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The Cruise of the Elena or Yachting in the Hebrides   By: (1820-1898)

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First Page:

THE CRUISE OF THE ELENA

OR

YACHTING IN THE HEBRIDES

BY J. EWING RITCHIE

Author of “ The Night Side of London ,” &c. &c.

London JAMES CLARKE & CO., 13, FLEET STREET 1877

LONDON W. SPEAIGHT & SONS, PRINTERS, FETTER LANE.

TO JOHN ANDERSON, ESQ., OF GLEN TOWER, ARGYLESHIRE, OWNER OF THE ELENA, This Little Volume is Dedicated BY THE AUTHOR, IN MEMORY OF A PLEASANT CRUISE ON BOARD THE ELENA IN THE AUTUMN OF 1876.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE I. OFF FOR GREENOCK 3 II. FROM GREENOCK TO ARDROSSAN 17 III. A SUNDAY AT OBAN 29 IV. FROM OBAN TO GLENCOE 39 V. OFF MULL 49 VI. FAST DAY AT PORTREE 59 VII. TO STORNOWAY 73 VIII. KINTYRE AND CAMPBELTOWN 83 IX. BACK AGAIN 99

CHAPTER I. OFF FOR GREENOCK.

The late—I had almost written the last—Imperial ruler of France was wont to say—indeed, it was his favourite maxim—“Everything comes to him who waits.” It was not exactly true in his case. Just as he was to have placed himself at the head of his followers, and make his reappearance in France, and to have effaced the recollections of Sedan, Death, who waits for no one, who comes at the appointed time to all, put a stop to his career. Nevertheless, the saying is more or less true, and especially as regards my appearance on board the Elena . Whether my great great grandfather was a Viking or no, I am unable to say; all I know is, from my youth upwards I have longed for a yacht in which I could cruise at my own sweet will. I am no great hand at singing, but when I do sing it is always of a

“Life on the ocean wave, A home on the rolling deep.”

And thus it happened that, when an invitation was sent to me, just as I was on the point of giving up the ghost, in consequence of the heat of a London summer, to leave Fleet Street, and cruise among the Western Islands of Scotland, I accepted it, as the reader may well suppose, at once.

It is somewhat of a journey by the Midland night express from London to Greenock; but the journey is one well worth taking, even if, as in my case, you do not get a Pullman car, as that had been already filled, and was booked full, so the ticket manager said, for at any rate twelve days in advance. It is really interesting to see that express start. “It is an uncommon fine sight,” said a man to me the other night, as he lit his pipe at the St. Pancras Station. “I always come here when I’ve done work; it is cheaper than a public house.” And so it is, and far better in awakening the intellect or stimulating the life. It is true I did not see the express start, as I happened to be in it; but I had another and a greater pleasure—that of being whirled along the country, from one great city or hive of industry to another, till I found myself early in the morning looking down from the heights of Greenock on the busy Clyde below. It was a grand panorama, not easily to be forgotten... Continue reading book >>




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