So, this is not the most adventurous of starts to the sailing season, but for us it is a milestone. Lockdown did the old girl no favours, but we are reasonably proud of her after some gutsy work over the winter. Just laying alongside the harbourmaster’s pontoon we feel that once again we are ready to take on what the sea has to offer…OK OK….the Solent then!
Even the simple act of trundling round the supermarket to get some stores in feels like we are off once more and evokes such happy memories. The ‘essential stores’ turn out to be a bit heavy on the booze side, but… plus ca change.
We fill up with diesel and with our new super-size water tanks we are ready to take on whatever the south coast can offer. Oddly we had wondered whether we were out of practice in general boat handling, but while not quite the well-oiled machine we once were, we feel that we are still not too shabby in that department.
With South Westerlies for the start of the week and Easterlies at the end, we wisely head east. Newtown creek is only an hour away and we keep the engine ticking over to get the tonic and white wine cool in the fridge. But it is glorious just to have the sails up and to hear the water chuckling under her keels once more. This is what she (and we?) were made for.
It is not the adventure into the unknown, but Newtown never fails to delight…and it is right on our doorstep…we are so very lucky. The entrance at low water is always interesting (and tight) and a long keeled German boat almost on its beam ends shows the pitfalls. We drop the hook into a couple of meters…she holds fast in the mud and within a quarter of an hour we are at the gin! Smug or what?
An evening just chatting, listening to the birds and the sounds of the mudflats…plus some oysters as a starter and a late rum…how lucky are we to be born into a stable, tolerant and prosperous part of the world. With a sunset and showers elsewhere, we head to bed humbled and grateful.