Chapter 184 – The Forever Optimist

I leave Islay onboard The Optimist, which steams out from Port Ellen Harbour bound for Glasgow. Emelia and the children are staying on Islay for the summer, allowing the children to practice their Gaelic, Emelia to review her distillery operation and enable me to focus my mind in Glasgow.

This great tragedy has changed my attitude to ultimate respect and appreciation for the sea. The sea is not a dangerous enemy but a friend, which sometimes demonstrates its extraordinary natural power. 

My new mission is to conquer this with maps, charting every obstacle in the path of safe passage, and become the most detailed and precise sea navigation maps ever drafted. These creations will chart seas, oceans, ports, rivers, canals, bridges and lighthouses. I will use the latest innovation to combine them with weather prediction, providing a dynamic forecast to minimise disruption and reduce the risk to mariners. 

My ship docks at Campbeltown, and I race up the harbour road. I have one day to search for Duke, who I hope made it to shore in the storm.

I place cards in all the windows, providing exacting detail about my best companion, and offer a reward. This may appear hopeless, but it is far better to try and fail rather than spend a lifetime wondering what I should have done.

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