Back in the UK

The flights back from Cincinnati and Chicago were great. May and I managed to write up some notes form the Board meeting on the flight from Chicago which means that the Board can get on with the actions now.

Broadband is still bust at home (has been for 5 days) and the engineer came this afternoon. He’s an installation engineer who said our cable signal was too strong, put on an attenuator, said that was all he was trained to do and that he had no idea about IP addresses or computer set ups and left ๐Ÿ™ The waiting continues… hard to cope without the internet.

Cincinnati B&B

Arrived in Cincinnati after lunch from Columbus, stopping somewhere en route for a Wendys. The GPS led me to the Clifton House B&B, which is amazing!

IMG_0095.JPG

The photo doesn’t really do it justice. The house is 100 years old and very impressive, run by Nancy, who was making brownies when I arrived. Wine is freely available for guests, along with soft drink, sherry, brownies and fizzy drinks. It was also a very reasonable $160 a night. I was the first of the Editorial Board to arrive: we had all four rooms in the house. Had a walk around the streets around about, some quirky shops but nothing that would have sold me some denims for Michael.

Did some work in the afternoon until the other guests arrived and then seven of us headed out for dinner at Primavista, which is a smart north Italian restaurant perched on the side of a hill, overlooking the city. It’s quite disconcerting going in as the restaurant is on the ground floor of a 12 floor tower and from the front I had no idea I was on the edge of a hill. So walking through into the restaurant the amazing panoramic views were extra impressive. Had a lovely (and rich) meal, with Alaskan Halibut with lobster as a main. The food was excellent.

Driving to Columbus

Flew from Heathrow Terminal 5, which was pretty impressive and very fast. There are lots of extra staff to help customers at the moment, which was impressive. Flew to Chicago, where I bumped into Dave Gardiner in the immigration queue. Immigration took an age, then the transfer to a different terminal, back through security etc… I was too late to check in for my flight to Cincinnati (with only 90 minutes to transfer, I had expected a rush). The flight ended up being delayed and so I was able to check in!

Picked up a ‘chev’ in the Cincinatti and a GPS to drive the 110 miles to Columbus for a meeting the next day. The drive was horrific. I did a few emergency stops with the brakes, by having feet on both pedals at once. The worst was coming off an off-ramp ๐Ÿ™ It was dark, lots of lorries, and from landing at Cincinnati to arriving at the hotel took 4 hours (and I arrived at 4am UK time without having any sleepโ€”a bit silly!) I did have a Tim Horton’s on the way: I realised then how tired I was when I tried to order and couldn’t actually read the sign and take it in. Glad for that rest and for the GPS! The Holiday Inn was very comfortable and I had a great sleep.

Quick meeting the next morning at the ACS, which was fine, then headed off before lunch to go all the way back to Cincinnati!

My Position in Columbus

Here is a snapshot of my position:

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=@40.006607,-83.018060
(click link to open in Google Maps)

Captured 23/09/2008 10:54 (sender’s local time); accurate within 76m
(251 ft).
Caution: Position and accuracy are estimated and are not always
reliable.

Back to Ballachulish

Left Loch Creran at 8am and retraced our route back to the mouth of the loch. This time we passed through at high tide, rather than low tide, and so more of the dangerous rocks and reefs were hidden under water. Once out into the Lynn of Lorne we made good progress with just the headsail. Drizzle all day and visibility was poor, sadly. We did have our best seal and porpoise sightings today, with both of them up close to the boat.

Arrived from Loch Linnhe to Loch Leven about 12:30 and Michael braved us through the narrow straits undwr Ballachulish Bridge against 4 knots of tide. We could have waited a few hours and had less of a tide to battle, but with the timing and the weather we were keen to get on our way back down south. Met by Will and Alec when we arrived at the pontoon. Then there was the cleaning, tidying and packing the car…

Left Ballachulish about 3, stopping in Tyndrum about 4 for excellent and massive fish suppers and Irn Bru. Headed over to Durham to stay the night with Emma, Eve and Fin, which is a lovely way to end the day.

Dreich morning

Visibility is bad this morning on Loch Creran. The clouds are low over the loch and it is hard to see any of the mountains that are around. We’re getting ready for an 8am start so that we can reach the entrance to the loch at high water, around 9:30, to make our way back to Ballachulish.

From Oban to Loch Creran

Wonderful sail most of the way from Oban to the entrance to Loch Creran, on the Lynn of Lorne. Good, steady sailing with bright, dry weather. Had lunch on the go before heading into the somewhat tricky entrance to Loch Creran. Michael had planned our arrival to be about 30 mins before slack water, but even then there was a 3 knot tide at one point: disconcerting when we were taking care of the navigation to avoid rocks in the narrow channels. Once through the entrance, and with an extra 30 mins passed, the tide dropped off and we pit the sails out again for a fun sail up the loch. We topped just over six knots close hauled, which was lovely.

Picked up a buoy at Barcaldine Marina. We’re meant to put ยฃ10 in the honesty box for the night on the buoy but that would mean inflating the tender and going ashore, then deflating it and lashing it back onto the deck: we may send a cheque later. Gorgeous calm warm evening with nice sunset. Made some red Thai vegetable curry with (surprisingly successful) boil in the bag rice. Very tasty, if a bit mild despite the extra two chillis I added.

Opened some Dundee cake to ‘have with coffee’ but I’m really looking forward to having it with whisky before bed ๐Ÿ™‚

Graham, Loch Creran