Monday, 16 May 2016

Access 303

Another typical weekend of sailing, gigging and sailing again. It's a hard life.

Saturday morning was spent on the lake helping out with Sailability. I say helping out, but actually I left the oldies to do all the heavy lifting and spent the morning playing in an Access 303 dingy with one of the newer Sailability members, a lovely guy called Peter, and then later on with my good friend Andrew, who I think has been a member of the club almost as long as I have.

The wind was light and fluky, with the occasional energetic gust just to keep us on our toes. The Access 303 is a small double-hander with a ballasted daggerboard with enough weight to make the boat self-righting, though I've never been allowed to test it. You sit side by side in a hammock seat with your fellow crew member, and steer with a vertical tiller, a bit like the stick of a small aircraft, but without the pitch control. There's no hiking involved; when the wind hits the boat is designed to heel against the daggerboard until the increasing stability puts enough opposite pressure on the boat to stop her from heeling further.

A bit like a yacht.

Got home that afternoon about the same time Nikki finished work, so we took Sam and the three dogs across town to Plock Court to give them all a good run before I set off for the gig that night, which was in Kingswood, just outside of Bristol. It was a great gig. Our usual drummer, Bean, was away with another band, but our friend Jake stood in for him so he wasn't missed.

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