Monday, 29 December 2008

A year in review

As has become my habit with this blog, i'll use the 29th Dec to review our sailing yearThe year started well, with a few boaty jobs getting done, including fitting a new set of davits, and reploacing a badly corroded Exhaust elbow.We also managed to get the sails and cockpit tent properly sorted out by a sailmaker, which needed doingAlthough February proved quiet, with the boat out of the water, I still managed to finish two other tasks... the fitting of new cockpit speakers, and the fitting of the dual station DSC VHF unit, so that at long last, I could now manage radio comms from the helm!March was a write off.... Easter was very early in 2008, so the weather was appalling, and we didn't really get out at all, even though Morgana had been dropped back inApril didn't start off any better, with snow in the early part, and then hail later on!But undeterred, I crept up to Scotland with my mate Jim, and we had a cracking couple of days sailing in the beautiful Clyde, with a wide range of weather fropm freezing and windy, to flat calm and hot.So, as you might imagine, we entered May with a little bit of trepidation.... the now annual pilgramage to Oostende coming up. It proved to be a good crossing, in lightish winds, so some motoring, and then fabulous weather when we got there.... the departure and return being a little more eventfull, with gales and big seas meaning a lively and fast return trip!By the end of May, the weather had again, gone sour, so I resigned myself to my latest per project, and bought a part completed wooden tender on eBay, which I then finshed over the coming weeksJune too started badly, and by the 24th, I had finished the tender, and so we planned our trips with a bit more enthusiasm.... and then summer arrived... the end of June was lovely... hot, sunny and perfect winds...This continued into early July, but then fell apart again, just in time for our annual pirate weekend, which despite the best efforts of the weather, was again a huge success.... and then summer returned again at the end of July.. just the third hot weekend in the whole summerAnd so we moved on into August, and our summer cruise... we had a good long break of 27 days, and I was very much looking forward to getting a bit further afield than previously. Alas, it was not to be.... the weather confounded us again, and we spent time wiating on suitabel weather windows at Ramsgate, Bolougne, Dieppe and Fecamp.... and then after making it back to Eastbourne, the gearbox failed, leaving us to be towed into Dover, where poor Morgana was abandoned, and later repaired at huge expense.... Welcome to boat ownership!The resultanr delivery trip back from Dover was yet another windy, wet, cold affair, which wasn't much fun, but most importantly, was also without drama!The only positive was that the crossing from Fecamp to Eastbourne was breezy, yet SWMBO enjoyed it enormously... a real sign of her growing confidenceSeptember saw me depart on a friends Moody across to Cherbourg for a drink or two (or perhaps a little bit more) with friends... a great trip, with good company and excellent sailing.... but it was wrapped up with a month of further poor weather, apart from one weekend, which was OK.The rest of the year was just much of the same... Oct and Nov with rotten weather, where we just managed short day sails..... with the only highlight being the laying down supper, at our own home marina, which was a splendid evening of merriment!Dec was equally poor, with gales, snow and just down right cold!So.... that all sounds a bit gloomy really.... but we still enjoyed it in truth, and love having Morgana to escape too from the daily pressures of work....Yep... the weather was a shocker in 2008, and we really hope for better in 2009... in fact, it would be hard to be any worse if the truth be known!So here's to a great 2009 to everyone.... may all your sailing trips be perfect ones!

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