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Sailing

It may not have been typical June weather but some friends and I boarded the Waverley last night for her annual Midsummer Evening Cruise.

The excursion waiting room.

The Waverley sails into Helensburgh on a driech night.

The last remaining seagoing paddle steamer also has an annual event in the struggle that it has to remain afloat financially. With the rise in fuel prices, the old girl costs a whopping £8 per minute in fuel costs alone. The crisis is so acute that there is real concern that this may be her final season on the Clyde.

It was heartening therefore to see so many people on board on such a wet night.

When you see the sheer beauty of the motion of the engine, it puts the cost into some perspective. There are probably better quality vids of the engine on Youtube but I took this one with the iPod last night:

We managed a look at the scenery between showers;

Carrick Castle, Loch Goil

An ElephantCanKeepDry!

It was a good night and I hope whatever the weather, people are still queuing up to board the fine vessel that is the Waverley for years to come.

Homecoming

Any regular readers will know my views on wars in general and the conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya in particular. However the respect I have for the young men deployed in such places remains undiminished. The professionalism and bravery of the troops is not just some cliché but the reality that my cousin, a reporter for CBS, has witnessed on the ground in Afghanistan.

Yesterday, The Argylls held a homecoming parade in Dumbarton (from their tour in Afghanistan) and your roving reporter was there to get some photos (via the iPod)

Some brave young men and some proud, not to mention relieved families.

I look forward to the day they they are home safe and well for good.

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