Thursday, 3 February 2011
As I write this, today is NOT a good day for sailing. Winds of 80-90 mph. Nothing like recent Australia storms I know but even so, 'hids gey windy oot thar'
Last Saturday was a kinder day and we took a trip to see the Kirkwall lifeboat as they were having an open day. We were allowed on the lifeboat where one of the crew showed us round and answered all the many questions like ''where do you keep the dead bodies'' asked by my charming 17 year old daughter! My son on the other hand was more concerned where they kept the biscuits and sweets but he enjoyed sitting up front at the wheel too.
Having grown up in the midlands, as far away from the sea as a person can get, I didn't have much appreciation for the work of the lifeboats but living by the sea I can't stress how vital their role is. Run entirely by volunteers apart from one paid member of staff employed to keep the engines/boat in tip top condition we were very impressed by how much work and commitment goes in. I was surprised to hear that you didn't have to be experienced with the sea or boats to volunteer. I thought that would be expected. But it was pointed out that most crew are fishermen away for long periods of time so local people are needed who are nearby all the time should the need arise. I have to admire those volunteers who get sea sick but do it anyway because they want to help.
Big thank you to Kirkwall lifeboat crew for letting us look around. Very interesting. I was some chuffed to win a bottle of wine on the tombola too :-D