Calstar remains safe in Queen Anne's Battery. Sutton Harbour have said they'll defer the start of our annual contract until we're able to actually move her in and run twelve months from there. QAB have given us a quarterly pro-rata contract based on what would've been our annual fee with them, including, which was a nice touch, what would've been the concession for early payment had we renewed with them in December because they recognised we'd always paid in time to enjoy it during the years we were with them.
They've also agreed that if we don't use a whole quarter, they'll only charge us for the actual months we do use.
So we still have unplanned and unforeseen expenses to deal with, but we're not paying twice, which was my biggest worry. And actually, given our habit of eating out and trying to drink dry every port we stop in when we're out sailing, it's not costing us that much more to keep Calstar on her temporary berth at QAB than it would to actually sail her away somewhere for a week with Dad and Nik.
Needless to say I'm really, really missing being able to do that though. Possibly more than I'm missing the gigs. Possibly.
We're seriously thinking about sailing her back around to Portishead next year, to have her back a little closer to home. Even without the fuss of lockdowns and whatnot, Dad and I both feel like we haven't been sailing her enough over the last couple of years. As gorgeous a sailing area as the south coast is, I'm not sure it quite makes up for the distance and the travel to get there and back.
I recorded the following clip Saturday afternoon, during a brief respite between cutting the grass and opening a beer. Or walking the dogs and cutting the grass; I forget now. It's another one from the band's set, a song by a Welsh band called the Stereophonics, "Dakota"
There was a gorgeous 40' Jeanneau Sun Odyssey called Dakota that used to be berthed on the opposite side of the pontoon from us when we were at Penarth in Cardiff Bay. I thought it was a lovely name for a boat. It's also the name of a wolf I met once in a wild-life park in the Cotswolds. I also remember sitting in Calstar's cockpit in the warm sun having sailed her over from Portishead back in the early days, with the noise of what turned out to be the Stereophonics playing live in Cardiff Stadium. It would've sounded much better in the stadium itself than it did from where I sat in the sun, a vaguely irritating background noise and a disruption to my well-earned afternoon's peace, distorted and muffled by distance as it was.
It's a good song, which I'd have probably overlooked had the band not asked me to learn it as I don't really follow the Stereophonics myself these days. One of the pleasures of playing in a covers band is that this stuff gets put in front of my nose to enjoy, where it might otherwise have passed me by.
The lyrics, taken a little out of context and disregarding what was probably their original intent, also seem quite apt for our present times.