Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Calstar: going down along

Possibly overkill on the planning front, given the spanners the weather is inevitably going to throw in to the wheels of any plan. But I've got ten clear days sandwiched between two gigs that I've taken off work starting at the end of this week, and I'm going to go sailing.

Nikki and Dad are off work too, Sam is happy enough to stay at home to look after the dogs and Ben will be around to support him, so we've no real excuse to not take a holiday.

Dad wants to get to Padstow. He's wanted to do this ever since we brought the boat up to Portishead. We're a day closer now we're down in Cardiff, so it seems a humble enough ambition to try to achieve.

I want to get to Lundy. I'm realistic enough to realise that with Nik along for the ride I probably won't get to the pub; I understand the path up from the shore is a heck of a steep climb and steep climbs the lady is most certainly not keen on these days. So I'll content myself with just anchoring off the island overnight on the way down and back up.

Nik wants to come sailing with us, but doesn't want to keep "charging about from one place to the next all the time like you and your Dad always do" as she puts it. So I've planned a few rest stops; Ilfracombe, Padstow, Tenby and Porthcawl. There's enough in Ilfracombe to keep Dad entertained for a day, and he's not actually been to the other three places yet. Nikki enjoyed Tenby last year, even if she wasn't so keen on the ten hour beat it took to get there from Swansea.

It's all completely flexible. If we can get to Padstow then I will have achieved what we're setting out to do with this cruise. It does rely heavily on the winds staying in the southwest. If they shift northerly, then I'll scrap that idea and re-centre my ambitions around the north coast and Milford Haven instead.

Dad's not as fired up about the idea of Milford as he seems to be about getting to Padstow, but I suspect if I take him there he'll actually love the place. I don't think he quite realises what a big stretch of sheltered water it is. Or how many pubs there are on its shores.

It'll be the longest I've spent with both Dad and Nikki together aboard the yacht, so it'll be a bit of an test to see how well the three of us rub along together over a ten day stretch; I can't say the idea doesn't leave me completely devoid of the slightest sense of anxiety, although my worries are undoubtedly groundless.

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