Friday, 27 December 2013

Christmas 2013

This year's sailing related present was a book about the 2008 voyage around Great Britain by Mike Brooke in a Cape Cutter 19.
I first learned of this trip in January 2008 at the London Boat Show.  The stand for Honnor Marine featured the newly built boat Theo's Future.  Subsequently, I followed Mike's blog as he completed the trip.  Inspirational!  A challenging future prospect for Daisy II!?  Mike's book, which has only recently been published, is a good read with plenty of interesting anecdotes and some fine photos.  Well worth the outlay, with proceeds going to worthy charitable causes.

I've always greatly admired the Cape Cutter - not a Drascombe but, nonetheless, a well-built, proven hull design with traditional rig and pleasing lines.
At the aforementioned boat show, mother and I spent time sitting in the cockpit and cabin.  The cabin has something of the tardis about it, with room for four - two in the V-berth forward, and a pair of quarter berths.  What would I miss in owning one?  Ease of launching - Bob Brown thought it would be a challenge to launch and recover single handed, since the trailer is not of the 'roller coaster' variety.  I'd also miss the mizzen, and the fact that the outboard cannot tilt clear of the water when not in use.  If money were no object, the ideal boat for me would be the Baycruiser 20, made by Swallowboats.  It ticks all of my boxes and has the added benefit of larger cockpit and cabin in a shorter, lighter hull which has proven 'rightability', particularly through its use of water ballast.    
However, lacking the spare £30K needed for one of those, a Drascombe Coaster is considerably less expensive and ticks almost as many boxes: highly capable and utterly dependable.  I also own one, for which I count my blessings every day.

So, back to Daisy II, sitting in patient hibernation on the drive, buffeted by the various passing winter storms which have characterised this month and reflecting on an outstanding season past.  Indeed, I doubt if there will be a finer year, particularly in terms of nautical miles sailed.  Inevitably, the new year beckons and, with that, a brand new set of challenges.  Formative plans include joining one of the south coast rallies in May; I also hope that there will be summer holiday time to visit the Crouch by sea for the first time.
In the mean time, we've upgraded our home computer to an iMac and I'm enjoying working out how to edit videos on iMovie.  Hopefully, future offerings will be rather more accomplished that the efforts thus far.

Daisy II sailing the River Blackwater, August 2013