"I'll hae nae hauf-way hoose but aye be whaur extremes meet..." Hugh McDiarmid

Friday, 24 April 2015

derry stopover

arriving into derry in last place was quite muted for us. everyone else was busy when we arrived, but brenda (the lady mayor of derry) was there to welcome us in. she said she could sleep now we were all safe in the marina :) we had a beer then got stuck in to the deep clean, which we planned to get done the first day. also, we got the rig and safety checks done as well. this was quite a satisfying achievement and meant that we had quite a bit of time off in derry. we had done the maintenance on the way in, when we had calm weather and on the motor up the lough and river heading into derry.

arriving in derry with brenda the mayor!

first beer in a couple of weeks :)

we had no corporate sails to do in derry, just an afternoon and evening of boat tours and a 'meet the crew' session as part of the river festival. me and kate volunteered for the 'meet the crew' but unfortunately very few folk turned up and we ended up just chatting to the RNLI NI guy and some of the festival staff instead. they were asking loads of questions so it's probably just as well there were no punters after all!

the mission guys took us out for an amazing dinner in a great wee restaurant they knew. unfortunately we managed to leave paddy behind - cue a lot of unnecessary jokes about marines never leaving a man behind... he did manage to get a taxi and rejoin us some time later!

sophie managed to fix thor in one day, with the help of stephen. this meant they got an extra day off! once the sewing machine was fixed, it turned out to be a fairly easy fix - way easier than some of the sail repairs she's carried out over the past ten months!

the high point of derry for me was my brother, david, turning up for a day. it was prize giving in the guildhall when he turned up outside. I smuggled him in (sorry clipper) and he had a beer, then went to his b&b to drop his bag and check in. then he came back and we went to the pub and had a couple of drinks before going to bed. we met up in the morning after breakfast and I showed him round the boat. he'd never seen the boats in real life before, and couldn't look up the mast without holding onto something! he was surprised at how basic the yachts are, as leigh had been in london before we left, and seemed quite impressed that I'd lived on board for the best part of a year. 

demonstrating where I spend most of my time
nav station selfie!

david finally seeing the boat!! he couldn't really look up though...

he took loads of photos for the kids, and to prove that he'd been on the boat, then sadly had to leave after dinner to get a flight back to scotland. it was so lovely to see him, the first time in almost a year. 

we had such a good stopover in derry. the mission guys were there and they helped us out in the touch rugby tournament that ollie from GB had organised. we played the boat teams and some local ones as well, but they then bowed out at the semi final stage so it was all boat teams. some of them played for us, which was great. without them, karen, rob and chris I think we would have struggled. although sophie scored a few tries and paddy tackled a load of folk to the ground. I took out a smurf when we played DLL, but he elbowed me in the ribs as we rolled over each other and hit the ground. that hurt. in fact it still does (writing in den helder…) and I think I'll maybe have a wee trip to a&e when I get back to dumfries!

please note I am the only one hydrating. shocking really....

the rugby was really good. we'd had a few pints by the time we started playing, but it was touch rugby at that point. so it's not contact, just grabbing the tag from someone stops play. between games we had another pint or so, and it became less like touch rugby and more like full on rugby union, with body tackles and everything going on. we won our group, and went on to play old pulteney in the semi final. we beat them, and went on to meet psp in the final. it was a real physical match, with one of the psp guys bleeding on his shirt and arguing when the referee said we'd won, as tries scored by girls were worth 2 points. one of the rules said that each team had to have two girls on the pitch at all times so me, sophie and karen (from mission) worked pretty hard! rob and chris scored most of the tries, but we all did quite a bit of running and there were some sore legs the next day! we are so unused to running now :(

all too soon, it was the end of the week and we were getting ready to leave to go round scotland. another step closer to home...

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