Don Andrew and Mary Kay Noren have been journeying since May 29 to join the adventure of the Little Ship Club Cruise. We began by leaving our home in South Carolina to drive the 600 miles to Maryland, where our boat Beckoning is docked. We prepped her for the sailing season, and inaugurated the season by joining the Chesapeake Corinthian Cruise. It was lovely to sail again in good company. Barely caught our breath and caught up on laundry before the flight to England.
This leg of the adventure turned out to be interesting in a spectacularly bad way. What should have been an eight hour journey from Baltimore to London via Iceland became a eighteen hour ordeal. There were so many mishaps that by the end all we could do was laugh. We started with an air controllers' strike in Iceland which delayed the arrival of the plane in Baltimore by four hours, continued with a wheel replacement in Iceland causing another couple of hours delay, followed by a closure of Gatwick from runway damage, diversion to Stansted where we refueled and a third of the passengers mutinied and demanded to be let off the plane. Police were called and boarded the plane.
Three hours later we made a ten minute flight to Gatwick. The final straw was a failure of the coupling of the boarding bridge which caused yet another delay as they located and wheeled out an old fashioned set of stairs and dumped us on the tarmac.
We kept trying to see if the pilot was wearing the albatross he must obviously have killed but we think he was in hiding at this point.
Celia Mason gets the medal for patience though as she waited at Gatwick all day while this drama played out. She picked us up, drove us to the Little Ship Club and provided food and good cheer. We are totally indebted to Celia, our wonderful Little Ship Club host, and can't begin to repay her kindness.
Two good nights of rest at the Little Ship Club, some sightseeing and wonderful restaurants (in Edinburgh, we are not sitting around) have restored our energy and we look forward to the much anticipated Channel Islands cruise.
Mary Kay and Don