So with lockdown restrictions eased just enough to permit travel, I took the chance to go and see my boat for the first time in over a month. I spent the day gloriously boat bimbling, fitting fittings, cleaning, planning, chucking stuff out. Cathartic is the word. The joy, the sheer bloody joy of being on the water – even if I was just on the dock – was palpable and it was so lovely to see old Cowes friends pop by and stop for a natter and a gossip as I beavered away.
I’ve got a big project on my hand to get my H-Boat back up to racing scratch but Rome wasn’t built in a day and there’s no hurry. I am grateful to all those that have helped out so far, everyone from Hannah, Mike and Charlie at North Sails and JC at Corby Yachts to the boys at Raymarine and the best boatbuilder in Britain, AH of Alpha Plus (have a look at this link: ‘Alpha Plus Cowes’ and see the incredible restorations he’s done). Thank you for taking my emails, listening to my whingeing about batteries – why does a 28ft boat need a 12v battery, why?? And thank you for indulging my flights of fantasy at all times of the day and night…a collaborative effort.
My plan for this boat is to get my son (some will remember him as ‘Hurricane’) into yachting. He’s already quite proficient in dinghies and wants to progress. He also wants to catch a fish. And I mean desperately. We have done day fishing, night fishing, beach casting, marinas, spinners, flies, the bloody lot and never caught a single thing. Not a sausage. Not even a nibble. We must do better! So alongside the odd fish and learning the dark arts of racing, we’ll also be treating the boat as casual weekend family cruiser. Dog included. What have I let myself in for? But I just cannot wait for Spring to be sprung and the temperatures to rise just enough to sleep onboard. We have the sleeping bags, we just need the weather to play ball.
So towards the end of the day today as the temperature started to dip as the sun set on a beautifully crisp Cowes December day, there was a moment of utter zen. The sky turned red and the smooth water of the marina housed rippling reflections of the boats in the marina opposite my boat. I sat with a cup of freshly brewed coffee (for I have a cooker onboard – yes really!) and just supped in the sight. It was one of those take-your-breath-away moments in life when you sit and thank your lucky stars for being alive. It’s been a shocking year for so many and a devastating time to live through. But we’re nearly there and better times are just around the corner.
Stay safe, hang in there.