Monday, 23 March 2015


One of our sailing and mountaineering friends has died. Derek Fabian, aged 85, lived a long and fulfilled life.

He is one of the men who, had he been born in a previous age, should have been on Shakleton's expeditions.  Certainly he went on plenty of mountaineering expeditions and these were in the days when men were men and women were double-breasted!

He sailed out of Loch Moidart where he kept his boat .. or rather, boats ... as he had various ones over the years.  They were wooden and reflected the man himself - full of character.

Often combining sailing with climbing mountains he sailed the coasts of Scotland, including Orkney and Shetland, Ireland and Sweden. The burgee above is from an anniversary event of the Scottish Mountaineering Club.

A fine wake was held at Cruin Inn on Loch Lomond. There was a good turn out of old ... and I do mean 'old' friends.  Lots of craic ... lots of stories, especially ones which involved Derek! 
As is the nature of funerals, we all have our own stories.  When I first came to this country in the late 60's he and his wife were some of the first people I met.  What impressed me immediately was that he had built a North American style house!  As we had taken a notion to do the same ourselves  it was talking to him, and spending time in his house (made of wood, open plan, including open stairwell, with high celings) that put us on the road to building our own house in the early  70's.

While using his large circle of friends for his many ploys (including start of the sailing season's crucial boat launching to catch the Spring Tide) and ... as we all knew, using them "once" (as correctly !! stated in his eulogy) we also know that he was very generous in an unheralded way.  

M-m-m-m ... it has just occurred to me: last Saturday, the day after the eclipse, there was a 'super-tide' meaning that the sun and earth were lined up in such a way that the gravitational pull (of both) is stronger. The high tide was extra high.  Derek would have loved that, i.e. time to get the boat launched!

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