17 December 2015 | Boxmoor
Here we are then - so many months down the road, and not much to report in the way of sailing. For fear of sounding like a stuck record, for pretty much the same reasons as always: lack of time/shit weather and a dodgy engine. All this leaves me wondering: what do I do it for?
Lack of time: for much longer than I care to, I have been (and will be) working week on/week off. As I need some crew to help me park the boat (and crew is mostly only available on week-ends) this means there are only four days available every month to go sailing. And if the weather is crap on those days...
Crap weather: of course, this is to be expected - we keep the boat in Britain after all. Speaking of which... As some of you may remember, we're on several waiting lists for a mooring in Brittany. In one place in particular, we are third on the list and the local council was planning to put down 5 new moorings suitable for boats our size this winter. However, in this bleak economic times, moorings for yotties do not seem to be a high priority for the council and the funds will most likely be reallocated elsewhere. So we may have to stick it out on the UK East Coast for another year.
Dodgy engine: this really has haunted our sailing year. Not only did it force the sailing staycation upon us, it also kept us alongside for nearly two months since November. The seized wastegate has been overhauled and everything seems to be back to normal now. Took Guapa out for a spin in the fog the other day and the engine certainly seems to have more horsepower available than before. More quiet too - always a good thing. Still awaiting the bill with baited breath, but we can take that as sorted.
At the end of the summer, I also noticed a crack in the drum of our furling gear. That too has been rectified. The RigMagic invoice came as a pleasant surprise too. It doesn't happen often in the world of boat ownership that something costs less than you had hoped/feared. Also tried and tested during our brief test sail in the fog. Another one to cross off the to-do list.
What's next? This year: not much. I hope to be able to take the boat out for a family sail between Christmas and the New Year. And that's the best case scenario.
The start of the new year will look pretty much like the end of this one: more work and other non-sailing real world commitments (and I had both equally - and with a passion). Hope to have an update on the mooring availability in Brittany by this time next month.
On this will also depend whether or not we finish the refit of the boat this year or next year. Items still on the to-do list: fit the electric windlass, replace the leaking starboard water tank and overhaul or replace the fridge. The fitting of the SSB has moved way down the list as I am starting to have serious second thoughts about this thing. In a time of rapid developments in the (satellite) communications field, would fitting an SSB still be worthwhile? Thoughts and comments on this last matter would be most welcome.
2015 leaves me with a lot of mixed feelings - it certainly did not live up to the great promise it showed early in the year. Frankly, this equally applies to the two or three previous years. As I was wondering earlier - 'what do I still do it for?' Many years of work/planning better pay of soon.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.