Got up before the crack of dawn to head down to Plymouth yesterday to re-launch Calstar. As the sun doesn't come up until just shy of 0800 at this time of year, that's not as harsh a start to the morning as it sounds. The work on Calstar's gel-coat has been finished, her anti-foul renewed, and the heads replaced.
It's fair to say that I've got more tolerance for Dad's driving than he has for mine, although I dispute any suggestion that this should be a reflection on my driving, and more on Dad's qualities as a passenger. The advantage of this, of course, is I generally get to read for the two and a half hours it takes each way on the journey to and from Plymouth. And have free hands and attention should a pretty photograph present itself.
Sunrise over the Severn Valley was more subtle creep than glorious dawn splendour, but for a minute or two the hazed light took on a lovely shade of pale ochre before the morning gave way to a drab, grey overcast that endured for most of the rest of the drive down.
By the time we arrived in Plymouth, the grubby grey sky had given way to a bright, cold blue and a glorious, still winter's day; perfect for re-launching and moving Calstar around to her winter berth, deeper into the shelter of the marina than she was previously moored.
All went smoothly, aside from a little confusion over the meaning of "left" and "right" in the last moments of guiding her into her new berth. The shiny, freshly rejuvenated gelcoat was saved however with an athletic landing onto the pontoon finger just ahead of Calstar's arrival and some energetic fending off.
I'm generally not a fan of jumping from the boat, but every so often it just has to be done, and at least there was another vessel already moored on the other side of the finger to stabilise my landing. The finger pontoons can be a bit wobbly if that's not the case.
Well, new for a 37 year old lady, in any case. Hopefully we'll get a last sail in before Christmas.