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Chris S boat

It’s launch day for Blue Nun, time to see if all the hours spent scrubbing every bit of her, hoisting sails (during which I managed to turn the boatyard air blue as I fight with one end of a flapping Genoa (sail) whilst Tom bellows instructions from the other) and the long, hard, expensive fight to install a sea loo have paid off.

Launching is always fraught but wondering if Blue Nun is about to leak like a sieve adds an extra frisson of danger and I have flashbacks to the our previous little boat, the stumpy-legged, evil-tempered Pig Boat which must have been a submarine in a previous life so keen was she to disappear underwater.

The sky's a beautiful blue and there’s a stiff, bitter breeze but at least it’s not raining. Alistair and Martin, who are in charge of operations, calmly scoop up Blue Nun in Rudders boatyard’s tractor contraption, trundle her down the hill and place her gently in the water beside a pontoon where Tom and I step aboard.

If the new seacocks leak it’ll be the shortest maiden voyage ever… we wrap up, put on our life jackets and check again… the seacocks still look good. Phew! The engine - after a heartstopping moment - starts running. We run through safety checks and procedures and then it’s time to cast off!

Chris S boat

As the boatyard recedes we see Alistair waving us off, a curiously emotional moment which underlines the fact that even a short passage in a little boat has the feel of an epic voyage. Six years of being without a boat suddenly fade into nothing as everything comes back to me. Blue Nun’s certainly lighter, friskier in motion than our first boat - the one we sailed the most, pretty Veryan, a vintage wooden boat - and there’s enough of a chop beneath the Cleddau bridge to get a feel for her, but - amazingly and wonderfully - I don’t feel sick!

And believe me, I can do seasick very easily!

Chris S boat

Chris S boat

We follow the marker buoys to Blue Nun’s new home in Neyland Marina’s Upper Basin where she slides obediently into her berth… which, take my word for it, is a huge relief. We’ve made it, the sun is shining and new series of adventures in a small boat beckon.

Chris S boat

 

Meet The Author...
Chris Stovell
Who Am I?

I’m novelist and poet, Christine Stovell.   My novels are published by independent publisher Choc Lit, but I also write short fiction and feature articles. I’ve also had work published by Honno Welsh Women’s Press and was the winner of the Honno ‘One Sentence, Coming of Age’ competition. I write poetry, too, and my work was featured as Honno’s Poem of the Month in March last year. I’m a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and Literature Wales.

I joke that my writing journey’s taken me from chocolate to Choc Lit since it was winning a tin of chocolate in a national essay competition at primary school that inspired me to become a writer! After graduating from UEA, I took various jobs in the public sector writing research papers and policy notes but losing my dad to cancer made me realise that if I was ever going to get a novel published I had to put my writing first.

Setting off, with my husband, from a sleepy seaside resort on the east coast in a vintage wooden boat to sail halfway round Britain provided the inspiration for my debut novel 'Turning the Tide'. I live on the beautiful west Wales coast where long-distance running helps me plan my plots. Half marathons, like novels, both begin with small steps.

Many thanks for your interest.

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