I readied to depart Ilfracombe. With only 42 miles left to run up channel, finally I could taste home. It is probably unsavoury information but there are several downsides to living in a wet environment for long periods. Aspects of my physiology were suffering, sores and pains in places not to be mentioned. Missing my wife, every part of my being longed to leave and arrive, our voyage finally at an end. I knew the weather forecast wasn’t ideal but I was going, come what may. I tried battery one to start the engine. Flat. I tried battery two. Flat. I tried battery three. Flat. I tried them all together. Flat. I frantically rang friends for help and they came. They turned up with jump leads and cars and spare batteries and no matter what we tried, nothing. The tide was dropping and I was staying no matter what I did. I don’t think I have felt so dispirited or struggled so much as I did as that sunk in. My good friend Martyn Bell, pictured above with his wife Val, offered to help me get a new battery and he shot off to get transport. Inside I was flat and I sat down trying to work out what this was teaching me?
In the book of Acts, chapter two commences with ‘When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.’ The Jewish uprising hadn’t occurred. The disciples, along with hundreds of others, knew they had met the Messiah but nothing they had expected had come to pass. The whole thing was a crock of the proverbial and whilst they prayed every day, each moment must have been like my batteries, flat. Whatever God was doing, it must have seemed like another repeat of the four hundred years of slavery. Then suddenly, gathered together a whole year later, God moved. Wham. Tongues of fire and men in the streets speaking so strangely they resembled early morning drunks. And then the fight started and what a fight it proved to be! Transforming nations and changing our World forever, exactly as had been foretold. As I sat on my bunk, my feelings of absolute dejection echoed men and women so much better than myself that in that moment I cheered up. Martyn took me to buy a new battery and we had a full English breakfast and I cheered up some more. Things were not as expected nor were they as planned but the delay was necessary. Later that day, Martyn and I looked across the maelstrom of white capped waves near Coombe Martin and I suspect I know why that was. We finished up with a spirited discussion around the bar in the yacht club followed by a momentary reunion with Pirate Bob. I will treasure the look of incredulous surprise in his eyes as he found I’d become a born again Christian for many years to come. Tomorrow I try again!