1989: Maidenhead again / Abortive sail to St Petersburg / Seychelles and Mauritius

1989, April – Maidenhead again

Invitation to the wedding of Debbie Manderson, also in the Baptist Church in Maidenhead, so again we made a holiday out of it, driving leisurely south and spending time with the Mandersons after the wedding.


Ian Balfour at Legoland1989, May – abortive sail to St Petersburg

The National Trust for Scotland chartered Fred Olson’s Black Prince for a cruise from Leith, through the Keil Canal, to various northern Baltic ports, making for St Petersburg. One of the stops included a day outing to the Legoland Resort at Billung in Denmark, the first Legoland Park. Photo of Ian at a Legoland village.

All well until Helsinki, where the crew came out on strike because of their conditions. Our friend Rev. Andrew McGowan was the official chaplain – prayers in the Lounge every evening – so he tried to negotiate and asked Ian to take the prayers. By the Sunday, resolution was impossible, so Fred Olson sent two of his planes to fly everyone home. Announcement at 1 pm, ‘all luggage to the quayside’, and organized chaos to get it and the passengers to the planes to take off at 4. There were not quite enough places, so the captain asked for volunteers to make their own way home, at Olson’s expense. We volunteered, and sailed the next day to Stockholm, two days there, sailed on to Olso, two days there, and flight to Edinburgh – all on our own, and quite exhilarating.


St Andrews 1989   St Andrews 1989

1989, June – caravan at St Andrews

 A week with Lesley and children in this caravan, overlooking the East Beach in St Andrews, Fife. David and Jennifer were old enough to explore locally by themselves, but Alison, despite her protests at not being allowed to go with them, had to stay within our sight.


FEBA radio 1989

1989, November – Seychelles and Mauritius

Bespoke holiday for three weeks, starting with a flight via Dubai and time there, between flights, to walk around the huge duty-free shopping areas. Excellent sea-side hotel on the Seychelles, meals in the open air overlooking their harbour and friendly birds hopping around the tables. Swimming and tours of the island. We were long-term supporters of the Far East Broadcasting Association, which sends Christian messages in many local languages all over the Far East – the expanse of ocean around the Seychelles helps transmission. They showed us around and explained how FEBA operates.

Seychelles 1989  Seychelles 1989

Then a flight on to Mauritius. The large veranda outside our room gave a welcome shade from the sun. Good swimming in the hotel pool and sails around the lagoon in the dinghies provided by the hotel for guests. We also visited the Botanic Gardens. Direct flight back to Heathrow.


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