Last Friday, Mrs R decided that it was time to book her ticket for the New York marathon in November, and she extravagantly lashed out on travel plans. As a supportive husband I welcome this expenditure from our limited family purse, funds spent on sport is A Good Use Of Money. But opportunities to justify 'maintenance' expenses on boats are rare, and I made haste to order a new boom and sail for my boat whilst Mrs R was caught up in the excitement of the NY trip.
My friend Rich K works at LDC, and was able to bring the boom and sail to the club at 08:00 Saturday morning, which was great as it saved carriage costs. So as well as the opportunistic purchase, I was able to swing an early morning sailing session out of Thorney.
To be honest, if it had not been for the boom/sail I might have given it a miss. 20-25 knots, cold, wind against tide, and gusty. But sure in the knowledge that I would feel fulfilled after a sail I went out, and as ever once out it was fine (there is something about the flapping of sails on the shore that develops a high s-o-a).
Richard and Tom were out in their 800 and planed away up harbour, no chance of keeping close in a hiking boat. I stayed in the main Itchenor channel and practiced bearing away to by-the-lee in the steep chop and gusts. No 300 insights to report, but I did have a great sail and a rather surprising lack of capsizes.
Sailing back to Cambermet, I spied Richard and Tom having an almighty wipe out on a gybe, it looked painful even from a distance. On returning to the club, it transpired that they had broken some lines on the spinnaker pole and could not fly the kite. But Tom did say to me afterwards (and I am in no way making this up for the purposes of blogging, this quote is absolutely verbatim): "To be honest Mark, it was a bit much for us today. Richard didn't have enough product in his hair to deal with the salt water, and I'd chipped a nail, so we decided to come in".
Summer came back to the harbour on Sunday, and I went for a sail with Claire and Matt in the evening sun and dying sea breeze. Never seen so many cruisers moored off Pilsea Island, the array of food aromas was marvellous. Slightly surprised by the number of boats who moored bang in the middle of the channel. None of the cruisers invited us aboard for a beer, but maybe that's because we weren't sailing Lasers (where I understand beer is the drink of default).
No sailing Monday through very light winds, so I decided to varnish my mast.
9 days to Minorca.