Friday, March 25, 2011

Slight rethink...

We have finally, after weeks of asking, seen Ben's A-level timetable. His last exam is 27 June, his first is 18 May, and he has a huge gap between 26 May and 9 June. Bother. A slight re-think is called for. Watch this space...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spring has sprung

Spring must be here, because when we go down to Suffolk Yacht Harbour, the air is filled with the sound of scraping, polishing, hammering, sawing and Radio 2.

Kalessin is still out of the water. We're not in a big hurry to launch as we decided not to pay for the full year's berthing at SYH, because we might only use a couple of months of it. If we're paying the weekly rate, it's a lot cheaper to pay for storage ashore than for a visitor's berth.

The plan is that some time in May, Sam and I will take her across the North Sea as far north as we reasonably can. The working thought is somewhere like Monnickendam in the Markermeer, which is handy for trains or planes home. Then in mid-June, when Ben finishes his exams, we will head up through the Kiel Canal, or Nord-Ostsee-Kanal as it really should be called, and into the Baltic. We sail around Denmark and Germany until the end of August (which is pretty much the end of the Baltic season), leave her somewhere jolly nice (to be confirmed) and head home. Then repeat in the opposite direction in 2012, covering Sweden and maybe another country or two.

It's all a lot simpler than our trip in 2006. For a start, Guy is working for Sailing Holidays in Greece, and is 21, so can look after himself to some extent ;-) The boat doesn't need so much work, as many of the major works were undertaken last time. We won't be away for so long and we won't be taking Ben out of school. Communications are better, we have smart phones and 3G (probably). Apart from the long passage across the North Sea, and the scary (very tidal) hop from Cuxhaven to the canal entrance, most of the passages are shorter.

So far we have a new plotter-cum-radar-with-AIS which is still not quite working as it should (probably my fault for upgrading the software), a new mainsheet track which doesn't quite fit yet (Big Nige said it would bend, but it doesn't), a new stereo which we can plug the iPhones/iPods into (not quite installed yet) and new cockpit speakers, two pilot books and a full-sized Admiralty chart of the whole Baltic. Still to come, the rest of the charts including the electronic ones, cleaning, polishing and antifouling, a new marine bucket, and lots more.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Forgot to say...

Guy has a job at Sailing Holidays in Greece as a shore botherer. I don't know the official title, that's what Sailing Holidays used to call it when we sailed with them. He seems to be enjoying it, especially the drinking, and the sunshine. You can follow him on Twitter.