05 January 2021
One of the many exciting and intellectually stimulating topics of conversation among locked down cruisers is audio visual entertainment, whether The Donald Trump Comedy Hour, (although surely 70 million Americans can't be wrong?), the latest movies doing the rounds, like Forrest Gump or Gone With The Wind, such is the vintage of most folks hard drive collections.
TV series are much sought after as it can be a real challenge to fit in a whole movie between Sundowners and us old timers heading to bed at Cruisers' Midnight.
One series we latched onto was Grey's Anatomy. It was OK for a while but, for me anyway, it got a bit repetitive. Personal problems, stroppy patients, a disaster of some mind blowing proportion and of course, the out of their depth trainee doctor screaming, "he's coding" as yet another poor sucker gets a jolt from the paddles.
A jolt I very nearly needed last week on the way back from Kuah.
It was light airs, maybe 10 knots. We'd just filled up with diesel and, not wanting to actually use any, we upped the main and Solent and wheeched out the anchorage on a nice reach planning to circumnavigate the island. We're not likely to circumnavigate much else at the present rate so might as well do Langkawi we thought. That is, until the wind died a bit and went more behind. Solent away, Code 0 rolled out and off we went again. Until the wind went even more behind. Code 0 away, spinnaker hauled out after twelve months hibernation, and hoisted up what seemed to be a mast taller than I remembered.
"Phew. That was a bit of work"....and we'd only covered about six miles down to the end of the channel and time to turn for Rebak. Gybe, kite away, furled Code 0 down, Code D up unrolled and winched in......and off we went again. For five minutes, sailing right out the island thermal and into the afternoon sea breeze coming at us really fast. Really fast and really windy.
Frantic action to get the Code D furled and down, tack the boat in the transition from land to sea breeze, get the Solent back out, drop the boards and all in the few minutes before the wind hit.
In a previous life, I'd be stood at the wheel while my "people" rushed around like loonies doing the donkey work listening out for the skipper's shouts of perhaps, "Excuse me chaps, we may be gybing soon" or "it looks like we may be tacking RFN ........ so get the flippin' finger out".
Nowadays, it's just us, Anne driving and instead, it's just me running about like a loonie pulling ropes and winching.
The only shout you're likely to hear these days on Time Bandit is, "He's coding" as I lie on the deck, surrounded by acres of sailcloth, half conscious, blood vessels popping and me wheezing like Thomas The Tank Engine, but hey, we sailed all the way and used not a drop of diesel.
I never have been very good at this cruising lark.
Happy New Year Everybody.
(Nothing on the tele? Look for SV Time Bandit on YouTube. Nearly as bad as Greys Anatomy. Especially the episode when they all sing).