Sunday, 23 October 2005

autumn pottering

Went down to Maggie on Friday evening not really sure what to expect..... there was slight rain falling, with occasional heavier bursts, it was pretty cold, and the wind was blowing about 35kts.... ah... unlikely to be any sailing if it stays like this.... still, the forecast was for the wind to moderate significantly overnight, and for it to stop raining, although remaining cloudy... We had taken down a small heater with us, and were grateful for it... retired to bed at about 21h30, knackered after a long week at work! Could I sleep?... could I 'eckers like!.... SWMBO was just as wide awake....wind was making enough noise to wake the dead.... everything was banging, twanging and knocking.... eventually at about 01h30, I drifted off..... kids however, managed to get to sleep no problem..... the following morning, the wind had not only moderated, it had we bit the bullet, and decided to poke our nose out of the lock, and see what was happening in the river, thinking that the worst case was a short motor down to grab a buoy at Pin Mill, and maybe lunch at the Butt and Oyster.. So, it was a pleasant suprise to find 10kts of wind in the river, and even better when the sun popped out to say hello! Now, I'm not complaining you understand, but just what is going on with this weather?.... we found ourselves sailing down the river in late October in T-Shirts, saoking up a lovely warm morning, with full sails up, sailing pretty deep, and having a very relaxing time. As is often the case for this late in the season, there were very few boats about, and so we had a marvellous sail, very much enjoying ourselves. We were enjoying ourselves so much that we sailed past Pin Mill, and carried on out past Harwich, and out to sea. By about 13h30, we decided to turn around and head back. As we started back into the wind, the temperature felt somewhat lower, and this also coincided with clouds appearing to cover the sun, so on came the oilies, and we sailed close hauled back towards Harwich. C took the helm, and then proceeded to sail Maggie the whole way back, including sailing right on the wind having to pinch slightly to avoid tacking in some parts of the river. For me, one of the highlights of the season has been how C has taken to helming. I don't have to keep anywhere near as close an eye on her as I did at the start of the season, and she is definitely starting to 'feel' the boat. She is going to make a good helmswomen I am sure. I have promised her that if she keeps trying, then we'll let her have a go a taking the boat alongside the holding pontoon outside the marina next summer.... she's not far off ready to have a go... So, back in the lock by 16h00, and in our marina berth by 16h15... C then helped her mum prepare a massive Spaghetti Bolognaise... yum yum! Another heater assisted nights sleep, much better this time as the noise had vanished, and on Sunday morning, we decided to just kick back, and waste time. We wandered over to Haven marina, and browsed for 20mins in the chandlery, and then tidied up Maggie comprehensively.... took the tender and engine below for the first time this season, and locked her up and departed by 12h30.... On the way out in the car, we dropped again into Haven, to see if Beancounter was about.... and indeed he was... so had a quick coffee with him, and then off home.... So... a great autumn weekend... a lovely sail, that everyone admitted to really enjoying... great to be still getting such a nice weekend this late in the season...

miles this trip:16nm
miles this season: 757nm

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