through pine forests that had survived fire, along crests of volcanos and around fields full of crops. The crops took all shapes and sized and like Eve being tempted to the apple of temptation Helen and Steve gravitated to luscious fruit that was covered in prickles, surrounded by prickles and even named after prickles. They’d found some Prickly Pears.

Throwing caution to the wind they plucked the prickly pears and picked over the precious insides. It was only now they realised why they were called Prickly as they exclaimed ‘Ohh’ after ‘Ahh’ as they pulled the prickles from their palms.

Back on Cerulean, Iain set upon the sat phone again, resolving not to leave the field of battle until victory was his. Hour after hour he got deeper and deeper into the weeds of the computer, firewall rules were configured, applications bound to adaptors were set and unset, protocols were updated and reconfigured. For every victory there seemed to be a counter attack, but after one final ambush the sat phone dialled, it verified usernames, it authenticated the server, a secure connection was established. Data flew and Iain was victorious. ‘Ohh’ and ‘Ahh’ was not sufficient, this was a ‘BOOM’ moment.

Ruffian and Cerulean are now ready to head south to adventures new, El Hierro has been explored and Larry has had a happy time with TT. All we need now is some wind to blow us in the right direction, but there have been endless despondent ‘Ohh’s’ as there are 1000’s of miles of calms in front of us, so now it’s just a waiting game before Ruffian can give us some joyous ‘Oooh’s’.

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Author: Iain & Fiona Lewis

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