We gotta BOAT!


Our first boat. My father always said “Dont buy a boat. Just have a friend that owns a boat” which was good advice at the time. But this one came up and we couldnt resist. We live a stones throw from the ocean. All our friends sail. The family have sailed a little but always in borrowed boats. So . . we picked it up yesterday from George who gave us the boat for a £50 donation to Cancer Research.

The boat is a Mirror 16 Dinghy. Mirrors were the small sailing boats that kicked off the DIY boating movement in the 60’s. This one is a little bigger and was probably built in the early 70’s. James B. came with us to pick it up. As it turned out, George helped rescue James from getting swept out to sea eleven years ago. Co-incidence?

We took the boat back to Stromness and have started to sand it down, plug it up and get ready to paint it. I think we will name it . . . I mean . . her . . ‘Isabella’ after my great great great grandmother who used to live here in Stromness but lived in shame because Naughty Edward Clouston refused to marry her. Their ‘bastard’ son later gave birth to William Mackay Couston who took my family line away from Orkney to New Zealand. Clouston was my mother’s maiden name.

But I am back! And my family is with me. And all shame – deserved or not – has been SORTED through Christ’s work. Long story. Sorry. Naughty Edward’s house is actually the Pier Arts Centre across the road from us.


This is George and his wife. Pray for him. He is battling cancer.


Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name "Precious" :-)


  • Oh…I’m jealous Andrew!!
    She looks like she’ll be a good boat, and give you many seasons of fun sailing in those Orkney waters! Hopefully someday, we’ll make it back and sail along side you again. Say hello to James B. and the family for me.

  • brilliant! what a lovely thing for you all – i love the naming of her. hope you have many happy peregrinations. xx

  • My 3 x grt grandfather John Clouston was an illegitimate child of Edward Clouston and Isabella Foster. So we may be related.
    William Sinclair

  • Hi William. “Naughty Edward” and Isabella gave birth to John, my relative. I heard the Sinclairs were in there somewhere. I guess we are related. Nice to meet you.

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