Dearest reader, I am so excited to introduce you to two of my newest loves… Mrs Muir and Cathedral City Minis Extra Mature! This Autumn, when the weather is fine but too breezy to go out on my bike, I’ve been packing a lunch (which always involves Cathedral City extra mature cheddar!) and spending the day working onboard a 29-foot clipper sailing boat.
This post has been written in collaboration with Cathedral City, although all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make it possible for me to do what I love: mess up our kitchen, ride my bike (fast!) and learn how to sail.
Boat love: it’s a real thing
I remember the first time I fell in love with a ship.
It was the summer of 1999 and I was walking down to Lerwick’s high street via the A969. I had just approached the corner by the Lerwick RNLI lifeboat station, heading towards the Esplanade, when I saw her: the Statsraad Lehmkuhl.
At that moment the clouds parted, and rays of sunshine fell on this three-masted barque rigged thing of beauty.
My heart skipped a beat.
I never would have believed it, until then: boat love. It’s a real thing.
Fast forward twenty years (how the time has flown!) and I’ve since gained some sea experience through volunteering with the RNLI as press officer and crew, and from a summer spent crewing the Agnes Kay II.
I absolutely love being out on the water. It’s a freedom unlike any other; a place where one can feel truly alive.
Introducing… Mrs. Muir
This summer I had my first experience sailing. I helped my partner’s father (along with a family friend) sail his yacht, Mrs Muir, from her berth in Scalloway to the Lerwick Marina, where she was going to come out of the water for the winter.
I’d never sailed before, but after this 39-mile overnight trip via the Sumburgh roost, a particularly tidal stretch of water at the southern point of Shetland where the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean meet (pictured above, with me at the helm – photo courtesy of Robbie Robertson), I knew this was where I was meant to be.
Mrs Muir is a 29-foot clipper sailing boat built in the 1970s, named, as you might guess, from the novel (and subsequent 1947 film) entitled The Ghost and Mrs Muir.
Although she looks to be made of solid wood, she’s got the best of both worlds: her fibreglass hull provides reliable stability in the sea, while her teak cabin, deck, gunwales, taffrails, deck and bowsprit give her an old-worldly character that is impossible to fall in love with, especially if you’re an old school romantic, like me.
Learning the ropes
So, I am now learning the ropes.
Mrs Muir is currently out of the water for the winter for the first time in 7 years. I’m using this opportunity to learn about every part of her, from the rigging to the seacocks and the stern gland to the kerosene cooker.
I’m also spending every spare moment when it’s too windy to go out on my bike, scraping years of old varnish off the wood on deck, sanding her down and carefully applying layers of teak oil.
I am thoroughly enjoying every moment of it. This sort of manual work, especially when the sun is shining, is good for the soul.
Come the Spring, when she goes back into the water again, I’ll be signing up to my first Royal Yachting Association course, and my sail training will begin properly.
A packed lunch with Cathedral City
In the meantime, there’s plenty of work onboard to be getting on with.
Scraping varnish is hungry work, so I usually bring a packed lunch and a snack with me onboard.
A key component of both the packed lunch and afternoon snack is Cathedral City. We’re fans of their mature and extra mature cheddar cheese varieties in our house.
Cathedral City has been our cheese brand of choice for years, so imagine my joy to discover that their gorgeous, creamy, extra mature cheddar cheese is now available in handy 20-gram miniature portions?
It’s is the perfect size for a packed lunch or snack-on-the-go!
The Cathedral City Minis Extra Mature Cheddar Cheese, apple & crisps trinity is one of the best afternoon savoury snack food combinations there is, in my humble opinion.
You can find these delicious wee cheeses in Morrisons, Sainsburys and ASDA.
Try Cathedral City Minis Extra Mature 6 x 20 grams for £1 – Shopmium Cashback Campaign
Have you heard of Shopmium? It’s a free app that enables you to access exclusive offers on everyday brands found in the supermarket – like trying Cathedral City Minis Extra Mature 6 x 20 grams for £1!
As a user, you simply buy the featured product from your nearest store, take a picture of your receipt and get cashback paid directly into your PayPal or bank account!
When will you try it?
This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Cathedral City, although all thoughts and opinions expressed are our own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make it possible for me to do what I love: mess up our kitchen, ride my bike and learn how to sail.