Now that the prunus Subhirtella Autumnalis has shed virtually all its leaves, the blossom remains to clothe the branches, heavily pruned last year;
whilst on the other side of the front garden bergenia blooms.
Today was again warm, but the wind still blustered. I scanned more of the colour slides from the trip to Barbados in May 2004.
Here is a typical road along which I walked for up to ten miles at a time. Chattel houses line the thoroughfares lacking footpaths, and requiring me to be very vigilant when traffic tore past.
Palms punctuated the landscape, and
colourful shrubs, like the ubiquitous bougainvillea, bordered the gardens.
We stayed in Port St Charles for several days after Sam’s arrival at the island. This was because we had had to guess at his arrival time. It was also helpful for us to see some of the other competitors into the harbour.
Sam, in particular, wanted to be at the docking area to welcome Pavel Rezvoy, who had become a friend. In the event, this meant a night-time vigil as the 65 year old Russian disembarked during the night. Sam had, in fact, stopped rowing before coming in, so that he could arrive in daylight.
Sam, the youngest, and Pavel, the oldest, had been almost neck and neck across the Atlantic. Because of the distances involved, they were unaware of each other’s progress, but we had been able to follow them on the internet. Suddenly, for two days, Pavel’s boat was stationary. His satellite phone was not working so the trackers could not even be sure he was still in his boat. This became quite a worry.
In fact, my son completed his journey two days before his friend. Pavel, a most resourceful gentleman, had lost his rudder, and spent two days making a new one out of bits of his boat.
The pair came in first and second places of the solo rowers. Each evening, fuelled with with rum punches that certainly packed one, we joined the Ocean Rowing Society’s administrative team celebrating in the hotel bar.
Tatiania, Pavel’s ex-wife, had kept the Russian Press supplied with reports on the race. Their take on the story was a contest between The Young Gun and The Old Grey Wolf. The rowers themselves hadn’t even known they were competing. They were just happy to complete the challenge.
Here they are with Tatania and another man called Micha, whose role I cannot remember.
An interesting fact which should be apparent from these photographs is that these two rowers, both in very good shape, were the only ones who had allowed themselves a full night’s sleep. All the others, who arrived in pretty sore, tired, condition, had operated on a two hours on, two hours basis, thus, I imagine, ensuring that they were always tired.
Mr Pink’s fish chips and pea fritters were accompanied by pickled cornichons and onions for our dinner tonight, with which I finished the merlot.
Nice that you have fresh blooms in the garden. I don’t think I could stomach dodging the traffic while walking on those narrow Barbados (Barbadian?) roads.
Many thanks, old dog. Bajan actually
Very beautiful story, Derrick 🙂
Thank you, Monica
You’re always welcome, Derrick 🙂
What an amazing tale of endurance. And great memories for all of you.
Thank you, Gwen
I like the competition! But what a great sense of satisfaction
I want some Merlot too 🙂
Rest is so important that I am glad to hear that those two were wise enough to sleep. I have been driven back to drinking with your mention of merlot and Sabine’s post on Beaujolais – my poison is a Tasmanian pinot noire.
Thank you, Mary. Cheers
What a wonderful story Derrick – and bearing testimony too, to the power of a good nights sleep no matter what the circumstances
Thank you, Pauline. It was unforgettable
Great story! And a good lesson about knowing when to rest and when to push on.
Thank you, Laurie
A life changing victory for you all–great pics, could almost imagine conversations.
Thank you, Cynthia. I bet you could write a story about them
Likely not–but what a good thought! Well, you’re already doing it and, by the way, don’t you have a book in you by now about this and other tales? 🙂
Great story Derrick, enjoyed it, Perseverance and Stamina are great accompaniments to those who enjoy Rowing.
A retirement-age Russian participating in this grueling competition makes it an interesting story for me. I am wondering, though: if it was a rowing, rather than a sailing, race, why would a row boat need a rudder?
I know zilch about sailing/rowing, Dolly. Sorry. Pavel himself had never rowed before. Thanks very much.
I apologize for asking about something beyond your competence, Derrick. You are so knowledgeable about a great many things that I made an assumption.