This year in sailing.

The definitively last post of 2019…..honest guv !

This morning i was pottering around the yard doing some of my usual winter work here like cutting up some firewood and tidying up after the big Leylandi operation : the kind of boring and routine work that allows my mind to run free a bit while i’m getting the jobs done. 

It’s a dank and chill day here, overcast and grey, there’s a smoky bonfire somewhere or maybe one of the cottages is burning low quality softwood and sulfurous coal ; whatever, the smoke is hanging in the valley but it reminded me of playing out in the rough ground where i grew up on cold winter days like these.    It’ll soon be dark, equally it will soon be the darkest day of the year when we celebrate the true end of the year because it’s also my partners birthday for which we usually have a night away and a posh dinner somewhere.  For a couple of years we’ve been going to the Salutation Inn in Topsham, which i must say is excellent, but this year we’re going west except that i can’t say where because this post comes out the day before….and it’s a secret treat until we get there !

Last winter in Topsham

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For this post i’m going to do very little writing, in fact i’m a bit ‘written-out’ and stale on the keyboard right now and i need a break from it.  This post will mainly be a photographic tour of 2019 on the water, from my sea trials trip in March, through our 3 months in France, the fast and very dirty refit and then the short autumn cruise…..so here goes.

March trip and sea trials with the new sprit-boom rig.

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April, Whitsand bay, Lantic bay, Channel crossing and L’ Aber-Wrach

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May. Northern and Western Brittany, the Rade de Brest to Audierne

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June.  Port Launay, Chateaulin, the Aulne and Brest.

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June/July.  The Raz, southern Brittany, Benodet to Concarneau and the Isles des Glenans

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July-August.

Morgat, the Raz, Camaret sur Mer, channel crossing, the Helford river and Falmouth.

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September/October  Refit time, the Tamar, Falmouth and home.

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I hope you enjoyed that little tour, iv’e had a very good year on the water, i don’t know what i’m going to do with WABI”’ next : whether to push on further south in France , explore the northern coast a lot more or maybe stay around the UK coast for a year.

My year was unusual in that i retired from many years of service in the NHS and i celebrated that change of life by taking my little boat and going for a good long sail ; for a while i was very tempted to just keep going !.   I didn’t intend to say much right at the end of the year except a few thoughts about getting on with it and not just day-dreaming about doing it all one day…..time flies if you hadn’t noticed.

Iv’e had a piece of paper crunched up in my pocket for weeks now, it’s been through the wash at least once and the words are barely legible but i’d like to share a couple of paragraphs from it with you, i think it’s from Stirling Haydyn.

What does a man need-really need ?.  A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in- and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment.  That’s all – in the material sense, and we know it.  But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade.

The years thunder by, the dreams of youth grow dim lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience.  Before we know it, the tomb is sealed.”

Anyway, thanks for reading and looking in on the blog.

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