LN896 09/06/2016 Day 13 of the London to Greenock voyage, and sadly the final full day – tomorrow promises packing, happy hour +, and paying off with thoughts of ‘how long will the grass have grown’ and suchlike on the journey home.

The overnight anchor watch, off Lamlash on the east coast of Arran, protected behind the shelter of the small Holy Island had heard the weather report and feared a day of rain and cold Easterly winds., however after an overcast start, by mid-day the crew were once again sweltering in baking heat, with little wind – certainly none of it useful in our journey under engine across towards the mainland then up the Firth of Clyde, keeping the two Cumbrae islands to our starboard.

Without doubt the most exciting / challenging time of the morning watch was when we realised that Captain Barbara, when on dry land, lived on the shoreside at Dunoon – and was clearly determined that we should give her friends and family a VERY close view of Nellie as we passed., there were some on the bridge who wondered if we were to see a repeat of the Costa Concordia incident. However Nellie was clearly in good hands, the residents got a very positive view of the JST … and the on-watch crew can  all describe Barbara’s taste in wallpaper.

We proceeded past Holy Loch, of nuclear submarine fame, and where we were due to anchor for the night, and on up Loch Long as far as the strategic storage bunker for the British nuclear deterrent., as might have been imagined, a substantial and impregnable looking facility .

Reversing our route we passed into Holy Loch and anchored for the night, and a final, memorable meal prepared by the splendid Simon.

Without doubt today’s voyage has impressed many of the voyage crew with how beautiful this part of Scotland’s coast can be, and doubtless some will look forward to returning.

I imagine there may not be a great deal of time tomorrow in the flurry of docking at Greenock for anyone to write a substantial piece about the trip as a whole, so I will take this opportunity on behalf of the entire voyage crew to thank Barbara and the ship’s company for having the experience, insight and authority to make the major decision at the outset to route us up the West rather than East coast, thereby avoiding what could have been a difficult and exhausting passage and providing us with the enchanting experiences of the Scillies, Dublin and the many beautiful anchorages in-between. The food has been terrific, the support and good company across the boat comprehensive., and last but not least – ‘Happy Hour’ has felt like a group of friends working together to a common end – rather than the daily penance occasionally experienced on other trips – thank you Mandy, Beth and Sophie.

Ian – Starboard Aft watch, signing off.