11:51 thursday 10 february – rosevear , st agnes
still here !
the steamship company phoned at two yesterday afternoon to say that the launch would be coming at quarter past three . so i leapt on my bike and cycled off in search of johann . not in tamarisk , not at work rebuilding the old gig shed at conger , not engaged in boat maintenance down at periglis . by the time i’d completed my circuit of the island johann had heard about the launch and brought the trailer round to the lane beside the studio with two palette bins . he and piers already had most of my boxes loaded on .
we bumped down to the quay and waited . the swell coming into conger was quite alarming . from time to time a set of extra big waves would sweep over the end of the quay . johann commented that the conditions were almost identical to those in which the launch had almost been lost a couple of years previously whilst trying to unload here .
as we stood there the gry maritha left st mary’s , battled out into the roads and set off towards penzance . she’s a big sturdy vessel , built i believe for the ferocious norwegian coastal waters . but she was bucking and rolling all over the place . it was a little disheartening to see her heading off since all my boxes should have been in her hold . she won’t be back until saturday , and even that is uncertain .
then the launch , the lyonesse lady , hove into view round the garrison . twenty minutes later she rounded the cow and stood off the quay , waiting for the right moment to come alongside . by this time a smattering of islanders had gathered . a huge set came through , tossing her about dramatically . then her engines gunned and she darted to the quay . a line was thrown , caught and hooked to one of the iron rings , and the vessel was brought against the quay .
then everything moved very quickly . tristan hick and john bird jumped off , returning from a building job on st mary’s , a human chain formed and supplies were swiftly brought off , a sack of mail , then rhondda wraith and rosemary bird jumped on , both en route to engagements on the mainland , taking the mail with them . the skipper struggled to keep the boat’s position as it bounced around .
then the line was released and she was off . in these conditions there was absolutely no possibility of bringing the trailer down and winching my palettes aboard . so johann drove the trailer back up to rosevear and we unloaded everything back into the studio .
in the evening i went for a walk round half of the island , pausing here and there amongst the erupting plumes of spray , then went down to the turk’s head for ( presumably ) my final quiz night .
this morning i looked out of the window to an undiminished sea . the steamship company was uncertain whether the launch would be coming or not . johann and i loaded everything onto the trailer anyway . word came round that launch would be delayed so we left the trailer until we heard more . i settled down to breakfast . a little later mollie peacock stuck her head round the door to say that it was just coming in . damn ! i found johann and we set off . i biked ahead , but as i rounded the corner above the bar i saw the launch already departing . it had been another hit and run affair .
this time we have left the boxes on the trailer and it is parked in one of johann’s sheds . maybe tomorrow …
meanwhile it’s another beautiful bright day . yesterday it was mild enough to wander round outside in a t-shirt . i’m feeling a bit deprived , with no battery for my film camera and no way of transfering images from the digital one to my powerbook . the relevant adapters should have arrived on tuesday but there is still no sign of them .
yesterday marked the anniversary of my arrival .