All Aboard the Skylark

During the night there is a bit of a swell but I am awoken by a loud bang from the lower decks.. of course I starting imagining my bike flying through the air, crashing into the other bikes or indeed the side of the ship, ridiculous I know.  I can also hear a bike alarm going off and it sounds just like mine.  When I parked I couldn’t remember how to put the alarm in transport mode so looked it up on google quickly, I did manage to set it… I think!! I hope I’m not going to return to a flat battery… worry wart that I am. Nothing I can do about it now so back to sleep… zzzzzzz

Am awoken a few more times in the night by the loud banging… a bit worrying to say the least, but otherwise a good night and am up and about by 9am.

After breakfast I sit at the front of the boat and watch as we pass through a narrow strait between a couple of the islands just off the coast of Brittany… Ouessant and île-Molène. As I look the islands up on google maps I find we are in the Celtic Sea… yay!

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The Celtic Sea… oi! where did that big black cloud come from??


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Just found out how to take a panoramic photo with my iPhone…

The weather is great, I just hope it is the same for my ride from Plymouth to London.

Have a wander around the ship… wow am impressed by the doggie walking area, can imagine bringing the bears along with me in the future, wouldn’t that be great; except Buster probably wouldn’t like it as he is so old now and full of arthritis, poor old boy. But, how french is this??

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Settle down in the piano bar area by a window enjoying the view and writing this. There is wifi on board but it is painfully slow, well at least there is something. So, all I can do now is enjoy the ride and wait to disembark for the rest of the journey home.  Hope to be home before 10pm this evening.

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Arriving into Plymouth
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Plymouth Ho!


Finally get off the boat and through passport control at 6pm. I stop to have a look at the rear axle nut.  I don’t have a spanner or anything big enough to tighten it properly. A couple of guys stop to see if they can help, one of them explains to me that the axle nut is not supposed to be tight and actually it should only be hand tight or the spacers will damage the wheel bearings… seriously, the spacers don’t touch the bearings only the outer rim otherwise the wheel wouldn’t turn; obviously if the axle nut is only hand tight it’s going to constantly work loose so I’ll have some of whatever he’s on!  He also, very helpfully, tells me several times that the reason its loose is because the license plate holder is attached to the axle and that I should move it.  After he tells me this for the fourth time I say, ‘well I’m not going to move it right now am I, but thanks for the advice’ to which he decides it’s time for him to leave. Why do blokes always think they know better, especially when they are wrong??? BTW I won’t be moving the license plate holder and I will be tightening the axle nut.

I decide to take it easy on the way home and if I feel any problem coming from the back wheel I’ll have to call the AA out or something, but I really want to get home so will take a chance.  I stop for a coffee and to check the wheel, it seems ok… I did think I could ask some hairy arsed trucker if I can borrow a large adjustable spanner, but there are no truckers, hairy arsed or otherwise, around so just have to carry on.

It is really cold so have to stop at the Fleet services on the M3 to try and warm up.. wheel still ok.  No sooner am I back on the M3 than it is shut! Everyone is diverted off the motorway into Bagshot, (a small town about 50 miles from home), it then starts to pour with rain and the diversion adds another half an hour to my journey, grrr.

Arrive home at 11.30… job done, hurrah!!



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