I don't really do "heroes", I suspect it's the fault of my own ego. But there are certain people who's achievements, particular genius, principles or values I admire. Bowie is one, but somewhat irrelevant to this post.
Another, for completely different but more relevant reasons would be Frank Dye. For similar reasons to the latter, I'd need to add Webb Chiles to this list, although I'd hate to make him blush. It's my privilege to count him as a friend, although we've never actually met; such is the wonder of this Internet age. The former sailed a Wayfarer dinghy across tracts of sea nobody would've believed it belonged, the latter sailed a Drascombe Lugger most of the way around the world, reading of which many years later first brought him to my attention. Only to discover he's also done so much more, and is still doing. You can read about his adventures for yourself here: self-portraitinthepresentsea
Anyway, both are types of boats I've sailed myself, and love dearly. But have enough humility to easily accept I could never sail them to anywhere near the extremes these guys did. But I don't have to. They showed me what could be done, and a most fundamental level, showed me what I can aspire to myself.
But I digress. Or perhaps just evade and delay. One of the principles Frank Dye held, I'm sure I remember reading, was that you shouldn't expect anybody to come and rescue you from anything you couldn't rescue yourself from.
I admire that sentiment. I identify with it.
This Sunday just gone, sailing across the Bristol Channel from Cardiff to Watchet, I put myself, my boat and the people sailing with me in a position where I had to call for help. I'm not proud of that. Far from it.
I am very grateful that help came. Between our Coastguard and the RNLI, close to a score of folks put themselves out of their way on a Sunday afternoon to bring myself, Dad, my wife Nikki and our boat home safe to port after we started taking on water less that three miles from our destination.
And we are safe. We and the boat are back in Penarth; two days later with the timely and expedient help of our local marine engineers the problem is fixed and we're ready to go again, except the weather has closed in and we're now storm-bound until at least Friday.
I think Padstow is now definitely off the table. But we still have another week, so shall certainly make Ilfracombe, and hopefully Tenby before it's time to turn back.
Although having screwed it up once now, the idea of going back out there is a little akin to getting back on the horse that's thrown you. But it's got be done.