On Friday 27th March we heard the desperately sad news that one of the club's longest serving, most cherished and stalwart members, former commodore, skipper of Eilean Dubh, ambulance driver, fisherman and friend to so many of us, had died peacefully in his sleep. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family.
Bless you Robin.
Paul Copestake, who knew Robin for over a quarter of a century, wrote this:
I look out of the window this morning and watch the fresh wind blowing across Lochbroom and with it the promise that every new day brings; and yet I am still numb; burdened with the sad news of Robin Campbell’s passing yesterday.
I recall talking with Robin when remembering others at such times when he would say if he had a choice he would slip quietly by with strength in his limbs and fresh plans in his head but now, well, none of us were ready to say goodbye: his plans included us all with the certainty of good times and exciting adventures; I find it hurts to think of these without him.
So now we have to rely on a feast of great memories (and there are many) to keep us in good cheer, and as days turn to weeks and months and years; these will be told and retold with fondness and laughter; for many of these are already legends and many more will become so: such was the man and what he achieved.
I recall one just now: we were returning from Lochinver in Fiasco, running on a beam reach before a strong and rising North-westerly wind; dark threatening skies and mountainous seas with breaking surf. We were carrying too much sail; behind us Seonaid and Emma had turned into wind to reduce sail. Should we do the same? I was at the helm steering; Robin was braced in the cockpit taking it all in – not least the distance (about 4 miles) when would shoot past Mullagrach and find shelter behind Isle Ristol.
With a twinkle in his eye, he declared “let’s go for it”; he took over the helm (lest something go wrong) and thereafter followed one of the most exhilarating sails in my life. With the backstay noticeably thinner and all rigging screaming we held on in contempt of the worsening weather; twisting and riding the surf that propelled Fiasco to hitherto unknown and alarming speeds.
We popped through the sound like a cork out of a barrel into what seemed still water; we had fought and won and I am sure we did not stop grinning all the way to Ullapool.
Robin was a pillar of the sailing club for as long as I can remember and was the natural successor to Roy Osborne as Commodore. Please post and share any tales.
I have no doubt that today many of us will gather at the Royal at the usual time to raise a glass of Rum and Fiery.