d r i f t

990520.1423 the kingfisher

casting off from the quay at agnes bound for st mary’s . about fifty day-trippers , mostly towards the senior end of the spectrum . a beautiful day . blue sky and enough breeze to raise white crests . this feels like summer .

my time on gugh is coming to an end . rhondda returns tomorrow morning and although she has said there is no hurry for me to move i do not wish to outstay my welcome . my next habitation remains unresolved . when i arrived it soon became apparent that finding accommodation for the summer was going to be difficult . demand far exceeds supply and it is a constant struggle for islanders’ children to get places of their own . as my work here proceeded i realised that i would need to spend an increasing amount of time on st mary’s , the island where the council , the duchy offices , the secondary school and most of those who are becoming involved in the digital workshop are situated . for the last few months i have been putting out feelers , hoping that something would come up . every promising lead has come to a dead end , and i sense some anxiety in myself about this .

it is not hopeless . if all else fails i can live in a tent . but this would pose problems for my equipment and for my work .

yet i maintain my faith that everything will work out .

we round newman point and begin our approach to hugh town harbour , now filled with yachts flying british and french ensigns .

last week a yacht crossing from the azores was wrecked on a rock off annett . its master was making the passage single-handed and it seems he may have fallen asleep after four days crossing the bay of biscay , coping with high seas and an unreliable autohelm .

a german visitor staying on agnes phoned the coastguard around two in the morning reporting a flare . mike hicks , the island’s senior coastguard , was roused and went round the shore with a torch . but he saw nothing . the yacht had struck hard on the rock and filled with water before a mayday could be transmitted . its master resorted to a liferaft which luckily drifted to agnes , making shore at troytown . his yacht was floated off on the next day’s high tide and towed at a snail’s pace to st mary’s , filled with inner tubes to keep her afloat . it was the most pitiful sight .

990521.2321 gugh

preparing to leave for london tomorrow morning . i’ll have to be across the bar by nine or the tide’ll cut me off . rhondda got back this afternoon and didn’t seem too disturbed by the state of her house / cats / plants after a couple of weeks under my care . amazing.

: cH

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