This week's Friday Night Video follows Captain Bob Shepton, who you may remember from various climbing films as he sails climbers to remote locations across the globe, on an emotional journey, giving up his adventurous life of sailing not because he is 85 but in order to look after his wife, Kate, as she battles Alzheimer's.
Even by Bob's own admission, his unsettled and at sometimes chaotic upbringing, combined with the loss of his father, left him with some undefinable character deficiencies, creating a lifelong obsession for travel, sailing and adventure, which he has pursued relentlessly for the last six decades. The film explores where Bob's drive to go on expeditions comes from, and why he has been willing to forego a stable home life and financial security in order to pursue difficult and often unattainable objectives.
Having spent most of his life focused on his own goals, the past year has seen a huge shift in that focus, with Bob now having to accept a likely end to this way of life following his wife's Alzheimer's diagnosis. The film looks at how Bob and Kate's lives have changed as Bob moves into the role of full-time carer, and the resulting sale of his boat in order to fund Kate's care. With his final summer of ownership of his beloved boat upended by the Covid-19 pandemic and Kate's condition worsening, Bob struggles to adapt.
Kate goes into a care home for ten days to give Bob a respite from this new challenge. He goes for a day trek in the Highlands to reflect on his situation, their 55-year marriage, how their fierce independence has sustained their relationship and the inner turmoil of sending Kate to a care home. How will this affect his final trip? Bob also sets out on one final trip onboard the Dodo's Delight - a two-day journey exploring the islands of the Scottish Hebrides. Is this his last taste of adventure and freedom as he once knew it?
Click here to watch the film. It is featured on BBC iPlayer for the next 11 months.