Saturday, October 22, 2016

A Farewell...And A Promise

Well, the day had to come...

Exit Scotland. After three enjoyable weeks of NATO war-games in the waters off the rugged west coast of this beautiful country, and two amazing trips ashore, 'Leroy Grumman' has turned her bows southward and rumbles down the Firth of Clyde. The journey continues.

I met a lot of terrific people during my time(s) here, and was able to indulge my astronomical interests to an extent not experienced in any other port-visits in my long career @ sea. I attended a public observing session at Coats Observatory in Paisley two weeks ago, and last night I was thrilled to join some serious local amateur astronomers at their dark sky site of Loudon Hill.

And now we're leaving port, as ships and sailors are wont to do. I mentioned the other day the mysterious affinity I feel for this country; green hills and deep, deep lochs; fog-wreathed castles and multitudes of grouse in the high grass. Maybe it has to do with my ancestors who left these valleys for the wilds of Virginia so many years ago, I don't know. But now I feel even more strongly this connection--there is something here that calls to me.

To Shand and Allistair, Wullie and Amid and Heather and George, and to all the others who welcomed me to their shores, Thank You for the pleasure of good times shared and open discourse enjoyed. I've had a remarkable visit and made many great friends, and I don't intend for this sailing to be an ending...not if I can help it.

I'll be back.

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