Sitting aboard Polar Bear in the tidal River Tyne, about a mile so upstream from the North Sea. Yesterday we brought the boat through the lock separating the marina from the river and did final preparations; last night two guests arrived from London; and around midday today we’ll put to sea, turn left and head north to the Shetland Islands.
I’m quite looking forward to hitting the road, so to speak. It’s been a fun if disjointed week here in Newcastle. Boat preparations have been frenetic, with (to be honest) a few too many chiefs. Balancing conflicting project plans frustrates the hell out of me, whether that’s on a boat or in an office. The simplicty that will come from being offshore, with one skipper to follow, will bring welcome clarity.
It’s also been a fun week here in the land of the Geordies. I got to catch a Premier League match between the local squad, Newcastle United, and West Bromwich Albion. They played to a thrilling (if disappointing for the home fans) 3-3 tie in my first-ever Prem League match. I may definitely head back to this little island come October to catch a few more matches.
I also wandered the city a bit one day, taking in sights and sounds of this foreign (to me) culture. Seeing structures that date back to triple digits AD…way impressive.
On a less-impressive front: if America has an obesity epidemic then England is already lost. Oh. My. God. The U.S. is full of Olympians compared to the local populace here in Newcastle. I’m sorry if that offends anyone local but…it’s a fact.
Anyway, back to sea today and not a moment too soon. Yes, we’re flying in the face of the superstition about Friday departures but the risks are outweighed by the potential benefits. Next stop (and hopefully an update): Lerwick, Shetland Islands.