Crossing The Line

Our new granddaughter’s name is Poppy, which we rather like.


Although the weather was warmer and sunnier today, Becky’s photograph of Scooby sunning himself in my chair, illustrated the general lack-lustre mood of the still recovering party.

It was therefore another good day for scanning colour slides from May 2004, and incidentally reducing the tension with which readers were left by the cliffhanging ending of yesterday’s post. That first rate storyteller Bruce Goodman ( Weave a Web ), for example, was forced to speculate about whether Sam ‘made it’, or was foiled at the last minute.

Sam finishing race 5.04128

Sam continued along the western shore of Barbados, on his route to the finishing line,

Sam finishing race 5.04135

Sam finishing race 5.04125

which was an imaginary one stretching from port and starboard markers.

Sam finishing race 5.04124Sam finishing race 5.04131Sam finishing race 5.04127

Sam finishing race 5.04133Sam finishing race 5.04126

Of the reception committee Chris wears a blue shirt; Fiona a white T-shirt and black trousers; Jessica, a blue and white sun dress; Louisa, a dark top and grey mini skirt; and Frances waves the flags. Dixie records a video for the Ocean Rowing Society.

Sam finishing race 5.04134

Having crossed the line Sam aims for the Port St Charles dock into which he is required to manoevre his boat. I imagine this  must be rather like coming off motorway and finding a berth in a municipal car park.

This afternoon, Helen and Bill visited with a bottle of prosecco, with which to celebrate Poppy’s birth, and a sweet little outfit for us to take when we make her acquaintance.

For our evening meal Spice of India delivered another excellent takeaway. I drank Lion’s Gate cabernet sauvignon shiraz 2014. As for the others, Jackie says ‘we’ll all drink whatever we like. It’s none of your nosey business’.  Naturally this was received in the jocular spirit in which it was intended. Given that everyone knows what she drinks, I don’t think that really matters.


  1. Thanks for the mention, but with the ability these days to manipulate photographs one wonders a). if Sam really made it or b). whether he left at all! We now want lots more poppies please, planted in your wonderful garden.

  2. Pardon my English, but isn’t Poppy another word for Granddad? 🙂 I imagine there will be poppies planted in her honour 🙂 Due to the lack of details in your post, I had to google Sam Knight, Barbados and saw his name mentioned in a book called Salt, Sweat, Tears – the Men who Rowed the Oceans and a page on the Ocean Rowing Society page. 🙂

  3. Poppy is a lovely name! I am in awe of anyone who rows a boat without overturning it on a pond – so your son doing it on the ocean is quite beyond my imagination. And to think it is the same angelic blonde boy who has adorned so many of your posts as a child who grew up to be this lone sea-going adventurer. We can never guess where our lives will lead us can we!

  4. Poppy is a lovely name…and it is surely one of my favourite flowers. It’s great to see that Sam did in fact ‘make it’ across the finish line 🙂

  5. Ah, Poppy is lovely! I do like floral names for little girls. Hope you’re soon feeling up to visiting.
    The Barbados pictures are wonderful – an achievement indeed for your son. Marvellous!

  6. Lovely all! You will have to plant more of those frilly poppies Boomdee and I like in the little babe’s honor. As for Sam’s feat, as a former rower, I know that thing he is in ain’t no shell. Did he spend his nights in it for 59 days? It also looks mightily heavy. Glad to see the triumph and hear the new babe’s name.

    1. Thank you, Lisa. It’s interesting that you were a rower. Sam didn’t leave the boat for all that time. He told us on this return that he had been capsized by the wash of a cargo vessel that had approached and woke him up asking if he needed help. His boat turned over twice. Fortunately he had heeded advice to keep the cabin windows closed.

  7. Wow, Derrick. So much to follow-up. I can’t help asking how Sam ended up undertaking this incredible feat? The back story fascinates me.
    Congratulations on the arrival of Poppy. It’s a name I’ve always loved and it is quite commonly used in Australia for grandfather.
    After reading Sam’s efforts, I’m now feeling incredibly lazy. Its been such a hot day here I’ve mainly been on my laptop near the air-con.
    xx Rowena

    1. Thanks, Ro. He had a Gap year in The Canaries where a friend asked him to join him in the pairs section of the race. The friend dropped out, so Sam did it alone. (He had been in the Oxford Uni squad for the Boat Race)

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