Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Summer? What summer?

Since our return from the Netherlands we have managed a pathetic amount of time aboard Kalessin and almost no sailing.

Part of this is because we were away for 10 days in Germany in July, and partly because during most of August I have been working on the latest edition of Cruising.

But a large amount is also down to the extremely dismal weather. Sam has been booked to go out on the day boats with EAST pretty much every summer Tuesday that we have been in the UK. He missed a couple when he had the seizure but in total, over almost four months he has probably managed to go sailing four times. Tuesdays seem to be the day when the weather really shows its least summery side. Last Monday I was determined to at least get down to Kalessin and we spent a very pleasant, warm evening on board with a magnificent sunset; when we abandoned ship at high water the next day it was the wettest Tuesday ever and poor Sam found it almost impossible to walk in full oilies – a lesson for next time, I need to use a more flexible set of waterproof trousers for him.

Red sky at night, SYH

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to join Sunsail for Ladies' Day at Cowes. The plan was for a few hours' entertaining racing on the Solent followed by a glam ladies' cocktail party. Sadly what we actually got was two hours of floating around in the light drizzle and no wind at all, an hour or two of watching while competitive teams blew model boats down two water-filled gutters, and a glam cocktail party in a marquee in the pouring rain. Fortunately I did get to meet a couple of yachting journalists including the editor of Yachts & Yachting and the deputy editor of Sailing Today (who apparently applied for the editorship of Cruising first time around, but like me didn't get the job), plus three female lifestyle and travel bloggers, a species I knew of in theory but with whom this was my first encounter in the field.

We did get to see a few interesting yachts also drifting very slowly around the Solent - you can see from the (unPhotoshopped) images what a dismal day it was.

Celebrating ladies' day

Sir Peter Ogden's inordinately black Jethou, for sale for around £2m

Open 60 Artemis 2 is available for charter... is Leopard, possibly the only yacht we actually saw sailing, notable for having instruments on her mast which are so clear I could read them from our boat

MOD70 Phaedo ^3 needs washing down with fresh water every time she's used to keep her this shiny

Tall ship Kaskelot was on charter to a group of gentlemen who put away a very large quantity of alcohol, judging by their behaviour when we met them later on the RedJet ferry
...and here's a great photo of some of the ladies sporting sunglasses and pretending the weather was hot.

What next? Well, we hope to sail into the Deben with our friends Alex and David over the bank holiday weekend. I daren't even look at the forecast, we are guaranteed either rain or a F8, or both. Hopefully we'll get some quieter days and a bit of sailing in September, although the month is rapidly filling up with other things.

And for 2016, I'm seriously contemplating taking Kalessin down to southern Brittany – well, seriously enough to have signed up for the CA's Biscay seminar. Possibly this is mad. Possibly it will mean some more sunshine. Watch this space.