Thursday, 16 March 2017

Calstar: Relocation

I guess I kind of realised the inevitability of it the second he mentioned the possibility to me on the way down to the boat last Sunday. It looks like Dad has decided: we are moving our home port 18 miles down channel to Penarth Marina in Cardiff Bay. He hasn't actually signed the paperwork yet or handed over a cheque, but he has been speaking to the marina office in Penarth, and, well, he's an easy sell. I would argue more enthusiastic with a low boredom threshold and intolerance for the status quo, as opposed to in any way naive or gullible.

And I haven't exactly worked hard to talk him out of it. Portishead is a great spot. Picturesque, a great marina and boating community and ever so convenient for home. But Cardiff Bay is so much more convenient as a sailing ground. You've got access to effectively a big sailing lake behind the Barrage if conditions are too lively out in the Channel. It's much, much less tidally restricted, so you could potentially stick your nose out in to the Channel for an hour or two's sailing and then just head back in when you wanted without having to wait for the tide to turn and carry you back.

It puts the likes of Ilfracombe or Swansea within reach of a weekend trip on the right tide. And it makes Portishead a lovely place to visit.

It is an all round good move, I think.

It seems very likely we'll be making the move down Saturday 1st April. Which also happens to be my birthday.

There is one complication.

Having missed it last year because of band commitments, I'm absolutely determined to do the Holmes Race again this year. I've already turned down two gigs to keep the 9th September date free. I did accept a gig on Friday 8th however; work is work and at the time I figured it was a Bristol gig so I could always head straight down to the boat afterwards to be there, fresh and ready for the start first thing the following morning.

Of course, the boat isn't actually going to be there now. She's going to be in Penarth and will need to be brought up to Portishead for the race.

The obvious time to do that would be on the Friday, but, of course, I have a gig the Friday night.

Nothing is insurmountable. Either we bring the boat up the weekend before, which does, awkwardly, strand my car unhelpfully in Cardiff. Or, with the Portishead start being about an hour after the 1003 HW, I could head straight down to the boat after the gig Friday night and we could bring her up on the morning tide for the race. Then we stay over in Portishead Saturday night and sail back to Cardiff Sunday.

I'm actually quite liking that last idea; getting excited already.

A lot of other sailing to do between now and then however.

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