With the current weather patterns we seem to be getting, lots of frontal systems and associated rain and gusty winds, it seems that planning sailing trips in advance is a waste of time.
On Tuesday I had occasion to visit a series of local hospitals to get various tests done. Felt rather poorly to be honest and ended up sat at home in the afternoon, reflecting on the meaning of life (or lack of), when middle son dashes into the room and says let’s go sailing. Now, my asthma is playing up big time, chest pains and other nasty symptoms, I had not slept for days and really did not feel up to it, but…. sailing……
B*****er it, you only live once, and better feeling like s**t on a boat then on your sofa. So with less then an hour to HW off we dashed. What normally is an hours drive took 45 minutes. Before you could shout ‘ready about’ we were off. No passage plan, no weather checks, nothing.
The simple act of getting afloat somehow makes sense of everything, I felt rubbish and could not do much apart from supply the crew with coffee at regular intervals, but my spirits revived somewhat. We had a stonking sail down to the Nass, averaging 6.2kts SOG which is terrific for Alexandros. A quick VHF call to Brightlingsea HM and we had arranged a raft for a couple of hours, then ashore for a dose of cholesterol from the best chippy in Essex.
By the turn of the tide we were back aboard and heading out into the Crouch. The CG weather forecast kept insisting on F5 for the trip back to Maldon but we found a steady F4 declining as the evening wore on to a F3. It never waivered from the time we turned westward up the Blackwater until we moored. In fact we never changed tack and barely touched the tiller or sheets until well past Osea Island. A spectacular sail in every respect. Darkness fell as we passed Marconi and we felt our way up the river, past an anchored Thames Barge we had seen earlier and round to our berth, arriving home around 23:00 to find we had misjudged the tide and had another 1/2 hour to wait. We dropped the kedge over the stern and sat in the stream listening to the revelers in the pub gradually leaving to make their way home. By midnight we were all snugly tied up and on our way back to the real world.
This is why I keep a boat, put up with the cost, worry about the damn thing and so on. Those odd moments outside of the real world are priceless.