I’ve been skulking.

It may have appeared from my website that I’ve been on board Steamy Windows all this time, but in fact I got back 10 days ago. I’m now living in a rented cottage in Emsworth, Hampshire, and have been keeping a low profile while I got myself sorted out and settled in.

This is going to be the perfect base for the summer – I’ll be keeping my boat on the Thorney Island army base, just a few minutes’ bike ride away, and also using the gym there.

Next month the guys there are giving me one-to-one tuition for my mandatory First Aid At Sea course, skipping over things I won’t need (bit hard to do mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on myself…) and focusing on more useful things, like how to stitch up my own wounds, pull a tooth, and deal with blisters and saltwater boils.

A friend has negotiated on my behalf to get a substantial discount at the Emsworth Chandlery for all my boat supplies. Within 5 minutes of my front door I’ve got butcher, baker, greengrocer, library, train station… and a dangerous number of good pubs.

Emsworth is a gorgeous little coastal village (see photo) and I already feel very at home here. If it wasn’t for the exciting prospect of the Atlantic Rowing Race (START DATE 6 MONTHS TODAY!!!) there’d be a serious danger of me getting much too comfortably ensconced here to ever leave.

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