Our last two boats, Gentoo and Maunie, have had the 'of Ardwall' tail added to their names. You can pretty much call your boat 'of anywhere' but most people who use the addition (it's entirely optional) will choose their home port.
'Our' Ardwall is named after a small island in the Solway Firth in Galloway, south-west Scotland. It was here that Graham learnt to sail (at the age of six) with his father, Geoff, in a National 12 racing dinghy. This was a boat not well-suited to beginners (it was said they'd roll over if placed on a field of wet grass) but despite the archaic rig of shorts, rugby jersey and life-jacket Graham survived the early and regular unexpected cold swims to grow to love sailing.
Ardwall was also the placed where Dianne first sailed with Graham - for a few years we sailed a madly-fast Dart 18 racing catamaran here and Di was equally stoic about sailing in these chilly waters (she did have a dry-suit, though!). So Ardwall Island but was the start of a long sailing journey that has led us to voyage to New Zealand.
Our 'Shivering Sailors' tour has now taken us to Scotland, despite rather wintry weather, Graham and Geoff managed a walk along the coast with Ardwall visible a couple of miles away. With Maunie of Ardwall moored thousands of miles away in Opua, it was a poignant sight.
|Ardwall in the distance (to the left of the buoy rope)|
|A closer view of the island, with wading birds in the foreground|