Spellbinder is put away for the season – still in the water, but with a heater and dehumidifier keeping her warm and dry. If we get a period of mild and calm weather I do not exclude taking her out, but having been regularly wet and cold in my professional life, I now limit the numbers of occasions when I impose it on myself! After returning from her main cruise, she sailed locally, including down to Weymouth and back under parasailor, which was memorable.
I have just written up the 2021 season and reviewed the statistics for my log book: 2755 nautical miles, and 79 days on board. Not bad, given that at the turn of the year we were in lockdown and I was wondering if we’d get any sailing at all. My old log book, which records a first entry in 1995, also reveals that I have sailed 35821 miles and spent 855 days of my life (2.3 years) sailing! This is clearly not enough…
My main cruise of this year, which I have entitled ‘Picts, Celts and Manx: a Tour of the Four Nations’ was immensely enjoyable. It was good to get up to the Outer Hebrides and Orkney, to transit the Caledonian Canal and to spend time revisiting Northern Ireland and exploring the wonderful Pembrokeshire coast. Lundy and Padstow, new to me, were fitting places to pass through on the way back. I also found it fascinating to see how different parts of UK viewed Brexit, and how each of the devolved governments were dealing with Covid. For those interested, I have written an abridged account of the cruise, which includes the best photos, here:
Plans for 2022 are coming together. I expect to sail locally in April and May, perhaps hopping over to Cherbourg if conditions (meteorological and pandemical) allow. Around 23rd May I intend to sail to the Netherlands, joining a Hallberg Rassy Owners’ Rally, before sailing down the Continental coast to join another rally in Northern Brittany in late June. I then plan to head back to UK, lift out for a couple of weeks for some maintenance and repair (a new cutlass bearing and sea cock, some touching up of the Coppercoat and a small rudder repair) then head back to France, probably to Southern Brittany. I have wanted to explore the Spanish Rias and overwinter in Porto or Lisbon for the last couple of years, so perhaps 2022/3 will afford me that opportunity.
I will be emailing regular crew in the coming weeks, but if any other reader would like to be involved, do please contact me.