This blogging lark is a mixed bag. One minute I'm scrapping around for something to write about and find myself talking about ketchup bottles. And then something really noteworthy comes along.
Fifty years ago this bloke, Robin Knox Johnston, left Falmouth in his yacht Suhaili competing in the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race. He was the only one to finish and became the first person to circumnavigate the globe single handed. Last week the competitors of the 2018 Golden Globe race, set off from the town heading for the start line at Les Sables D'Olonne on the west coast of France. I've been there years ago. It has a lovely food market. Apparently it is a world renowned yachting centre too. I didn't know that. Duh!
Anyway when I asked Salty Dog if she'd like to come away with me in Klaus the Knaus, my aged motorhome, she said that I'd have to tag along whilst she did some work. 'Would that be alright?' I didn't know what that might involve but agreed.
I started off as Salty Dog's official photographer at a book signing with Sir Robin. It's a bit different from my normal line of work doing dementia assessments! 'I saw someone really famous today.' I told Louis. He looked him up on his phone. 'Wow! he really is.' said my son. 'And he's a Sir!' He had his first dinghy sailing lesson with his Explorer Scouts yesterday. Maybe he'll catch the maritime bug too.
We also met Dilip Donde, the first Indian to sail around the world. I'm borrowing his book when Salty Dog's finished reading it. See, that nautical buzz rubbed off a little bit.
Then off to look at the Golden Globe competitors. Here's an arty shot of furled sails. I think that's what it's called when they're all folded up like that.
And another famous boat. Even I've heard of this one.
This is one of Salty Dog's pictures. This is the guy I want to win the race, Abhilash Tomy, another Indian. He's so smiley. He starts the day like me with a bit of meditation. I stay on dry land to do mine though!
Here we are prancing down the pontoon. Out of principle I'm not wearing anything remotely nautical.
The next day was really exciting. The Golden Globe competitors set off for France. To see them off and commemorate the 50th anniversary of Sir Robin's achievement there was a Parade of Sails. Salty Dog was legit on the press boat but the person in charge agreed that I could sneak on.
Here I am on it. Waterproof courtesy of ethical brand, Thought Clothing and a charity shop jumper. Not a sniff of Musto. 'Are you from Cornwall Life?' someone asked me. Their reporters must have the same hippy dippy look. Not sure why my hair's so curly these days. I don't eat many crusts.
Then the fun really started. We were out among the flotilla alongside the competitors. I thought that boats are now very colourful to make them look prettier but apparently it's so that they can be found more easily if they need rescuing.
I think that this is the bloke that got into Les Sables D'Olonne in first place. He's Norwegian. There you go. A bit of fledgling nautical journalism. I earned my place on the press boat!
There's that Indian chap again. Apparently his boat might be one of the slower ones but fingers crossed. Hare, tortoise and all that. All the boats in the Golden Globe are similar yachts with the same equipment as that available fifty years ago.
Every man and his dog was out on the water. Actually there was an exuberant pooch but he moved too fast across his deck to get a good shot.
And in among the big craft was this gung-ho bloke.
Here's Sir Robin again, one of my many pictures. There's too many to share without a few eyes glazing over so I'll hold back. Our skipper was assertive and kept up with the front runners. We were even told to get out of the way when Sir Robin fired the cannon to start the race! But this one is special. One of his regular crew members was on our boat. I think that's why he was waving so enthusiastically.