Monday, 21 December 2009

Freeze-aboard sailing...

Quite what makes people do this, I'll never know...  I am unable to translate the Dutch, but it all seems extremely cold and, well, a little bit bonkers...  Secretly, however, just a little jealous.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Reflections on a sailing season

A comment recently received on this blog was in response to the last statement on my previous post.  It stated that I was clearly not a 'real' sailor in anticipating the need to prepare Daisy II for her winter 'hibernation'.  Presumably 'real' sailors sail on throughout the year, come wind or weather.

Clearly I'm not a 'real' sailor, by this person's standards.  It is always good to see the local sailing club's sailors on their boxing day meet; I wouldn't mind keeping a small racing dinghy one day.  I suspect there are some Drascombers who keep their options open just in case there is a free winter day which happened to be suitable.  Stewart Brown, of Churchouse Boats, once commented that such days are 'days gained' over and above the usual expected cruising season.  However, such days are few and far between, and there comes a point where it is kinder on the 'hardware' to bring spars, sails, engine and other trimmings into a warmer environment - in my case, the garage, loft, wardrobe or under the bed. 

Drascombers do like to sail in company - a recent PBO article commented on the Drascombe Association's 'Spanish Armada-sized rallies' - although this is not an essential part of my sailing - I'm far more likely to sail solo.  Even in such company, racing is never really on the agenda, since Drascombes are not fast boats.  We like to take time to reach destinations, take in the scenery and  have flexible itineraries, based more around food and drink, rather than time and tide. 

For me, relaxed sailing is the aim, not gripping the sheets with backside hanging over the gunwhales.  I'm not averse to bad weather, but it is more difficult to cruise in a relaxed manner in the cold, and the short daylight hours from November through to March would presumably make a night stop almost interminably exhausting.  I once spent the night at anchor in the Walton Backwaters during the Easter holiday, during which time temperatures dropped to zero celsius...cold enough to think twice about any such trip during the winter months.  Added to this, it does the boat no favours whatsoever to languish on a mooring in the hope that a suitable opportunity arises.  Living inland, as I do, the trip to the sea is also a barrier. 

Hence, she sits on the drive, covered, taking time to reflect on seasons past, and looking forward to the next...