Monday, 1 December 2014


Amusingly, the track from yesterday's drift informs me that I managed an
average speed of 1 knot over the course of the hour. Whilst to the
layman, that might seem tediously dull, to me it's something that's
always expressed a little of the magic that sailing is about.

Racing in such light air is always an intensely tactical, concentrated
affair. Horrifically boring to watch, I would imagine, but we didn't
have that problem for the specators yesterday, as they couldn't see more
than thirty feet from the pontoon anyway.

When it's so light, the slightest mistake, a misplacement of weight or
ill judged shift of balance, can stop you dead in the water, costing you
valuable minutes that will loose you the race. Let your attention wander
for a moment, and what mere whisper of a breeze there is can swing 180
degrees unnoticed, and the boats you left clear behind a half hour ago
are back on top of you again and rolling over you, smothering your air.

And it's so easy to hit things, racing marks, other boats. The sail
setting has to be precise, the balance and trim exact and perfectly
timed, or control just slips away.

But it's not that.

It's the fact that on a day when the fog is thick across the water, the
air still and the surface of the lake mirror smooth, a boat like Buffy
can still magic enough energy out of the air to ghost along at 1 knot.
Amazing stuff, sailing.

The pretty face at the top is Lexi. I took the photo over a year ago
now, as she was being handed over to us to foster for the Rescue. She's
a lovely dog. They're all lovely, but she utterly stole my heart, and I
so very, very nearly kept her despite the house being already overrun
with muddy paws. Truth be told, I would have done, I tried but they
wouldn't let me (by "they" I mean my wife and Lin, the lady that runs
the Rescue; and they were right, which is a point I conceed to others
ever so rarely)

We saw her again the weekend before last, at a dog show in Bristol.
She's as sweet as ever, and clearly very, very happy, loved to bits and
very well looked after in her new home.

They're lovely people, and I'm grateful to them for taking her in.

But she'll always be the one that got away.

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