My surface mail to Canada and America went off in time for the last surface mail posting date in mid October 2016.

The packages would take minimum four weeks and a maximum of five weeks to arrive, said the post office clerk.  

The stated timing was perfect; early slow mailing is economic and in any case, there was plenty of time for slow delivery.  The packages could have taken six weeks to arrive and still been in time.

Five days after posting, I received my first thank you email for my gift.   It was soon followed up by a second one……………. Ships, coach and horses, obviously sprout wings.


There was some query as to where the ship started out, was it from Tilbury Docks, many miles East of London, or was it Southampton U.K. on the South coast of England. Whichever port this cruise liner came from, she was more than a delightful sight when I saw her. The passenger I spoke to joined the cruise ship in Edinburgh!

P1030154 2010 July 27th An Elegant Ship

She has an elegant hull, a good old fashioned shape that makes this boat a real romantic cruise boat, in my opinion. This beauty far outstrips the clinical-looking Cruise liners that pack people in container boxes piled high on a barge base. The ship currently takes about 800 passengers, considerably fewer than the other monstrosities that sail the seas.

The main comment was that the passengers, thus far, had not been in a port for any length of time. On the future itinerary, was a visit the Pharoes, Iceland and Poland.

P1030158 2010 July 27th Putters at rest

As it was a relatively calm day, we motored around the bay. Some small working boats were moving around, one guy was stretched out on his open boat, having a rest.

P1030169 2010 July 27th Canoeists return

A couple of intrepid canoeists wisely hugged the coast line. Knowing their craft were not suitable for going out any further into exposed deep waters, they turned at the cliff head and set on their return to base.
I was hoping to glimpse some water life, including porpoises at play. The first bird I saw was a puffin, too far away to photograph.

I watched a Bonxie, (also known as the Great Skewer) land on the sea like a skimming amphibious craft. These birds have voracious appetites. They are related to The Arctic Skewer.

P1030164 2010 July 27th Great Skewer 2

It seemed it was going to be a ‘porpoise-less’ trip, then all of a sudden a pair of fins broke the surface of the sea, then arched dark shiny bodies appeared. In the blink of an eye they disappeared, re-appearing moments later in a different spot. Further over, I saw another pair of porpoises diving together. The porpoises moved so fast, and because I had no real idea where they might re-appear from the deep dives they indulged in, (they were probably feeding) most of my photo shots are of disturbed whirls of water where the porpoises had showed up. Just one picture shows a fin and a little of the body in the far distance. Hopefully, you will be able to make out the disappearing porpoise to the right of the picture.

P1030162 2010 July 27th Disappearing Porpoise


They are the ugliest things I have ever set my eyes on and the owners call them by such an elegant name, cruise liners. They are cubes stuck together in stepped rows, like kids’ chunky Lego. Relatively speaking, Lego would be more attractive, as each of those cubes are likely to be in a bright primary colour. The modern cruise ship is no more than sterile blocks with portholes, stuck on a barge base. Some of them tower on the horizon in the most fearsome manner, forcing you to view their displeasing line. Seeing this massive torso against a boat or ship of more manageable visual proportions, puts these enormous motels on water into perspective.

P1010630 copy

If you peer into this picture you might just see a boat, not very small by every day standards, but barely visible on this horizon. Look to the right of the picture; there is a white high rise land-based construction, and even that appears to be deferring to the monstrous floating top heavy barge, which is euphemistically called a cruise liner.

P1010624 copy

There is a white colossus looming up behind this delightful harbour. The water craft here greatly contrast with the cruise ship, and pleasingly, soften its outline.