11 July 2012

Day 5: Last day in Port Ellen

As the title suggests, today was our last day in Port Ellen, tomorrow we head north. Islay has been great, as always and we look forward to visiting again soon.

Today was also the skipper's birthday - 37(!!!) - Eeek! So, like a good wife, I got up at the crack of dawn (well, 8am) and started on baking a birthday cake. First job was to soften the butter, but with no microwave, I had to be inventive. Over the vent of the dehumidifier seemed to do the trick & after some serious arm action, I had soft creamy butter, which got mixed with the eggs, flour & sugar and baked in a 1lb loaf tin. After we cut off the burnt bits (it's a gas oven on the boat - well that's my excuse anyway), the girls helped me ice, decorate & apply candles. See pic.

It was a beautiful morning on Islay, quite a contrast to what we had been waking up to the past few days. There were blue skies & sun, which gave me the motivation to head out for a quick run. My first in about 6 weeks & to be honest, I really noticed how much my fitness has suffered from my lack of activity (#lazybones) I really need to get back to training!

Back to Whisper, a quick shower, a rendition of "Happy Birthday" and a slice (or two) of cake & we were all set for a walk to Laphroaig, to stock up on Triple Wood - taking advantage of Chris' 10% birthday discount of course.

I took the Garmin, so for anyone who might care about such things, it's 1.89 miles from the marina to the Laphroaig shop.

Hannah again cycled like a pro, even making it all the way up the hill out of Port Ellen by herself. I suggested she deserved a green jersey...she didn't understand. (That's a Tour de France reference for those who also don't understand).

Successful purchases at Laphroaig & a nearly lost pair of sunglasses later and we were back at Whisper. I made sandwiches, Chris & the kids gathered up the buckets & spades and we headed for the beach. The weather was typically Scottish. Beautifully warm when the sun came out *takes off fleece* then the sun disappears behind a cloud & it's like outer Siberia *puts fleece back on*. Nothing quite like yo-yo clothing to put in an afternoon.

Picnic eaten & with a reasonably flat and hard grassy surface in front of us, we thought we'd take the stabilisers off Hannah's bike & see how she got on. She was great! After initial wobbles, she was storming up & down the grass and perfecting her stopping technique. I'll put the video on YouTube & post a link later (for the doting grandparents). She still needs practice, but she made great progress in an afternoon.

After our cycling exploits, the kids & Chris spent the rest of the afternoon fishing off the pontoons, they even caught a (very small) fish. Alas, not big enough to do us for dinner, so pasta with tomato sauce was the dish du jour.

We're now relaxing & enjoying a few episodes of Cabin Pressure - check it out, it's a highly amusing radio 4 comedy. We're VERY rock 'n' roll y'know...

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