We took "Calstar" out to sea this weekend. Very briefly; the spring tide closed Tawe Lock at lunchtime, delaying our departure to the afternoon, so restricting the light left to play in. We didn't get much further than the mouth of the river, but enough to get the sails up in the little wind that was on offer. And Dad got a fair bit of time at the helm under power in the marina, so got a good feel for how well she handles under power amongst what's essentially an expensive obstacle course.
In all, it was more than enough time with her to make a decision. Just got to sort out the paperwork now. Exciting times. Calstar is to be our next boat.
I have, in my less certain moments at points over the last few weeks, worried that I've led Dad astray. Truth be told, were it not for my obsession with sail, Dad wouldn't even entertain the idea of anything with a mast intended to haul canvas. He's an engines man, and without my malign influence, were he still motivated towards finding a boat at all, I suspect a little cruiser on the canal would suit him just fine. Even a little boat like Calstar is a big commitment to take on, especially if you're not doing it for your own reasons.
Then again, Dad's always done things for his own reasons. And he's never been exactly easy to lead astray. I think this new boat is going to be a grand adventure, for him and me.